Friends of Nancy Island Historic Site and Wasaga Beach Park. 
At Wasaga Beach Provincial Park, it takes a village to raise a Piping Plover.

Volunteers with our Recovery Program have two primary objectives:
  1. To educate beach visitors about the importance of Piping Plovers, conservation, Species at Risk and dune ecology (do not worry --we provide training!). 
  2. To monitor the birds, record their behaviour and report any issues back to the Coordinator. 

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How to sign up:
  1. Read over this website
  2. Register with our partner Bird Studies Canada 
  3. Select one of two training dates and attend training at Nancy Island
  4. After training, schedule your first shift using the online schedule (a link will be sent to you after training).   
  5. Continue to schedule your shifts throughout the season
  6. Have fun!
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What does a typical shift look like?
Our volunteers have a central "hub" which is the meeting location to the start of every shift. If you are the first shift of the day (8:30 am), you open the trailer and get out the supplies needed for the day. For all other shifts, the table should already be set up for you when you begin. Meet with volunteers from the previous shift and discuss the day (e.g., What are the plover doing? Have the birds switched?). If you are the first shift, check the notes from the previous day. For your shift, you switch between your role primary roles for the three hours --engaging with people and watching the birds. Easy! If it is a busy weekend, you may need to be stationed at the corners of the "compound" to encourage people to walk the boardwalk instead of the shoreline. You are not "standing guard" but simply engaging with people at the shoreline rather than the boardwalk. At the end of the shift, you exchange information with the incoming volunteers or clean up the hut by putting everything back into the trailer. Done. Scheduling of your shift is done from the comforts of your own home, based on your own schedule, with no minimum or maximum requirement for hours. 

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What is a Piping Plover?  

The following video was created by the Fish and Wildlife Department in the USA before Piping Plovers returned to Ontario in 2007.  While outdated, it provides a good overview of the important work being done for the Great Lakes population, which includes our Wasaga Beach birds.

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Bird Studies Canada has created an excellent Volunteer Manual which outlines everything you need to know about Piping Plovers and your role as a volunteer.  You do not need to read this before the mandatory training but it is an important resource to review throughout the summer.  A secondary Volunteer Manual (#2) is also available for a more detailed overview of the Recovery Program and our procedures.    
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Closer to Sauble Beach on Lake Huron?  Volunteer with the Plover Lovers of Stewardship Grey Bruce