Spring has fully engaged (or at least I hope so by the time you read this) and we, at Hopewell Rocks, are reawakening our site for the coming season which starts Friday, May 17th at 9am. Look for our spring and autumn food-bank days when we collect dry goods or a monetary donation for the Shepody Food Bank in lieu of paying admission fees. These dates will be announced in the next month or so.
In terms of local food, Jeff Arseneault, our restaurant and café manager, uses local beef, lobster, maple syrup, sausages, buns, ice cream, french fries, and dairy products, along with local beer and wine. Jeff is always looking for more products that can be obtained locally (providing they meet his needs for quality and supply).
In terms of eco-friendly products, Jeff will use paper straws in the dining area, as well as bamboo cutlery and biodegradable containers for take-out orders.
The maintenance department has a system to catch rainwater to use for washing vehicles, watering plants, etc. They separate trash (many sites, sadly, do not) and recover the recyclables; money is donated to local school breakfast programs. Everyone on-site picks up and disposes of any trash they find during their daily duties.
We have two vehicle-charging devices on our property for our guests to use to charge electric cars. We don’t allow coaches to idle while waiting for their passengers. When trees fall or have to be cut, the wood is cut and used for firewood by the lucky staff person whose name is drawn out of a hat.
In terms of looking after the flora and fauna, our interpreters and park gardener/botanist Crystal McCormack do their thing by protecting the sandpipers, peregrines and other animals they encounter in the park, and looking after all the plants, trees and shrubs.
I hope that I have given you a bit of an insight in to what we try to do here at our amazing tourism site. We are by no means perfect, but we are trying and hope to get even better at making our site more eco-friendly as the years pass. We would like to set a good example through our efforts as we strive to be good stewards of our impressive piece of the natural world while being proponents of sustainable tourism. May we all have a warm, sunny (with just enough rain) spring and summer season in this beautiful county that we call home.
Paul Gaudet is the Interpretive Services and Reception Manager at the Hopewell Cape Rocks.