The heart of this project is the belief that children should have the opportunity to enjoy unstructured time in nature.
Victory School and William Beatty closed their doors at the end of June 2015 and the 2015/2016 school year will begin at the Parry Sound Public School located on Beatty Street. The school site is located adjacent to a 2.3-acre plot of land that is currently for sale. The Town of Parry Sound has supported this piece of land becoming a park named the Treetops Community Forest that will be used by both the Parry Sound Public School students and Parry Sound community members.
Treetops Community Forest will remain naturalized, but have a trail added to provide easier access to the entire property. A simple, naturalized space with a trail would allow students, citizens and tourists to immerse themselves in natural space within an urban setting. We collectively recognize the important teaching, learning and healthy living opportunities that arise from having access to natural space for environmental learning in all seasons. Treetops Community Forest will allow learning opportunities in a natural setting that is reflective of the community in which we live.
At the Multi-Service Club meeting on May 5, 2015 several local service clubs agreed on the importance of this project and have expressed interest in collaborating with the Parry Sound Public School students to maintain a four-seasons trail. With the added support of the Georgian Bay Biosphere, School Parent Council, The Nature Club and other community organizations acting as stewards, the vacant land and proposed trail would be maintained by a network of volunteers.
After discussions with the Near North District School Board, we were informed that although the Board is not in a financial position to purchase this property, they have given full support of the project and have assured us that they will support a joint use agreement that enables the students of the school to use the space on a frequent basis. It is our hope that connecting this land to the school in some formal way will ensure its future use for all the students at the Parry Sound Public School. We will continue to pursue the formalization of this agreement through School board representatives.
We are confident that the community will support fundraising efforts to buy the land to become Treetops Community Forest for student and community use in years to come. The parents of Fynn Bywater (David Bywater and Meg Wallace) have already initiated fundraising for the land purchase by creating the Fynn Bywater Outdoor Explorers Fund. They have committed all funds raised through donation to support the purchase of the available property.
Goal: $200,000.00 to purchase the property and develop the Fynn Bywater trail