The Association des members et amis pour la protection de la Réserve nationale de faune du Lac Saint-François (AMAPRE) was created in 1993 to allow the public to discover the National Wildlife Area and its exceptional diversity of flora and fauna. Now, thirty years later, the non-profit organization is inviting the public to celebrate its three decades of conservation management on September 23 with a full day of activities and special events.
“We wanted to celebrate some of the pioneers of the site,” says the association’s liaison agent, Dylan Burrows. She says they first began tossing around the idea of a celebration over a year ago and began planning once members of the board of directors expressed interest.
“We have had the same core team for the last several years, and we knew we were up to the challenge of doing something big,” Burrows explains. She adds that this summer also felt like a return to pre-pandemic normalcy at the site, which was another reason to celebrate.
Canadian actor and comedian Pierre Verville, who just happens to have an interest in birds, will serve as the president of honour for the event. “We are really thrilled to have him,” says Burrows, who notes he filmed an episode of the documentary series he animates called Fous des Oiseaux at the national wildlife area in 2017.
“This is a place that a lot of people have ties to, and I think it would be a great time to come back and see all the ways in which it has changed” says Burrows, noting that Environment and Climate Change Canada has made several key investments in recent years to the site, including the complete renovation of the administrative building last year and the erecting of a new lookout tower in the Digue aux Aigrettes area.
The day will feature a “discovering the inhabitants of the forest” activity, a guided rabaska (large canoe) tour, a time capsule, music by Stew and Alice, a raffle, and face painting and activities for children. The Northern Native American Travelling College will also present stories and legends as well as a traditional dance performance.