The Heart of the Continent Partnership (HOCP) is a cross-border collaborative effort to bring together as many voices as possible to share ideas and learn about different perspectives affecting the border lakes region. On Thursday, October 22, interested organizations and individuals are invited to attend an afternoon presentation at the Bois Forte Heritage Center and a review of the successful Canoe the Heart summer event at Camp du Nord in Ely, Minnesota. On Friday, October 23, interested organizations and individuals are invited to attend a HOCP planning meeting at Camp du Nord.
On Thursday, October 22, Rose Berens, Heritage Center Executive Director, will conduct a presentation about the Bois Forte Band of the Chippewa at the Bois Forte Heritage Center from 2:30-4:30pm. The Heritage Center is located on the grounds of Fortune Bay Resort near Tower, Minnesota. A small fee of $3 per person is requested.
Activities continue Thursday evening at Camp du Nord on Burntside Lake near Ely, Minnesota starting at 7:30pm. Join the participants and supporters of the summer 2009 Canoe the Heart event while they relive their 3-week voyage through the heart of the continent in a 27-foot north canoe. Through pictures and stories, participants will learn about this extraordinary expedition that brought together public land agencies, citizens, Canadian legislators, and independent organizations and consequently strengthened the Heart of the Continent Partnership.
On Friday, October 23, 2009 the Heart of the Continent Partnership steering committee will facilitate a planning meeting that focuses on the future of HOCP and looks at opportunities for connecting gateway communities to the heart of the continent. Anyone interested in learning about and/or participating in the HOCP is encouraged to attend this meeting.
For planning purposes, those interested in attending the October 22 & 23 events should register at www.heartofthecontinent.org. Follow the link from the main page to the registration form. The cost of meals and lodging for both days at Camp du Nord is $60.
The origins of the Heart of the Continent Partnership can be traced back to an informal sharing of research and resource management information among Voyageurs National Park, the U.S. Forest Service, Quetico Provincial Park, The Nature Conservancy and others. The momentum toward a structured forum of some kind was further spurred by the desire for collaboration between the Superior National Forest and Quetico Provincial Park to celebrate the centennial of their respective creation, both of which fall during 2009. Partnering to take full advantage of such educational and promotional opportunities has been a top priority for HOCP. Already the new relationships that have formed in HOCP across agencies and boundaries are yielding results: a new cross-border map of the region is out, and plans are underway for region-wide celebration events for 2009. Involving a broader range of people and organizations in HOCP will expand such opportunities as new relationships continue to form.
The mission of the Heart of the Continent Partnership is to sustain and celebrate the health, beauty, diversity and productivity of the natural and cultural resources of the Border Lakes Region through collaboration to meet the needs of present and future generations.