The following is a summary of the education initiatives, awareness raising, fundraising and species recovery efforts we were engaged in during 2021.
SUPER GLUE CHALLENGE
DATES: February 14 - 28, 2021
DETAILS: As a follow-up to 2020's successful fundraiser we organized another ‘Super Glue Challenge’ to raise funds to go towards purchasing ’72’ bottles of Lepage Ultra Gel Super Glue, being a one year supply. The glue is pricey and a much needed supply used in the process of treating injured turtles admitted to the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre (OTCC) turtle hospital with shell injuries.
Bancroft Home Hardware Manager, Dwayne Mountney, surprised us this year by arranging that the order of ’72’ bottles of Lepage Super Glue we placed via the funds raised from the Super Glue Challenge were instead donated c/o Lepage Glue manufacturers Henkel Canada Corporation. We were gobsmacked at such a kind gesture and generous gift as was the OTCC. The donation of Lepage Super Glue has since helped a large percentage of the over ‘1,508’ injured turtles admitted to the turtle hospital with shell injuries this turtle season.
FUNDS RAISED: $629 intended for Lepage Super Glue.
TURTLES NEED VEGGIES
DATES: February 20 - 28, 2021
DETAILS: Reaching the ’72’ Lepage Super Glue goal so quickly and with people continuing to get in touch to help, we initiated a ‘Turtles Need Veggies Fundraiser’ to present the OTCC with a gift card for veggies from Sobeys. The goal set was $500, this goal was generously surpassed.
FUNDS RAISED: A $1,005 Sobey's gift card was donated to the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre for veggies.
DATE: April 28, 2021
DETAILS: With the Lepage Super Glue being donated, the $629 in funds raised to purchase the Lepage Super Glue was instead used to buy 25 reptile light bulbs for the turtle hospital. The UVB and UVA light bulbs provide the artificial equivalent of sunlight and are vital for turtles while at the OTCC to aid in their recovery and good health.
WORLD TURTLE DAY (ROCK PAINTING)
DATES: May 23 - 30, 2021
DETAILS: We hosted a ‘Turtle Rock Contest!’ This was a turtle-themed painted rock contest to celebrate ‘World Turtle Day’ May 23rd and raise awareness. It was great fun and the painted rock submissions were brilliant! There were prizes for adult and youth entries that included $25 OTCC gift certificates and assorted prizes.
WORLD TURTLE DAY (SENIORS SAVING TURTLES)
DATE: May 23, 2021
DETAILS: In a separate event, residents at the Riverstone Residence in Bancroft painted an assortment of turtle inspired rocks. Most of the rocks were sold at the Maynooth Farmers’ Market during July and August with the funds going to help the injured turtles at the OTCC via the Crafting 4 Turtles Fundraiser. The rocks were wonderfully whimsical! The residents clearly had fun and their creative contribution to help the turtles at the OTCC was very appreciated.
WATCH 4 TURTLES (BELLEVILLE)
DATE: May 29, 2021
DETAILS: As a follow-up to meeting with concerned Belleville citizens in the fall of 2020 we obtained permission from the City of Belleville and property owners to install Watch 4 Turtles signs at concerning locations to help protect turtles (adult/juvenile/hatchlings). Approving this community conservation initiative was greatly appreciated by all concerned and Think Turtle donated the Watch 4 Turtles signs to help raise awareness.
TURTLE CROSSING SIGNS
DATES: April 21 - July 2021
DETAILS: We set a goal in 2021 to scrape together enough money to purchase a number of regulatory ‘Turtle Crossing’ signs to be installed at concerning locations for turtle road mortality in Hastings County and neighboring communities. We wanted to do this in 2020 but COVID-19 axed our plans to raise money for such an awareness sign campaign.
After seeing ‘more’ turtle injuries and fatalities at some of the same locations we wanted to install Turtle Crossing signs the 2020, and looking ahead to when Ontario would be lifting lockdown restrictions 2021, meaning an increase in motorists on the road, we knew we had to meet this goal. Thanks to some donations and the Municipality of Hastings Highlands, Town of Bancroft, Tudor & Cashel Township, Peterborough County and Prince Edward County approving our request for Turtle Crossing signs to be installed this turtle season we supplied ’30’ signs for installation.
We had some setbacks with this campaign as '7' of the signs installed at various road mortality hot spots were stolen. The thefts were reported to the OPP so the matter is not closed. It is very disappointing to know that there are people that would do such a thing. Taking an awareness road sign intended to help prevent wildlife road mortality so that someone can adorn their wall with it or possess a trophy is a very unkind act.
Despite the setbacks, community input and observations suggest the remaining Turtle Crossing signs were effective this turtle season as visual cues alerting motorists to potential turtle road crossings, an outcome we are particularly pleased about.
TURTLE ALERT SIGNS (BELLEVILLE)
DATES: July 20 - August 19, 2021
DETAILS: Last year while assisting Belleville with turtle related-matters it was brought to our attention that turtles (adult/juvenile/hatchlings) were travelling through the business district parking lots in Belleville to nest and/or to get back to the Moira River followed by the hatchlings exiting nests. They ended up in the parking lots where many were unintentionally run over trying to get to their intended body of water.
