The “Friends of Fathom Five” was established in 1984 to support Fathom Five Provincial Park. In 1987 Parks Canada opened the Bruce Peninsula National Park and Fathom Five National Park and so the Friends of Fathom Five became “The Friends of The Bruce District Parks Association” As you walk around Tobermory there are many traces of the Friends involvement. The boardwalk and platform at the tug site (across from The Grand View Motel) were built by the Friends of Fathom Five. The former St Edmunds township provided all of the materials.
The signs which outline the history of the harbour were developed by the Friends and can be seen on the “Historical Walking Tour”. At the end of the summer, the plaques are removed, any necessary repairs are done over the winter and they are put back in place in the spring ready for another season.
The Orchid Festival, in early June was started 15 years ago, in partnership with The National Park, to give locals and visitors an opportunity to participate in guided hikes and workshops which highlight the many varieties of orchids and wildflowers found on the Bruce Peninsula.
This festival helps boosts the local economy by bringing people to the area in the low season.
Click here for to get more information from the Orchid Festival website.Orchid Festival Website
Flowerpot Island Light Station
Perhaps the biggest undertaking of the Friends is the restoration and maintenance of the Flowerpot Island Light Station. In the winter of 1995 the Friends signed an agreement with the Canadian Coast Guard to begin restoring the station which was deteriorating after 10 years of disuse. Since then, annual projects have been undertaken and the work is
performed by the Friends.
Light Keeper’s Host Program
In addition to the renovation work, the Friends started the Light Keeper’s Host Program in 1996. Volunteers live at the light station for three days at a time, while providing interpretative services to visitors. They also operate a small shop and keep up with the daily chores. Visitation to the light station has grown from 5,000 visitors twenty years ago to over 15,000 people representing 42 countries in 2014.
If you are interested in this program Click BelowLight Keeper’s Host Program