When people around the world look at UNESCO heritage sites, Penetanguishene might soon be their newest location of interest to visit.

A special committee of the whole meeting is scheduled for Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in the main council chambers at 10 Robert St. W., and Mayor Doug Rawson is encouraging the public to attend the meeting in person or virtually through the town’s live web stream.

“I’m blown away with the amount of work and what this supports,” said Rawson. “It’s going to put us on the map, big time.”

The Georgian Bay Geopark Network is slated to present the town with reasons for why Penetanguishene is a prime location for a Geopark through a slideshow and discussion by executive director Tony Pigott.

“I think the Geopark is going to be tremendous,” added Rawson. “Not just for Penetanguishene but for Georgian Bay, Simcoe County, Ontario, and Canada. And if we can play a lead role, then I think that’s going to be pretty exciting for our community.”

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is a 1945 post-war organization dedicated to sustainable development goals resulting in peace through international cooperation.

A GeoPark is a unified geographic area where sites and landscapes of geological significance are managed through conservation and local communities to promote protection, education, and sustainable development. There are currently five Global GeoParks within Canada, with a total of 177 across 46 countries worldwide.

Within the anticipated presentation will be the announcement of a soft launch for a ‘deep time’ interactive app which showcases the history of Georgian Bay to a global audience.

“The Geopark is happening with or without the town of Penetanguishene’s support,” stated Rawson.

“This isn’t about Penetanguishene Harbour. This is about millions of years of geological history and what Georgian Bay affords. And the group has done lots of mapping through Georgian Bay.

“Some people are going to look at that and want to come here in person and visit. I think that’s where the economic and tourism, sharing our culture and religion, faith and community is where the opportunity is going to be.”

The Geopark group had previously presented an hour-long pitch at the Midland Cultural Centre last September to a large group of attendees.

Archives and livestreams of council meetings are located on the Town of Penetanguishene YouTube channel

By Derek Howard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Apr 19, 2023

This item reprinted with permission from   MidlandToday.ca   Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
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