To help raise awareness and prevent turtle mortality incidents we organized a GoFundMe ‘Turtle Sign Fundraiser’ to 50 signs printed specifically for parking lots in Belleville and other similar concerning locations. This is a conservation initiative that Think Turtle along with citizens in Belleville and beyond felt was important to address. The City of Belleville and various property owners approved the installation of signs in the business district. Many people do not associate parking lots as being a location one would expect to find turtle activity. In Belleville it is quite prevalent with the Moira River running through the heart of the business district.
Helping the turtles in this way would not have been possible without the support and contributions received to get Turtle Alert signs printed. Thanks to generous contributors we were able to go ahead with this awareness initiative to prevent turtles being struck by motor vehicles in parking lots. The signs were installed in August and removed in October to be stored for the winter. They will be re-installed prior to turtle season commencing 2022.
FUNDS RAISED: $850 were contributed through the GoFundMe fundraiser. The funds raised exceeded our goal. Having requested permission from the contributors the additional $400 received were put towards having Watch 4 Turtles car magnets printed, a kindness we were very appreciative and grateful for.
PROJECT SAFE PASSAGE
DATES: January - December 2021
DETAILS: 'Project Safe Passage' is an initiative started in 2020 to raise funds to help offset the costs of exclusion barrier installation as a proven mitigation measure at road mortality hot spots in the Bancroft/Maynooth area as arranged by The Land Between with jurisdiction approval. The pandemic had affected raising funds and this initiative moving forward as we had hoped, but continued to receive small donations and a percentage of funds from the Watch 4 Turtles bumper sticker sales.
FUNDS RAISED: $95.39 were raised in 2021 + $736.87 raised in 2020 (total $832.26) are to be donated to The Land Between when the installation of a mitigation site is approved and scheduled to move forward.
WATCH 4 TURTLES BUMPER STICKERS
DATES: January - December 2021
DETAILS: Think Turtle sold some Watch 4 Turtle bumper stickers via curbside pick-ups, mail order and internet promotion to people locally and in communities throughout Ontario. Unfortunately, due to the financial strains caused by the pandemic, donations via bumper sticker sales to The 'T5 Campaign' were suspended. One dollar from the sale of each bumper sticker went towards Project Safe Passage. The remaining funds from each bumper sticker sale went towards the day-to-day operational costs, education initiatives and species recovery efforts Think Turtle was engaged in 2021.
WATCH 4 TURTLES SIGNS (WOODEN)
DATES: January - December 2021
DETAILS: Think Turtle along with volunteers continued to make a limited quantity of original wooden Watch 4 Turtles signs. The signs were sold via curbside pick-ups, by request, a couple of outdoor events and internet promotion to people locally and in neighboring communities.
WATCH 4 TURTLES SIGNS (COROPLAST)
DATES: April -December 2021
DETAILS: Think Turtle continued to sell turtle shaped coroplast Watch 4 Turtles signs available in single sided and double sided. The signs were sold via curbside pick-ups and parcel delivery to people throughout Ontario. Notably Long Point World Biosphere Reserve Foundation introduced another 120 Watch 4 Turtles signs into their community as part of a landowner program they launched in 2020 to raise awareness and prevent wildlife road mortality.
Due to the pandemic lockdowns and restrictions on non-essential travel we were not able to connect with our usual Watch 4 Turtles sign supplier to re-stock signs for turtle season. Not knowing how long the lockdown would be in effect and there being no local printer that had the equipment to undertake contour cutting, our Watch 4 Turtles signs prompted us to design a rectangular version of the Watch 4 Turtles sign that could be printed locally as a temporary alternative. This sign was well received.
WATCH 4 TURTLES SIGNS (RECTANGULAR)
DATES: April 1 - December 31, 2021
DETAILS: Think Turtle partnered up with the Bancroft Home Hardware and distributors in other communities to sell the new Watch 4 Turtles sign and further increase awareness in communities throughout Ontario.
Unfortunately, due to the financial strains caused by the pandemic, donations via all Watch 4 Turtles sign sales to the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre and The Land Between were suspended. Funds from the sale of each sign went towards sign printing costs which increased during the pandemic. The main goal of the Watch 4 Turtles sign initiative remains as it has always been, a means to enable communities to have access to affordable awareness signs to help prevent turtle road mortality.
Note: The Watch 4 Turtles sign initiative began in 2018 and reached a milestone in 2021 surpassing ‘2,000’ signs installed throughout Ontario since 2018 as visual cues to help prevent turtle road mortality.
DATES: July - August, 2021
DETAILS: During July and August we set-up at 251 Hastings Street North and the Maynooth Farmers' Market. With the pandemic causing the cancellation of public events and during that period there was an influx of new residents to the Bancroft and surrounding area, it was great to connect with some of the new people in the community.
