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January 2023

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Entering our 30th year, The Couchiching Conservancy continues to deliver on the promise that with the right people and a shared vision, you can get a lot done. 


The Grant’s Woods office is infused with energy these days as staff, board, and committees plan for this year’s Passport to Nature, our chart-topping Community Science program, and the Annual General Meeting.   


As the new Executive Director of this going concern, our five-year Strategic Plan and Acquisition strategy are never far from my mind. I’m happy to report that our acquisition team is larger and stronger than ever, and includes outgoing E.D. Mark Bisset in a new part-time role as Acquisition Specialist. 


An accelerated pace of acquisition, a mosaic of inter-connected wild spaces, and a relationship with the land built on respect, responsibility and reciprocity toward the earth will continue to be at the heart of all that we do.  

Dorthea Hangaard

Executive Director

Save the Date: Annual General Meeting!

Please save the date for our 2023 Annual General Meeting: Saturday, March 4th! This year we will be holding our AGM in a hybrid format: in-person at Hawk Ridge Golf Club or live via Zoom. Absolutely all are welcome!

Our AGM is the buzz of the Conservancy calendar, with between 250–300 local environmentalists standing up for nature. From volunteers, to donors, to founders and board members, it’s your chance to get to know us better!

Members can vote, and if you’re new to the Conservancy, you can see how we run, ask questions about our work, our Nature Reserves, and impact.

Please check our website for updates and registration. Reading materials will be sent prior to the meeting through our newsletter. We can’t wait to see you!


NEW Volunteer Opportunities for 2023

Do you want to contribute to conservation science and management, improve your naturalist skills, spend time outdoors, and help with the work we do? Now is a perfect time to sign up to volunteer!

There are openings in multiple programs and some new additions such as the invasive species team.

Some training courses are accessible online - through a platform called EdApp, where volunteers can explore our learning modules. We also offer in person training and hands on training with staff depending on the volunteer position.

Positions available include:

  • Grant's Greeters
  • Office support
  • Passport to Nature Marketing
  • Land Stewards
  • Frog Monitors
  • Bat Monitors
  • Monarch Monitors
  • Fundraising
  • Property Maintenance
  • Grassland Bird Surveys
  • Reptile Monitors
  • Salamander Monitors
  • Water Quality Monitors
  • Wildlife on Roads
  • Invasive Species Team
  • Trail Camera Team

Please review each job description carefully, determine which are the right fit for you, and complete an application so we can chat further. The deadline to submit an application is January 26th!


Pictured: Volunteers check Salamander boards

Monthly Donors Notice

Over 100 people have chosen to support our work as monthly donors - thank you! They can expect a charitable receipt for their full donation plus a BIG thank you and special update in the mail in February.


Zoom with us to learn about the Flora of Kawartha Lakes

Dale Leadbeater, environmental consultant and field ecologist for over 40 years, has co-written the book on flora, Flora of Kawartha Lakes, becoming a vegetation expert on many of The Couchiching Conservancy reserves.

In this webinar, she’ll take us on a virtual hike through the Kawarthas. We’ll connect landscapes, water bodies & plant communities – a botanical CSI into the plants around us: why they're there, the importance of sharing that information, and how they change through time & interact with the species (including people) who live among them.

If you have some acreage, or you want to improve your skills & understanding while hiking, you won't want to miss this webinar!

Wednesday, January 18th @ 7:00pm.


Visit our Passport to Nature page for more events & activites

What happened at the nature reserves in 2022?

We are looking back at highlights of volunteer and staff activities on the reserves. What a year!

For example...

On May 12th, 2022 Toby Rowland accompanied new Reptile monitors, Sadie Fischer and Victoria Atencio on their first monitoring visit at Kris Starr Sanctuary. Reptile monitors check under boards for snakes and lizards and use binoculars or scopes to scan the wetland for turtles.


Thank you Corporate Partners

Thank you to our 2022 Corporate Partners for their generous support! These forward-thinking corporate leaders share our belief that protecting the rich, natural heritage of our region is good for the community and for business.

A special thank you to:


Bee By The Sea

Home Hardware Orillia

Sojourn Outdoors

The Crank and Sprocket

Lafarge Canada

Northwest & Ethical Investment L.P

J.R. Booth Professional Corp.

Forests of Ontario

Accessibility Professionals

ScottInc Design + Build

Raymond James Executive

Wealth - Jackie Ramler

Ontario Field Ornithologists


Raccoon at Church Woods by Toby Rowland

Community Gem

Each nature reserve is unique. In size, landscape, species and sometimes the challenges to protect it. The Church Woods is a part of the Eastern Great Lakes Lowlands Forests region and we care for it in a number of ways.

Reserve Steward, Brandon Guoth, outlines actions taken on this reserve and how it contributes to a broader network of protected places.


Monarch Butterfly by David Hawke

Wild Species Report

A newly released report on the status of wild species in Canada includes data on the status of 50,534 of Canada's 80,000 known species - and warns that more than 2,000 of them face a high risk of being wiped out in the wild.

This statistic is alarming, but thanks to supporters like you we are able to protect habitat for 39 species-at-risk in our region.

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We operate on the territory of the Anishinaabeg

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Charitable #: 13972 5030 RR0001

Office: 705-326-1620