Big Tub lighthouse


Bruce Peninsula Environment Group (BPEG) is active within the community and takes a leadership role in developing and promoting projects and initiatives to benefit the community and protect the environment. Following are current and past projects BPEG has undertaken since its inception in 1989.

Cars!!Sustainable Tourism  BPEG sponsored and facilitated a highly successful community discussion on sustainable tourism in October 2016 with more than150 participants. A BPEG Sustainable Tourism Working Group has been set up to craft a long-term community vision of how we want to see tourism develop on the Bruce Peninsula.

Shoreline Naturalization & Geese ManagementPlanting beds
                to deter geese

In 2015, volunteers led by Rod Layman, including high school students, planted perennial beds along part of the north shore of Lion's Head beach to stop geese from fouling the beach. Additional perennial beds are planned to further discourage the birds from coming on-shore in the remaining areas of the beach, including the pavilion and campground areas.

Water Bottle
                Filling Station

Water Bottle Refilling Stations
Jan Mackie and Judi McLeod worked tirelessly to raise awareness about plastic water bottle use and their toll on the environment. As a result of their efforts, water bottle filling stations were installed in 2016 in Tobermory, Lion's Head, and at the national park visitor centre.

Green Energy Doors Open
To help more people on the Bruce reduce their carbon footprint and live more sustainably, Jim Kuellmer organized the annual Green Energy Doors Open tour in which several locations on the peninsula are invited to share their experiences with energy-saving initiatives, such as geothermal and solar installations.

Waste and Recycling
WasteTackling trash was a priority for BPEG from the beginning, with Tom Boyle and BPEG founders Ziggy Kleinau and Lynda Hoita pushing to do something about all the garbage we toss out. They seconded Stuart Burgess to apply for a $4,000 grant from Shell Oil to set up the first recycling bin in Ferndale in 1991 and BPEG volunteers manned it. The municipality later took over, expanding and managing waste and recycling sites. BPEG also pushed council to offer household composting bins for sale. BPEG volunteers continue to serve on councilís waste diversion group, which makes recommendations to council on ways to improve waste handling and recycling in our community.

Local Foods
                FoodsBPEG is dedicated to promoting local food to support our local economy and to stop our dependency on foods that have to be shipped thousands of miles, which contributes in a large way to greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. Besides, locally grown foods are tastier, fresher and more nutritious. A great place to buy locally is at the Lion's Head Farmer's Market, Saturday mornings at the Lion's Head Beach pavilion from Victoria Day weekend to Thanksgiving. Or join Eat Local Grey Bruce and get your food orders delivered.

Yard Sales
Donna Baker and a group of volunteers ran a successful yard sale in Lionís Head in the summer of 2016, the second of two in the past four years, raising more funds than the sum of our membership fees and promoting reuse of items.

Farmersí Markets
Farmers MarketAfter tossing around the idea for some time, BPEG members started the first farmersí market in 1992, an informal tailgate event on a Saturday morning in the Lionís Head arena parking lot. It went on for eight seasons. After a lapse of several years, Megan Myles, then a student member, rekindled and pushed the idea and in 2008 the current farmerí market began its reincarnation at the scenic Lionís Head beach pavilion. It soon blossomed into a major Saturday morning attraction, now run by vendors.

BPDS Environment

BPDS Environmental Initiatives
BPEG continues to support student and environmental projects at Bruce Peninsula District School through annual donations to BPDS Environment Fund and sponsoring a student award. BPDS is a centre for environmental studies within the Blue Water School Board and in 2008 both it and St. Edmunds Public School became part of ASPnet (Associate School Project Network), the first schools in Ontario to receive the UNESCO designation.


Roadside cleanup
BPEG has ďadoptedĒ County Rd. 9 from Lionís Head to Ferndale and twice a year in spring and fall for many years now, BPEG volunteers, sometimes assisted by high school students, pick up litter along the road, and also clean up the mess around the Ferndale recycling bins.

Environmental Film Festival
In the summers from 2007 to 2013, BPEG and the Bruce Peninsula Bird Observatory hosted environmental film festivals here on the Bruce, with Stephen Scharper of the Centre for the Environment, University of Toronto, bringing us documentaries and feature films based each year on a different environmental theme. The final festival showcased videos by local students Hayden Hellyer, David Whyte and Mike Winters. 

WindmillRenewable Energy
From 2004 through 2008, Glen Estill and Sara Wilkinson organized the widely popular Bruce Peninsula Renewable Energy Tour, showcasing renewable energy installations at various places around the area for visitors from far and wide to visit and learn from. Soon, other energy tours that began popping up around the province ended the successful run and those events were eventually superseded by the Ontario Sustainable Energy Associationís Green Energy Doors Open program.

