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Ocean Comes to Life at Bonne Bay Marine Station

IMG_20140831_135441The Bonne Bay Marine Station, a research arm of Memorial University is nestled in the quiet community of Norris Point aims to expand knowledge of marine ecology. I have been to the centre on a number of occasions, including an International Fisheries Symposium hosted by Community University Research and Recovery Alliance (CURRA). It is a great place for people of all ages to have fun and learn about ocean life! I took the visit from a water taxi departing Woody Point and returning later in the evening. A 20 minute water taxi saved an hour of driving and provided a great view of dolphins! Totally worth $14 return.

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One can get a guided tour, explaining sea anemones, lobsters, crabs, starfish, wolf fish, sand dollars, sea urchins and a variety of other creatures. One can truly experience the squishy-ness of the starfish and take up scallops and other items in the touch tank.

I was thoroughly impressed by our guide, as she expressed enthusiasm and also great knowledge as she opened shell of the female crab or engaged a colleague digging for worms. We spent some time in the upper level as well where there are digital learning areas, interpretative panels and displays. Additionally, there is a library, classrooms and laboratories that are part of the educational program.

The Encyclopedia of Local Knowledge the brainchild of Pam Hall, adorns the walls. It highlights local knowledge from the Great Northern Peninsula, many of it focused on the fishery and living rural.

After a visit to Bonne Bay Marine Station, one can take a Bon Tour on the Emm-Cat of the bay or drop by for a pint and some wonderful seafood chowder at the Cat Stop Pub.

Norris Point is home to the iconic “Trails, Tails and Tunes” festival, Voice of Bonne Bay Community Radio Station, Gros Morne Adventures and a number of local businesses that cater to tourists taking in beautiful Gros Morne National Park. There is much opportunity to promote and partner fisheries-tourism synergies and to also partner education with commerce as a means to enhance community and economic development.

Ocean comes to life at Bonne Bay Marine Station. Drop by and let me know what you think.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
@MitchelmoreMHA

Place of Provincial Significance – Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital

Live Rural NL blog sends congratulations to the Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital, Norris Point, NL for being designated a Place of Provincial Significance in 2011.  Thank you Joan Cranston, Director, a committed  volunteer and community activist for taking the time to make this worthy nomination as the Center is truly worthy of this designation. To read more about the BBCH click the following link: http://www.seethesites.ca/designations/bonne-bay-cottage-hospital.aspx

Julia Ann Walsh Heritage Center

The Julia Ann Walsh Heritage Center is well-known for being the former Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital. After the construction of a new clinic in Norris Point, the fate of the building was unknown. However, community spirit and a group of dedicated volunteers worked together to ensure that this building of historical significance could continue to serve the community.

The BBCHHC is a not-for-profit community corporation whose mandate is the adaptive re-use of the center for the preservation of local culture and heritage (including arts, crafts, music and oral history), the promotion of health and wellness, and community economic and social development.” JuliaAnnWalshHeritageCenter

Today the Center is home to:

  1. Norris Point Public Library and CAP Site – 458-3368;
  2. Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital Heritage Corporation – 458-3072;
  3. Norris Point International Backpackers Hostel – 458-3072 OR 458-8880;
  4. VOBB (Voice of Bonne Bay) Community Radio Station;
  5. Trails, Tales and Tunes Festival Committee – 458-3399;
  6. Cottage Hospital Physiotherapy and Fitness – 458-2875;
  7. Norris Point Harbour Authority – 458-2647;
  8. Bonne Bay Ground Search and Rescue Team – 458-2222 (RCMP);
  9. Writers at Woody Point Festival

They have a studio space, which is available for rent to conduct meetings, classes for health, well-ness, art, crafts, music, storytelling and other economic and social development activities. The Center is working to build a community garden, greenhouses and a community kitchen. The importance of growing local is gaining momentum and garnering interest from locals and travellers to grow and buy local produce. This is a community space, a social commons. It is amazing the progress that can be achieved by working with others, fostering strong partnerships, establishing co-operatives and meeting the needs of the greater community. Is there room for a Place of Similar Social Significance in the Straits of Belle Isle region? St. Anthony & Greater Area? Northern Peninsula East Heritage Corridor? We must let the movers & shakers, the residents and stakeholders of these communities decide if this is something they feel is a good fit with their needs, wants and norms.

Also the Nomination Deadline of June 15, 2011 is quickly approaching. If you think a person, event, place or tradition is significant in the history of Newfoundland and Labrador then click the link below:

http://www.seethesites.ca/currently-at-commemorations/2011/6/9/next-nomination-deadline-approaching.aspx?altTemplate=CommDiaryPost

Experience the Great Northern Peninsula –

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

www.liveruralnl.com

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