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© Lora Denis
As 2021 winds down, we would like to celebrate the end of the year by sharing some of our accomplishments and wins for nature. Thanks to you – our members, friends, followers and funders – we continue to be a force for nature in the province. Together, we are the voice for nature.
Thanks to members and supporters like you, we acquired the 100-acre parcel of land adjacent to our Sydenham River Nature Reserve. To date, 38 species at risk and 28 rare species have been observed on or near the nature reserve. This expansion will ensure that these species continue to live and thrive in this area for years to come.
Working with partner organizations, earlier this year we released a collective, interactive Story Map showcasing some of the special places that people in Ontario would like to see permanently protected. We also hosted a webinar where you can learn more about our efforts to help create a more open process for protecting natural habitats.
Similarly, partnering with Birds Canada, we undertook an assessment of the more than 1 million hectares of candidate protected areas that forestry companies have identified through the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) process. Our primary goal was to determine the conservation value of these sites and to make the case for their need for permanent protection.
This year, we hosted various restoration events at our nature reserves and were grateful for the many volunteers who took time to help. For instance, in October, volunteers helped us plant 900 native trees and shrubs at our Sydenham River Nature Reserve while learning about this habitat restoration project with our staff and local experts.
Also in October, we unveiled a new wheelchair-accessible boardwalk at our H.N. Crossley Nature Reserve. The 130-metre-long accessible trail will help improve access to the reserve for people of all ages and abilities while preserving its spectacular bog and forest habitats.
Ontario Nature and its partners took the government to court over Bill 197 and on September 3, 2021, the court declared that the government broke the law when it passed the bill without consulting Ontarians.
Together we urged the government to Remove Schedule 3 from Bill 257. Nearly 5,000 Ontarians signed our action alert to oppose proposed changes to the Planning Act that would allow Minister’s Zoning Orders to override protections for Ontario’s farmland and significant natural areas.
We also stood up to stop developers seeking permit to destroy a provincially significant wetland in Pickering, which resulted in the developer withdrawing its previously-approved permit application to pave over the Lower Duffins Creek Wetland.
With our current Species at Risk Action Alert, we are urging the provincial government to have an action plan with clear commitments to recover species at risk.
We developed a Long-term Monitoring Protocol (LTMP) to help gather information about the province’s snake populations, and hosted free monitoring training events and a webinar about Ontario’s snakes and the LTMP to invite our community to participate in our conservation efforts.
We hosted a butterfly hike at Kinghurst Forest Nature Reserve with expert ecologist, James Kamstra, to teach our members the process of capturing and using guides to determine the species, and hosted a BioBlitz at our Gananoque Lake Nature Reserve to conduct site inspections and collect Ecological Land Classification Data.
And finally, this year we celebrated 90 years of conservation success! Want to learn more about how your support made a difference for nature of this year?
Read our Gratitude Report! And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to stay connected over the holidays.
We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to our community. Your generous support made it all possible.
Supporting Ontario Nature is the greatest contribution I can make to protect our Great Province from destruction caused by the actions of Corps. and people who would willingly exploit our natural habitat with no regard for our water, forests, wildlands and all that live within it. carry on with your great work for the future of our children for future generations.
Thanks for the wonderful report, Melina. It is so great to learn about all of the wonderful things that are happening while living in a chaotic world. You report is very encouraging! My husband, George Thomson, and I are thrilled with all of the work that Ontario Nature is doing and will continue to cheer you on in whatever ways we can throughout 2022.