ROTARY ENVIRONMENTAL PARK
As a passive environment park situated north of the Port Perry Boat Launch, Rotary Park offers the perfect setting for a variety of activities. Many local organizations and schools have contributed to the development of this park. Nature studies, species identification, walking and site seeing are some of the available activities. The Rotary Club of Port Perry completed an upgrade to the boardwalk in the park which now provides for greater accessibility to a very unique section of the park. As part of the Township of Scugog's Adopt-A-Pakr program, Rotary Park was "adopted" in the fall of 2007, by the Rotary Club of Port Perry and Michael L. Fowler Law Office.
As one of the major highlights of Port Perry, Palmer Park runs along the Port Perry Lakefront, extending from the southern most ball diamond to the base of Queen Street. The park encompasses passive, community and field activities. Two lit ball diamonds and an adjoining washroom and storage facilities offer much for the ball enthusiast. Tennis courts are also on site. A large playground area with many play features is offered adjoining the beach area. A gazebo in the park is used for picnics, concerts in the park and community festivals and serves as a landmark for the township. In the park you will also find many picnic tables, sitting benches and garbage receptacles. Palmer Park now also offers a new a exciting way for the whole family to cool down with the new Splash Pad which is now open from 10am-8pm daily. Providing a spectacular view of Lake Scugog, Palmer Park is truly one of the showcases of the area.
JOE FOWLER PARK
Joe Fowler, the namesake of the park, was a long-time volunteer in Port Perry helping develop local baseball and hockey talent for over thirty years. The entry kiosk speaks of his contribution as well as discussing wetlands and naturalization. In addition, the kiosk and the adjacent picnic shelter are painted in the historic colours of the Grand Truck Railway in remembrance of the line that at one time ran right by the kiosk and into the station in Palmer Park along the shoreline. The park contains not only two lite softball diamonds but is also home to the Port Perry Tennis Club.
Joe Fowler Park could not have a stronger tie to environmental health and awareness. In 1998, a global information survey of the Lake Scugog shoreline on a property by property basis revealed that only 410 properties out of a possible 2,217 had natural habitat water edges. Since this type of shoreline provides the necessary habitat for fish and birds and also helps keep the lake clean and healthy, a group of 7 local volunteers stepped forward to try to rectify that imbalance. They formed a charitable incorporated organization called Scugog Lake Stewards Inc., and have raised over 1.1 million dollars for shoreline restoration and education. One of the tasks they set themselves was to start a large shoreline restoration demonstration that would be solidly researched and highly visible to a wide audience of visitors. Within Joe Fowler Park, completed in the fall of late 2003, five different shoreline erosion control and restoration and techniques were completed.
As with Joe Fowler Park, the reason for developing Baagwating Park with its sediment ponds, channel, erosion resistant natural shoreline and dense planting, was a desire for environmental improvement. Specifically, the area was designed to do as much as possible to reduce pollutants including silt from entering the Lake. It was build also to beautify this important corner area but in addition to show how native plants, interesting grading and good “green” bio-engineering can bring that beauty in a very diverse way.
In 2005, the Scugog Lake Stewards won the George A. Scott Stewardship Award for maintenance, protection, and preservation of the environment from the Regional Municipality of Durham, and the Durham Environmental Advisory Committee for Baagwating Park and Joe Fowler Park shoreline restorations.
There is a long history of First Nations habitations around Lake Scugog. It was on one of the major North/South canoe and portage routes to Lake Ontario. However, Port Perry and what is believed was part of a very early land purchase by the Methodist Church as a village area for the local Mississauga Ojibway. Baagwating Park will for the first time recognize the Mississaugas’ contribution to the culture and history of Port Perry.
Baagwating is an Ojibway word meaning ”people of the shallow waters.” It is a name the local Mississaugas often apply to themselves as well. The Ojibway, and the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation, have a strong environmental heritage. The Ojibway were referred to in lore as “The Keeper of the Earth.” It is in the spirit of this heritage that the Park was named Baagwating Park