Al Potvin is known in the Mississippi Mills area for his contributions to nature and people’s enjoyment of nature. He established a walking trail on his property lined by many well-cared for trees. Al also invites people to bring their leaves to his property where he composts them, and provides the screened compost to the public in exchange for donations which he gives to the Almonte General Hospital. In photo below Joyce Clinton presents the award to Al.
For many years Al has also been the driving force for MVFN’s habitat creation program. In his workshop, Al and others cut and sand thousands of pieces from Al’s repurposed wood to be used by teams of MVFN volunteers to assemble, under Al’s expert guidance, MVFN Peterson style bluebird houses. Hundreds of these bluebird boxes have been created and thousands of dollars have been raised for Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists’ programs through their sale. In creating these bluebird boxes, said lecturer Dan Schneider the night of the award presentation, Al fills the ecological niche of a woodpecker in providing habitat for bluebirds and other cavity nesters.
These artificial bluebird nesting homes are now helping to re-establish these beautiful songbirds to our area. Many of the Peterson Bluebird boxes constructed and sold by MVFN have gone to property owners who have space to establish a bluebird trail.