Donate To Help Maintain Algonquin Park's Portages & Thunderboxes

Donate To Help Maintain Algonquin Park's Portages & Thunderboxes

The Friends of Algonquin Park are accepting donations to help maintain and improve the portages and thunderboxes in Algonquin Provincial Park’s backcountry. The friends group is also matching donations until December 31st, 2018, so your donations will go twice as far!

Here’s the backstory from Douglas S. McGill who helped get the ball rolling on this effort…

Dear Paddler, I was lucky enough this year to get in a total of four trips in Algonquin. On those trips I could not help but notice that some campsites were looking a little worn and abused by a thoughtless few. Some portages had downed trees, landings and marsh crossings were in need of some care.

I reflected on the difficulties and costs that must be involved in dealing with maintenance in the Park’s interior. I was resolved to make a difference. To that end I tracked down Mr. Brent Stewart (Assistant Superintendent, Operations South – Algonquin Park) who is responsible for the interior camping and portage maintenance. He informed me that each portage in the park (and you can reach 875 lakes on official portages) needs an overhaul about every 10 years in addition to more regular clearing and treefall removals. Thunderboxes have a similar lifespan with both the tops and parts in contact with the ground rotting out over that time span. But while he assured me a donation would be greatly appreciated the Park had no mechanism to accept donations to support the interior canoeing program.

A search on the Friends of Algonquin website also yielded no way to directly support interior maintenance activities. This led me to speak with Ms. Lee Pauze (General Manager for Friends of Algonquin Park). Through her I have worked out an arrangement how I could make a donation and the money would be kept separate and used to support the backcountry. These monies would be used to buy materials (i.e. lumber and thunderboxes) and or equipment that will supplement the resources already available to Brent to support the interior canoeing maintenance program. Brent will provide a list of what is needed and Friends of Algonquin would purchase it for his use in the Park.

This was good, but not enough, I realized that I could make my donation go further if I could make it as a matching donation and if I could get some others to provide matching funds with me it could have an even greater impact. To that end I have located two other sponsors and between us we have put up $5,000 to match dollar for dollar any donation you make to this cause . To make the giving simple Friends of Algonquin has set up a special page on their site, a specific web-link provided in this e-mail to allow you to give to the interior camping and canoeing and receive a tax receipt. You must use this link to direct this money to the backcountry maintenance program. The Friends of Algonquin website will issue you an official tax receipt.
With your help we will raise $10,000 to support Algonquin Park staff’s efforts to maintain one of the world’s premier canoeing and camping destinations.
— Douglas S. McGill