The following is a summary of the education initiatives, awareness raising, fundraising and species recovery efforts we were engaged in during 2019.
WOLLASTON MARCH BREAK EVENT
DATE: March 14, 2019
DETAILS: A super fun day in Coe Hill! The Wollaston Public Library hosted its annual March Break day for kids at the Wollaston Community Centre. Think Turtle had a front row seat to enjoy the highly entertaining talents of Tim Holland, a stunt ventriloquist with a unicycle and a group of funny puppet friends, including: Crackers the parrot and Julius the turtle. Think Turtle was set-up with turtle coloring sheets and the supplies to make turtle stick puppets with cardboard puppet theatre samples kids could make and decorate at home. Overall, it was a thoroughly enjoyable day and we had the opportunity to meet many people that had questions about helping turtles.
X-RAY MACHINE FUNDRAISER
DATES: October 2018 - May 2019
DETAILS: Think Turtle began raising funds through the 'Crafting 4 Turtles' handcrafted turtle themed items at markets and public events to go towards helping offset the costs for a new or retrofitted digital x-ray machine for the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre (OTCC) turtle hospital. A generous contributor donated a digital x-ray machine to the OTCC so our fundraiser was concluded.
FUNDS RAISED: $300.75 from merchandise sales and some cash donations were delivered to the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre.
BANCROFT TURTLE FESTIVAL
DATE: Saturday May 11, 2019
DETAILS: Think Turtle organized and hosted the 2nd Annual Bancroft Turtle Festival featuring presentations by The Land Between (TLB), Jess's Animal Adventures and the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre (OTCC). A day of fun and awareness through reptile encounters and educational presentations. The festival included a supply donation campaign for the OTCC.
NOTES: Six large totes full of assorted supplies were delivered to OTCC as well as $95 in gift cards.
DATE: Saturday May 11, 2019
DETAILS: Think Turtle organized a bake sale and arranged for Blazin' Dogs to donate $1 from the sale of every hot dog/sausage sold via the Bancroft Turtle Festival to OTCC.
FUNDS RAISED: $358.15 were donated to The Land Between via their 'Tunnel & Trauma' Campaign (50% of the funds were donated to TLB and 50% to the OTCC). $40 were donated to OTCC via Blazin' Dog.
WORLD TURTLE DAY (SENIORS SAVING TURTLES)
DATE: May 23, 2019
DETAILS: To celebrate World Turtle Day, Think Turtle organized and hosted Seniors Saving Turtles. This was a particularly fun day spent at the Riverstone Retirement Residence where we had the great privilege of meeting a wonderful group of ladies keen to help paint Watch 4 Turtles signs. There were many turtle signs painted to help turtles, new friendships forged and a great time was had by all!
DATE: June 8, 2019
DETAILS: Think Turtle and community volunteers helped The Land Between and their Turtle Guardians program with their 2nd Turtle Walk in Bancroft. We sold TLB and Turtle Guardians merchandise, collected pledges, kicked off the walk and assisted with chaperoning 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: $500 were raised in community pledges and $100 were raised from Think Turtle cookie sales. These funds were delivered to The Land Between.
DATES: February - September 2019
DETAILS: As part of the Think Turtle's education initiatives turtle talks were scheduled to connect with full time and seasonal residents in Bancroft and neighboring communities. Think Turtle conducted '21' turtle talks at public libraries and community groups in Apsley, Bancroft, Barry's Bay, Bobcaygeon, Buckhorn, Coe Hill, Golden Lake, Hermon, Madoc, Marmora, Maynooth, Tweed and Wilberforce. to promote best practice stewardship and increase awareness.
WATCH 4 TURTLES SIGNS
DATES: April - December 2019
DETAILS: Think Turtle along with community volunteers continued to make Watch 4 Turtles Signs. Think Turtle sold signs via markets, public events, talks and retail outlets to people in communities throughout Ontario.
