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Friends of Sandbanks celebrate silver anniversary

The Friends of Sandbanks, and other friends, gathered for a picnic Saturday, celebrating the group’s 25th anniversary of working to make the provincial park a better place to visit. John Brebner photo

The Friends of Sandbanks gathered for a picnic Saturday to celebrate 25 years of dedicated volunteer service to Sandbanks Provincial Park.

Founded in 1993 by a group of local residents, its motto is simply “Working with the park to make it a better place to visit”.

Mark Despault, Friends of Sandbanks chair, accepts a 25th anniversary certificate from Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis. John Brebner photo

Neil Ellis Bay of Quinte MP congratulated the group for its continued efforts and presented Friend’s Chair Mark Despault with a commemorative plaque.

Steve Ferguson, on behalf of the mayor and County council also commended the Friends’ track record, especially in providing help for tree planting and mobility access to the beaches.

Well-known local naturalist Terry Sprague reminisced with entertaining stories about his work experience at the park.

Park Superintendant Robin Reilly praised the group’s efforts, saying that while several other Ontario Provincial Parks had Friends’ groups, the Friends of Sandbanks was among the most active and productive.

This year the Friends’ major project is a contribution to the rehabilitation of the Dunes Trail in the Park, which suffered damage during last year’s high water event. Coincidentally, the Dunes Trail was the first project undertaken by the group 25 years ago.

For more on the Friends, visit

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