With the picturesque marsh boardwalk as a backdrop, the new Kawartha Conservation Foundation was launched June 11 by its new president and members of its volunteer board of directors.
Chief Administrative Officer Rob Messervey paid tribute to the “Friends” who, over a period of 18 years, helped support the vision and mandate of Kawartha Conservation by raising funds, promoting awareness, and engaging the community to restore and sustain a healthy environment for future generations.
“They raised tens of thousands of dollars for environmental projects, such as this marsh boardwalk, securing grants for shoreline naturalization and education programs and, of course, Howlers Corners Off-leash Dog Park at Ken Reid.”
Messervey said with that goal accomplished, many of the Friends group decided it was time to pass on the torch to a new group of volunteers. The Foundation held its inaugural meeting in March and has since elected its executive and begun establishing project priorities based on their new strategic plan.
Kawartha Conservation chair Pat Warren said, "I am very excited with the launch of the new Foundation and I look forward to working alongside these dedicated volunteers. There are many exciting projects coming forward that will help protect our environment in the years to come."
Arthur Gladstone is the new Foundation president. He said he and the board are looking forward to engaging the community–from businesses with a love of the environment to individuals and families interested in becoming new Foundation members.
“We want to also involve communities in adopting their special natural areas, whether it is Ken Reid, Windy Ridge, Fleetwood Creek, the Pigeon River Headwaters, or Durham East Cross Forest,” Gladstone said.
Messervey noted that aging infrastructure, or a lack of infrastructure, is just one of the challenges across the watershed. A short walk from the boardwalk in Ken Reid Conservation Area is the site of the former Osprey viewing platform which was very popular but had to be taken down due to structural deficiencies. Replacing the platform alone could cost $25,000. The Foundation also wants to continue educating watershed users, from farmers to school children, on how to be great stewards of our lands and waters.