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November 2023

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Dear Couchiching,


When someone decides to donate their land to The Couchiching Conservancy, it is often after years of getting to know us and building a trusting relationship. The news arrives as a wonderful surprise and cheers erupt through the office as word spreads. There can be no better day for a land trust.


Last spring, Leslie Bruce called to say that he and his wife Irene were ready to donate 85 acres beside the Alexander Hope Smith Nature Reserve. It was a call we were hoping to get someday, and with the transfer set to take place in December, we’re ready to share this great news with you.


Tanya has made a video from a bird's eye view, to showcase this impressive new Nature Reserve. You can watch below.

This fall, will you consider matching the generousity of Les & Irene Bruce by donating to our Corridors Campaign? Your gift will help contribute to a permanent fund, so we can care for this new nature reserve forever.


It’s been a banner year for conservation at The Couchiching Conservancy thanks to you: The Hancock Hermitage Easement (47 acres), The Frantzke-Williamson Easement (44.5 acres), Turnbull road addition (7-acres), The Deverell-Morton Nature Reserve (417 acres), and now the Mitchell Bruce Nature Reserve (85 acres).  


Four new nature reserves and easements totaling 600.5 acres.


Many days as I drive to work I silently thank the founders, who had the foresight to understand what was coming and the commitment to build such a strong organization.

Dorthea Hangaard

Executive Director

 P.S. We'll have a chance to celebrate 30 years at our Annual General Meeting on Sat, March 2, 2024. Hope to see you there.


Couchiching Conservancy Turns 30!

Top left to right: Adam Thomson, Peter Gill, Ken Thomson, Gord Ball. Bottom left to right: Shirley Thomson, Janet Grant, Ron Reid, Si Lowry. These fine group of people are some of our founders.

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.

Art Contest Submissions Are In!

Thank you so much to everyone who submitted a design for our 30th Anniversary Art Contest! Here are our top 4 submissions, as chosen by staff. Now, we are turning it over to YOU! Which one is your favourite? The winner will have their design featured in our online merch shop. Please vote using the poll below!






We're Hiring!

Photo: C. Pellerin

We are hiring a Grants & Projects Coordinator to fill a temporary maternity leave absence. Please view the job description and apply soon. This position will remain open and posted until filled.


Night Out For Nature A Success!

Thank you! Over $13,000 raised for the Angela Rehhorn Community Science Fund thanks to Roland Rehhorn and Joan Vincent, Brewery Bay Food Co, silent auction donors and winners, and everyone who came out for a Night out for Nature!


The Angela Rehhorn Community Science Fund helps power our Community Science efforts. We have 10 different programs and almost 200 volunteers who are trained on identification, monitoring protocols, reporting and more.


The money raised from this event helps us power staff to coordinate volunteers, allows us to buy the equipment needed, submit Species at Risk observations to the Natural Heritage Information Centre and much more.


Thank you again for helping us protect nature.


Passport to Nature 2024/25 is in the works!

Our Passport to Nature committee is hard at work brainstorming and planning for the 2024/25 program and we want YOUR input! Please help us out by participating in the poll below. Have other ideas? Email engage@couchconservancy.ca

Would you rather join a webinar on:
TURTLES 🐢 (ID, challenges, habitat, how to help)
BIRDS 🐦 (ID, feeders, planting native for birds, etc.)

Thank You Volunteer Photographers!

Thank you so much to our incredible volunteers, Nicole Rulff and Joseph Horne, who have been taking photos at our events this year. Your talent behind the lens have brought our experiences to life and we are so grateful! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see photos from our events!

Save the Date: Nature Counts

Discover what we’ve learned from volunteer data collection about the land, wildlife, and plants on Couchiching Conservancy Nature Reserves. We will have poster sessions featuring details of each Community Science Monitoring program and a main presentation about the bigger picture for conservation. Volunteers can also grab their 2023 Volunteer Badge!

PS Volunteers: if you haven't already, please complete the 2023 Volunteer Survey that was sent to your email (& check your spam). Thank you to those who have already completed it!

Protecting nature for future generations

We operate on the territory of the Anishnaabeg

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Charitable #: 13972 5030 RR0001

Office: 705-326-1620