The following is a summary of the education initiatives, awareness raising, fundraising and species recovery efforts we were engaged in during 2018.
MTO TURTLE AWARENESS SIGNS
DATE: March 22, 2018
DETAILS: Six official Ministry of Transportation (MTO) Turtle Awareness Road Signs were installed along highway 62 between Bancroft and Madoc as a result of the community turtle sightings data compiled and report submitted October 2, 2017 c/o Kelly Wallace and concerned citizens in Bancroft and neighboring communities.
NOTE: The data compiled would contribute to two mitigation sites being installed along highway 62 in 2020 between Bancroft and Madoc.
BANCROFT TURTLE FESTIVAL
DATE: May 5, 2018
DETAILS: Think Turtle organized and hosted the 1st 'Bancroft Turtle Festival', featuring presentations by Ontario Nature, The Land Between (TLB) and Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre (OTCC). In conjunction with the festival a supply donation drive was organized to collect much needed office supplies and medical supplies for the OTCC turtle hospital in Peterborough. After the festival a sizable supply donation was delivered to the OTCC that included: 2 small bar fridges and '6' large totes full of assorted supplies.
FUNDS RAISED: $82 cash and $300 in gift cards were donated to the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre as part of the supply drive.
WORLD TURTLE DAY (YARN BOMB)
DATES: May 17 - 27, 2018
DETAILS: Think Turtle & Knittervention teamed up to surprise the Bancroft community with a unexpected 'Turtle Yarn Bomb' on the main street through Downtown Bancroft to celebrate "World Turtle Day" and raise awareness on May 23rd.
NOTE: This unique approach to raising awareness went viral and made a lasting impression.
DATE: May 26, 2018
DETAILS: Think Turtle and community volunteers helped The Land Between and their Turtle Guardian program with their 1st Turtle Walk in Bancroft. We sold TLB and Turtle Guardians merchandise, collected pledges, kicked off the walk and chaperoned the event. The walk was scheduled in other Ontario communities as well to coincide with the most active nesting time for turtles to raise awareness to one of the greatest threats turtles face being weekend motorists.
FUNDS RAISED: $1,000 was raised in community pledges and delivered to The Land Between.
TURTLE ON MAYNOOTH
DATE: July 21, 2018
DETAILS: Think Turtle organized and hosted 'Turtle On Maynooth' to introduce the residents of Maynooth to the Ontario Turtle Conservation home of Ontario's turtle hospital in Peterborough, and important information regarding helping turtles. The event featured a presentation by OTCC accompanied by some of their teaching turtle ambassadors.
DATES: March - August 2018
DETAILS: As part of the Think Turtle's education initiatives, talks were scheduled to connect with full time and seasonal residents in Bancroft and neighboring communities. Think Turtle conducted '14' turtle talks at public libraries, children's camp and community groups in Bancroft, Coe Hill, Faraday Hermon and Maynooth to promote best practice stewardship and increase awareness.
WATCH 4 TURTLES SIGNS (P1)
DATES: April - July 2018
DETAILS: Think Turtle teamed up with the Bancroft Beavers & Cubs to make '6' homemade wooden 'Watch 4 Turtles' signs to help the turtles for Good Turn Week. This small project surpassed expectations when an article appeared in the local newspaper and residents in the Bancroft area requested signs for their property. Seeing the opportunity to raise awareness on a larger scale Think Turtle partnered up with Bancroft Home Hardware to further spread the Beaver & Cubs Watch 4 Turtles message throughout cottage country and raise funds to help with turtle conservation in Ontario.
FUNDS RAISED: Sign Sales (P1) $1.834.75 were raised and donated to OTCC.
WATCH 4 TURTLES SIGNS (P2)
DATES: July - September 2018
DETAILS: With the Watch 4 Turtles sign awareness initiative gaining momentum, other business proprietors in Bancroft Ormsby, Apsley and Maynooth kindly stocked and sold Watch 4 Turtle signs to help further spread this important message geographically and raise funds to help with turtle conservation in Ontario. The Land Between assisted with this initiative by purchasing a number of signs to sell and help with efforts to raise awareness in the Haliburton Highlands to prevent turtle road mortality.
NOTE: By the end of turtle season 2018 there were '693' Watch 4 Turtles signs (wooden) in total installed in communities throughout Ontario as visual cues helping raise awareness and prevent turtle road mortality.