NOTE: By the end of turtle season 2019 there were '1,216' Watch 4 Turtles signs (wooden) in total since 2018 installed in communities throughout Ontario as visual cues helping raise awareness and prevent turtle road mortality.
FUNDS RAISED: $3,565.50 were raised, $1,782.75 were donated to The Land Between and $1,782.75 were donated to the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre as part of The Land Between's "Tunnel & Trauma" Campaign.
CRAFTING 4 TURTLES
DATES: August - December 2019
DETAILS: Think Turtle hosted 5 'Turtles Rock' community rock painting events. The participants kept some rocks as keepsakes and donated some painted rocks to Think Turtle to sell to raise funds for the turtles in the care of OTCC. The rocks were sold as well as crocheted turtles at public events and markets during the spring and fall as part of the ongoing Crafting 4 Turtles initiatives to raise funds for the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre home of Ontario's turtle hospital to help treat and care for injured turtles admitted.
FUNDS RAISED: $1,042 were donated to the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre.
WATCH 4 TURTLES BUMPER STICKERS
DATES: August - December 2019
DETAILS: Inspired by the Watch 4 Turtles signs Think Turtle embarked on a follow-up initiative introducing Watch 4 Turtles bumper stickers to their merchandise line-up to help raise awareness and prevent turtle road mortality. The stickers were well received and sold online, at retail outlets and via public events. 80% of the funds from the sale of each bumper sticker after costs were donated to the The Land Between as part of the 'T5 Campaign' (Turtle care, Teaching, Tracking, Tunnels and Trauma) in support of all the elements for turtle recovery.
FUNDS RAISED: After costs, $35.17 were delivered to The Land Between T5 Campaign.
DATES: March - December 2019
DETAILS: Think Turtle set-up and participated in '29' public events in Bancroft and neighboring communities that included: Apsley, Bancroft, Barry's Bay, Bobcaygeon, Buckhorn, Coe Hill, Combermere, Gilmour, Hermon, Lakefield, L'amable, Madoc, Maynooth and Tweed.
OTCC MERCHANDISE SALES
DATES: May - December 2019
DETAILS: Think Turtle sold OTCC merchandise at the Bancroft Turtle Festival, public events, vendor shows and markets on behalf of the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre.
SALES: $3,256.90 in merchandise and some cash donations were delivered to the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre.
TLB MERCHANDISE SALES
DATES: May & December 2019
DETAILS: Think Turtle sold TLB and Turtle Guardians merchandise at the Bancroft Turtle Festival and Christmas markets on behalf of The Land Between.
SALES: $388 in merchandise and some donations were delivered to The Land Between.
DATES: October 22 - November 3, 2019
DETAILS: Think Turtle hosted a turtle themed homemade turtle costume contest with the two favorite costumes to be selected by a panel of judges. The winners received a choice of Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre merchandise and a Watch 4 Turtles bumper sticker supplied by Think Turtle Conservation Initiative.
NEST PROTECTION INITIATIVE
DATES: May 15 - October 31, 2019
DETAILS: We sold nest protectors, protected nests, monitored nest sites and released hatchlings in Bancroft and L'amable. Working with dedicated volunteers and community residents helping monitor nests made it possible to ensure that over "153" turtle hatchlings got the best start to their journey.
DATES: May - October 31, 2019
DETAILS: Working with people in Bancroft and neighboring communities were able to ensure that '30' 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 2019, '1,498' 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: February - December 2019
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 throughout 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.
EDUCATION & AWARENESS INITIATIVES
DATES: January - December 2019
DETAILS: Our education and awareness initiatives were ongoing this 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 increases on an ongoing basis.
DATES: January - December 2019
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.
DETAILS: In 2019, Kelly Wallace c/o Think Turtle Conservation Initiative received the 'Turtle Guardian of the Year Award' from The Land Between for the volunteer work and conservation efforts the group engaged in turtle season 2018.
Excited passersby stopped to watch as '46' snapping turtle hatchlings emerged from their nest.