The goal of the Friends of Foley Mountain is to enrich the base programs and facilities offered at the park by the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority. We do this by volunteering at the park- for example staffing the Visitor Centre on Summer Weekends and helping at the biennial Water Festival. We also raise awareness in the community about Foley Mountain’s programs and services through the newsletters sent to our members and articles in the Westport Review Mirror.
Our main activity is fundraising to support ongoing outdoor education programs and improved facilities at the park. The core of our fundraising is our sale of annual memberships to local individuals and businesses which provide broad community support for our activities. As well, we have two major fundraising activities held in alternating years. In 2017 the Board of Directors decided to try different fund raising activities from our traditional community auction of donated materials, gift cards and services held in August followed the next year by a raffle for a canoe or kayak in the spring and summer months. These new fund raising activities will be posted on the Upcoming Events” link. Our other major source of funding involves soliciting grants and donations from various foundations and individuals for specific projects in Foley Mountain.
With this funding, the Friends of Foley Mountain provide an annual contribution to the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority to support the Outdoor Environmental Education Program which reaches about 4000 children and families each year. We also provide a yearly contribution to help fund a student interpreter and the rental of reptiles for the Children’s Discovery Centre located in the basement of the Visitor Centre.
In addition, the Friends will mount fundraising campaigns to raise money for specific projects. Past examples of such projects include the development of a shoreline Mobility trail which provides easy access to park features for those in wheelchairs or walkers; the development of the Children’s Discovery Centre; the construction of a handicapped ramp to facilitate access to the Visitor Centre; the purchase of teaching aids and resources to support the environmental education programs; support for the development of the Silversides Outdoor Learning Centre including the installation of a solar energy system; and handicap accessible washrooms.