FUNDS RAISED: Sign Sales (P2) $1,447.30 were raised, 50% was donated to OTCC and 50% was donated to the TLB via their 'Tunnel & Trauma Campaign.
DATES: October 29 - November 4, 2018
DETAILS: Think Turtle hosted a turtle themed homemade turtle costume with the two favorite costumes to be selected by a panel of judges. The winners received a Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre t-shirt of their choice supplied by Think Turtle Conservation Initiative and were featured in a Facebook tribute post.
OTCC MERCHANDISE SALES
DATES: July - December 2018
DETAILS: While Think Turtle was doing turtle talks and set-up at public events during the summer, fall and winter we sold OTCC merchandise on their behalf to help the turtle hospital with funds needed to treat and care for the injured turtles admitted.
SALES: $2,202 from merchandise sales and some cash donations were delivered to the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre.
TLB MERCHANDISE SALES
DATES: November - December 2018
DETAILS: While set-up at public events and markets, Think Turtle sold TLB and Turtle Guardians merchandise on their behalf during the Christmas season.
SALES: $199 from merchandise sales were delivered to The Land Between.
CRAFTING 4 TURTLES
DATES: July - September 2018
DETAILS: Encouraging adults and youth to use their creativity for a charitable cause, the 'Crafting 4 Turtles' initiative was launched in 2018 to raise funds to help treat and care for injured turtles admitted to the OTCC, home of Ontario's turtle hospital. Through the sale of an eclectic mix of handcrafted items such as: turtle themed soap, dream catchers, slime, key chains, crochet turtles, baked goods etc. and some donations received enough funds were raised to enable the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre to purchase a much needed medical equipment.
FUNDS RAISED: $2,182 were donated to the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre and used to purchase a "NEW" electrocardiogram machine (ECG).
NEST PROTECTION INITIATIVE
DATES: May 15 - October 31, 2018
DETAILS: This year was our first year making and selling nest protectors, actively protecting nests, monitoring nest sites and releasing hatchlings in Bancroft and L'amable. Collaborating with a couple of dedicated volunteers and community residents helping monitor nests, it was possible to ensure that over "106" turtle hatchlings got the best possible start on their journey.
DATES: April - October 31, 2018
DETAILS: Think Turtle worked with people in Bancroft and neighboring communities to ensure that '14' injured turtles and/or eggs/hatchlings in distress got to the turtle hospital this turtle season. Some of the injured turtles recovered and returned home in the spring to be released at their point of origin by OTCC staff.
NOTE: In 2018, '945' injured turtles were admitted to the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre from across Ontario, 90% were the result of being struck by a motor vehicle.
DATES: June 2 - December 9, 2018
DETAILS: Think Turtle set-up and participated in '22' public events in Bancroft and neighboring communities to answer turtle related questions and increase public awareness about the resources available to help turtles in Ontario such as the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre home of Ontario's turtle hospital. The event locations included: Apsley, Bancroft, Barry's Bay, Coe Hill, Combermere, Gilmour, L'amable, Madoc and Maynooth.
EDUCATION & AWARENESS INITIATIVES
DATES: January - December 2018
DETAILS: Our education and awareness initiatives were ongoing throughout the year. We utilized as many resources as we could to spread the word and educate. The number of people following our Think Turtle Conservation Initiative Facebook steadily increased through the year.
DATES: February - December 2018
DETAILS: Think Turtle helped people locally with all manner of turtle related inquiries throughout turtle season via public events, phone calls, e-mails and Facebook messages from concerned citizens locally and in neighboring communities to do with turtle nests, nest protection, injured turtles, illegal turtle activities, hatchlings, road mortality prevention, awareness signage, etc. It is estimated that we were able to assist with over '100' turtle related matters. A service we are happy to provide and grateful that people reached out to us for assistance.
DATES: March - October 31, 2018
DETAILS: Thanks to a supportive network of radio hosts and reporters locally and throughout Ontario, Think Turtle was able to further efforts to raise awareness, Through interviews with radio (97.7 FM Moose and other stations), articles in local Bancroft newspapers, various publications and newsletters. This collaborative effort was instrumental in sharing information about the perils Ontario turtles face on and off the roads and what we can all do as concerned citizens to help the turtles.
Think Turtle and Bancroft Beavers & Cubs teamed up to make the first six 'Watch 4 Turtles signs.