Solar PowerSolar panels at the Golden Dawn
In 2009, Glen Estill spearheaded that yearís major BPEG initiative: installation of a rooftop solar hot-water heating system at Golden Dawn in Lionís Head to reduce the use of fuel oil and cut carbon emissions at the home, a non-profit institution that provides long-term nursing care for seniors as well as seniorsí apartments. A fundraising drive was launched and grants were obtained to help cover the cost of the project. The success of that experience led the Golden Dawn board to since add photovoltaic panels to provide electricity to the complex. BPEG also instigated and helped finance solar hot-water heating for shower stalls at the Lionís Head marina. An offshoot was the installation by the municipality of solar panels at the marina shower stalls in Tobermory as well.

Dark SkyDark sky
In 2001, Graham Thomas teamed up with Lion's Head astronomer Doug Cunningham to raise awareness of night sky pollution and to have the North Bruce Peninsula proclaimed a dark sky preserve. They achieved this lofty goal in 2004 and, among other accomplishments, succeeded in getting dark sky compliant lights installed along Highway 6 and around the Lionís Head Marina.

Tree planting
BPEG has planted a lot of trees over the years, including along Highway 6 in the Ferndale Flats, at the Lionís Head day care centre, at the district school in Lionís Head and at the municipal office grounds on Lindsay Rd. One of the most ambitious was a project at an abandoned farm at the north end of Miller Lake that Darci Lombard had inherited and landscaped with ponds the year before. Wanting to create a wildlife area, she enlisted BPEGís help. Some 500 native trees and shrubs were planted one April morning in 2008 by a Grade 10 class from BPDS, aided by BPEG volunteers and instructor, Bruce County forester Ken Goldsmith. A visit a few years later showed a very different scene: an area deep with wildflowers, willows, alders and dogwoods, and an excellent take of evergreens, though not of the hardwoods.

BPDS Environmental InitiativesBPDS Environment Initiative
BPEG continues to support student and environmental projects at Bruce Peninsula District School through annual donations to BPDS Environment Fund and sponsoring a student award. BPDS is a centre for environmental studies within the Blue Water School Board and in 2008 both it and St. Edmunds Public School became part of ASPnet (Associate School Project Network), the first schools in Ontario to receive the UNESCO designation.  

Concerned about un-managed cutting of white cedar in the Br bring about good forestry practices. They encouraged council to set up a task force to study the issue and organized workshops on forest management and good tree harvesting. The task forceís recommendations led to a county-wide bylaw that came into force in 2004, helping to maintain a healthy forest environment in the county.

NCC Land ProtectioNCC land protection
                projectn Project
The Nature Conservancy of Canada property at the corner of Dyers Bay Road and Highway 6, containing a sensitive alvar, was being abused by ATVers and late-night partiers and was strewn with glass and old cans. One sunny day in June, 2007, a BPEG crew cleaned up the garbage, erected 30 feet of cedar rail fencing across a gap in the cedars and built a heavy-duty base for a sign, solving the trespassing problem.

                Duck boxesWood Duck Boxes
Ten wood duck boxes were built and installed in 2006 in a BPEG project to assist Darci Lombard with wetland habitat restoration on two properties she owns north of Miller Lake. A dozen BPEG woodworkers each produced different box parts and later supervised in Bob McArthurís heated workshop as Roots and Shoots kids put the boxes together. Then on a cold sunny February day, the lake safely frozen, they trekked through a snowy bush hauling gear and boxes, which they mounted on an assortment of dead trees. Most of them are still in place and have been used by mice, mergansers and other wildlife Ė and maybe even wood ducks.

Genetically Modified Organisms
The highly charged issue of genetically modified organisms pushed BPEG to launch an information picket outside the Zehrs store in Owen Sound one Saturday morning in June 2001. Twenty members from the group, with the approval of the storeís management, came armed with literature on GMO foods and their petitions requesting that these foods have mandatory labeling got more than 80 signatures in one hour.

Earth Day Expo
BPEGís biggest event to that time was its Earth Day Expo in 1999, organized by Rick Roman and Graham Thomas and assisted and abetted by an enthusiastic group of volunteers. The event focused on local people involved in activities such as sustainable forestry, organic farming and renewable energy generation. There were speakers, display booths with eco-friendly goods on offer, even a cafe serving fantastic local foods. Hundreds of people made their way through the Rotary Hall that day. Inspired by their success, the volunteer group staged an even bigger Earth Day Expo the following year, moving it to the arena, adding even more booths and attractions, and drawing close to 1,000 people.

White Bale WrapBale
Years ago when huge round hay bales wrapped in white plastic began snaking across farmersí fields, BPEG began a push to initiative recycling of the plastic wrap. The municipality eventually set up a bin at Eastnor waste disposal site where farmers could dump their mounds of used plastic, which was collected by a New Hamburg company and turned into plastic lumber. BPEG purchased some of the bale board planks and Robert Wilkinson, with the help of local woodworker Gerry Goldie, built two park benches. One was installed just outside the entrance to the municipal office on Lindsay Rd. in 2007 and the other in Tobermory. This recycling service has since ended and the bale wrap bin has been removed from the landfill site.