Sometimes events come together as you would hope, bringing enjoyment, a learning experience and something to pass on to others.
This happened on Thursday, September 22, when some residents from Fairview Manor went on an outing to Metcalfe Geoheritage Park (MGP) in Almonte.
People who know about MGP and its origins will not be surprised to hear that the initiative came from the indefatigable and enthusiastic Neil Carleton. A few months ago Neil offered to speak to a group at a monthly Fairview Manor get-together. He came with his knowledge, brochures and samples of rocks and explained how to “read the rocks.” It was a hit. The follow-up trip to MGP a few weeks later for six people from the group was the polish on those rocks.
What struck me about the outing to MGP, apart from the pleasure it gave to the group of residents from the Manor, was that it could only have happened as the result of much cooperation among a number of groups and organizations in Almonte and with the assistance of many volunteers. Several local residents gave of their time and energy—as well as some of the rock samples— to bring the MGP from an idea to reality. The Mississippi River Power Corp. and the municipality of Mississippi Mills provided the location and funding. A local company did construction and landscaping work to create the site for the display.
Professional organizations and professors in the field of geoscience provided advice, encouragement and additional funding. The Recreation Department at Fairview Manor organized and transported the group to the site in their bus that was funded largely by residents of the community. I must mention as well that the site is accessible. People in wheelchairs and with walkers can manage the pathway, an example that Almonte is moving toward being more age-friendly. Everything worked out, thanks to the cooperative spirit of the folks in Mississippi Mills.
For those who have not yet visited MGP, you don’t have to be an expert on reading rocks to benefit from a trip. An explanatory panel on geological eras along with a printed brochure explain the general geological features of the area and a guide to the individual rock samples on display. If you are like me, though, your curiosity is bound to be piqued and you will want to learn more—how marble was formed a billion years ago, identifying fossils of marine life from the Ordovician period, and learning about the impact of the last glacier that covered this area about 11,500 years ago.
Hats off to the Recreational staff at Fairview Manor and all who have contributed to the creation of MGP.
September 29, 2016