November 4th is an important date in our calendar. It is the date that The Couchiching Conservancy was originally incorporated, making this November 4th our 30th anniversary! It is hard to summarize everything that has happened over that time.
We were formed by a small group of people who were concerned about the loss of local landscapes, and feeling that there wasn’t anything they could do to stop it. The group gathered together others who had the same concerns. They built a pool of money to jump start their efforts.
Originally entirely powered by a group of dedicated volunteers, they made big plans and started having conversations about the possibility of securing properties. They developed the first Natural Heritage Action Plan for our region.
By 1995, the first three properties were secured (Roehl Wetland, Grant Wetland and Wilson Point Wetland). We worked on developing relationships with other environmental organizations such as Nature Conservancy of Canada.
30 years later, those hopes and dreams have come a long way. We now protect over 14,800-acres of wilderness between 55 nature reserves and easements. There is a staff team of nine, over 300 volunteers (including the founders of our organization). We have an office that has solar power, geothermal heating and cooling, is carbon neutral and accessible. We are one of the largest land trusts in Ontario and are widely recognized as a leader.
All of this progress is thanks to our people. Our members, volunteers, monthly donors, supporters, business partners, Foundations and many others. We could not have done all of this without you.
We will be sharing some special video footage of stories from the Founders at our Annual General Meeting, on Saturday, March 2. Please save the date.