Dedications matter - they are more than photo ops.

By Staff

April 5th, 2023



It took far too long but finally there is a sign at the base of LaSalle Park where Trumpeter Swans winter each year telling the story.

It will be a wonderful day for Bev Kingdon and volunteers with Trumpeter Swan Conservation Ontario at the dedication of the new Trumpeter Swan sign.

Graceful creatures that we hunted to extinction and then worked hard to bring them back

The event will take place on Saturday, April 29th at 2 p.m. in front of the sign which is located between the parking lot and the boat launch. The address for the event is 831 LaSalle Park Road, Burlington.

Trumpeter Swans, the largest swan in the world, native only to North America, were hunted out of existence in Ontario with the last one shot by a hunter in Long Point in 1886.

By the 1930s, it was thought only 69 individual Trumpeters remained in the western U.S. but then a small flock in Alaska was discovered and the U.S. decided to restore the species, banning hunting, and preserving habitat.

Nothing happened here in Ontario until Harry Lumsden, a retired Ministry of Natural Resources biologist decided to start a restoration program in the early 1980s. He received permission to get eggs from the Alaskan flock and then recruited families to raise the birds in captivity until they could be released.

Bev, and her husband the late Ray Kingdon, who owned a 200-acre property in Chisholm Township, were some of the earliest volunteers with the Trumpeter Swan Restoration Program. The couple also had a home in Burlington and were elated when Pig Pen, a Trumpeter born to captive-raised parents, became the first trumpeter in more than 100 years to migrate south, coming to LaSalle Park in 1993.

Bev Kingdon among the Trumpeter swans at LaSalle Park

Now, more Trumpeters over-winter at LaSalle Park than in any other location in Ontario.

Continuing the work of the restoration program are the many dedicated volunteers with Trumpeter Swan Conservation Ontario who will be present at the sign dedication and will talk about their important work and answer any questions the public may have about the Trumpeters.

A large three-panelled sign, telling the story of the Trumpeter Swan Restoration Program, was erected at the park this year by the City of Burlington in cooperation with Ontariogreen Conservation Association.

An opportunity to celebrate the hard work done by dedicated people who brought more than 2,000 Trumpeters back to our province — a truly wonderful story of conservation success.


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1 comment to Dedications matter – they are more than photo ops.

  • Phil Waggett

    To Bev Kingdon and the other volunteers, congratulations on the recognition of your years of hard work and dedication. The Trumpeter Swans have helped put LaSalle Park on the Burlington radar.