CRAFTING 4 TURTLES
DATES: March 23 - December 24, 2021
DETAILS: Now in it's fourth year we decided on turtle inspired ‘FIBRE ARTS’ theme with the hope that during the lock downs adults and youths would view this as a great way to volunteer their time and crafting skills for a charitable cause from the comfort of their own home as we ride out the pandemic.
We received a fantastic assortment of turtle-themed items that has included: crocheted turtle potholders, crocheted turtle cat nip toys, crocheted turtle scrubbies, knitted washcloths, cross stitch keepsakes, a turtle quilt, knitted turtle hats, turtle inspired crocheted afghans and crocheted turtles. Some items were sold 'THANKS' to the the West Wind Gallery & Gifts and Mystickal Paths stocking them in their shops. Some items were sold via the Maynooth Farmers’ Market, online posts and curbside sales.
FUNDS RAISED: $807.55 were donated to the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre.
NEST PROTECTION INITIATIVE
DATES: May 15 - October 31 2021
DETAILS: This year with the support of the Municipality of Hastings Highlands, Town of Bancroft, Faraday Township, Tudor & Cashel Township, Limerick Township, Peterborough County, Prince Edward County and the City of Belleville, we expanded our nest protection initiative. In combination with these valued partnerships, an ‘AMAZING’ team of dedicated volunteers, a Land Between helper and community nest monitors made it possible to ensure that over ‘1,200’ turtle hatchlings got the best possible start on what is hoped will be a long and fruitful journey.
DATES: May - October 31, 2021
DETAILS: Through connecting with the community and people getting in touch Think Turtle along with people in Bancroft and neighboring communities were able to ensure the ’39’ injured turtles and/or eggs/hatchlings in distress got to the turtle hospital this turtle season. Some of the injured turtles are expected to recover and return home in the spring of 2022 to be released at their point of origin.
NOTE: In 2021, '1,508' 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: January - December, 2021
DETAILS: In addition to helping people locally with all manner of turtle -related inquiries throughout turtle season we fielded a high volume of calls and responded to e-mails and Facebook messages from concerned citizens from across Ontario 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 ‘300’ turtles, likely more, through this means, a service we are happy to provide year round and are so grateful to the people that reached out to us for assistance.
These efforts made it possible to help over ’39’ injured turtles/eggs/hatchlings found locally and in neighboring communities get to the turtle hospital this turtle season. A good many stand a chance of returning home in the spring of 2022 to be released having got to the OTCC for medical attention.
EDUCATION & AWARENESS INITIATIVES
DATES: January - December 2021
DETAILS: Our education and awareness initiatives were ongoing this year. We utilized as many resources as we could to continue to spread the word and educate. The number of people following our Think Turtle Conservation Initiative Facebook and checking in on our WordPress Blog continued to increase.
WATCH 4 TURTLES CAR MAGNETS
DATES: October 26, 2021
DETAILS: To further increase awareness we added a turtle-shaped 'Watch 4 Turtles car magnet' to our selection of conservation merchandise that also includes Watch 4 Turtles signs and bumper stickers. Launching this 'new' awareness raising initiative would not have been possible without the support and contributions received over our goal for the Turtle Alert sign GoFundMe. Thanks to the generous contributors that supported our request, and we were able to embark on a mobile approach to further increase awareness to help prevent turtle road mortality.
THE GOOD TURN FUNDRAISER
DATES: November 12 - December 24, 2021
DETAILS: On November 12th we started ‘The Good Turn Fundraiser’ for the 1st Bancroft Scouting Group as a thank you for their part in helping start the Watch 4 Turtles sign initiative. Through the sale of Watch 4 Turtles car magnets a percentage from each sale was donated to help the scouting group raise funds to go the Kandersteg International Scout Centre (KISC) in Switzerland. Note This fundraiser was started prior to the Omicron variant showing up.
The Watch 4 Turtles sign initiative began in June 2018 when Think Turtle Conservation Initiative and the Bancroft Beavers & Cubs teamed up for ‘Good Turn Week’ to make '6' signs to help the turtles. Since July 2018 Think Turtle continued on to promote the Watch 4 Turtles message via wooden turtle signs, followed by designing a Watch 4 Turtles bumper sticker (2019), a Watch 4 Turtles coroplast sign (2020) and Watch 4 Turtles car magnet (2021) that are each a registered trademark of Think Turtle Conservation Initiative. To date, there are over 2,000 smiley turtle signs throughout Ontario contributing to ongoing efforts to raise awareness and prevent turtle road mortality.
The Bancroft Scouting Group has an opportunity to go to the Kandersteg International Scout Centre (KISC) in Switzerland summer 2022. The Beavers & Cubs will forever be at the ‘ROOT’ of the Watch 4 Turtles sign initiative and this fundraiser is a way of thanking them for helping us start what would turn out to be a widespread awareness campaign. 50% from the sale of each $5 Watch 4 Turtles car magnet while quantities were available was donated to the 1st Bancroft Scouting Group.
FUNDS RAISED: $1,105 were raised in sales; 50% was donated to the 1st Bancroft Scouting Group.
DATES: January - December 2021
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, Think Turtle was able to share 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.
Friendships forged through volunteering.