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Tuesday, 22 October 2019 11:07

Kawartha Conservation celebrates 40 years of supporting people, property and nature

October 22, 2019 – For nearly 40 years, Kawartha Conservation has been focused on protecting the people, property and environment within the Kawartha Watershed.

Kawartha Conservation will celebrate its 40th year with a number of activities beginning on Wednesday, October 23 with First Nations storytelling and drumming circle with Jake Charles from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

“Join Jake Charles of First Nation Cultural Tours to learn about some of the traditions of First Nations People.,” said Kristie Virgoe, Director, Stewardship and Conservation Lands. “Jake will share stories and information about the history and tradition of the Original People of this land.  He will bring an educational show and tell session and lead an educational camp drumming circle around a campfire under the evening sky.”

On Thursday, October 24, there will be a formal celebration at the Kawartha Conservation Administrative Office from 3:30 to 5 p.m. followed by a Public Open House on Friday, October 25 and free Forest Therapy Walk on Saturday, October 26.

“The Open House on Friday will be a great opportunity for the public to come in and talk with our staff, see the tools and the work that goes into the lake management science, flow and water level monitoring, and a lot of the areas the public generally doesn’t get to see,” explained Emma Collyer, Director, Integrated Watershed Management.

The Open House will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and feature a variety of displays and demonstrations.

There will be a display of two areas of areas of Integrated Watershed Management field measurements – real time water chemistry measurements using the YSI ProDSS Probe, and a live sample of aquatic benthic macroinvertebrates. There will also be tours of the new ‘rain garden’ and ‘xeric garden’ site construction with the help of Central Senior Grade 7/8 students at Ken Reid Conservation Area. As well, there will be Stewardship staff on hand to talk about property management issues and share information about resources that community members can access to help with their land management initiatives.

Visitors will also get to see the submissions and winner of the elementary school conservation poster contest.

“We have had some wonderful submissions by some classes, and it is really great to see the level of passion and caring and appreciation for our environment from such a young audience,” said Nancy Aspden, Coordinator, Environmental Programs/GIS Specialist.

Kawartha Conservation’s 40th anniversary is an opportunity to pull back the curtain on the work the conservation authority does and share with the public the many different dimensions of the organization they might not otherwise get to see, explained CAO Mark Majchrowski.  “Some people may only know us for planning or permitting, for our off-leash dog park, or Nature Camps; this is an opportunity to see other sides of our organization.

“For 40 years Kawartha Conservation and its staff have been focused on supporting and protecting the people and property within the Kawartha watershed,” Mr. Majchrowski explained. “We are an organization that is focused on providing exemplary customer service and promoting community sustainability and economic investment by supporting environmental sound planning and development,” he added. “At our core is supporting people. Our programs help connect people to nature, protect the public and their property from flood prone areas, protect the environment, protect drinking water sources, and help protect our lakes, rivers and streams through stewardship, planning and conservation-based programs.”

Kawartha Lakes Mayor and Vice-Chair of the Kawartha Conservation Board of Directors, Andy Letham, noted Kawartha Conservation’s important role in supporting the environment and people, through waterfront, urban, rural and agricultural-based programming.

“In celebrating 40 years with Kawartha Conservation, we are recognizing the important role this organization has played in our community over the past four decades” stated Mr. Letham. “With 95% of Ontario’s population living in a watershed managed by a Conservation Authority, it’s important to acknowledge how their services help balance human, environmental and economic needs across our municipality.”

Ted Smith, Chair of the Kawartha Conservation Board of Directors said for him, it is the passion of the staff at Kawartha Conservation for helping the community and the environment that resonates with him the most.

“Being Chair of the Kawartha Conservation Board of Directors has provided me with a unique insight into the work that goes on behind the scenes at Kawartha Conservation,” said Mr. Smith. “I have always been impressed with the passion, skill and dedication the staff have towards our environment, and to supporting the residents and businesses that reside within the Kawartha watershed.

“For 40 years, Kawartha Conservation and its staff have been at the heart of supporting our environment, clean water, natural areas, connecting people with nature, supporting best practices in our agricultural community and ensuring our children and grandchildren have an environmentally sustainable future ahead.”