As we count down the final days of the decade, we’re thinking back to the amazing things we accomplished for nature in 2019. We could not have done it without you – our members, followers, funders, partners and sponsors. Your support makes everything we do for nature possible.
10th annual Youth Summit for Biodiversity and Environmental Leadership
Each year, Ontario Nature’s Youth Summit brings young leaders together to learn from nature experts and gain the skills and knowledge to become environmental leaders. This year, we celebrated a decade of Youth Summits with 102 youth in attendance from 70 communities across Ontario. Read more about this year’s Youth Summit.
The success of the 2019 Youth Summit would not have been possible without the support of our Nature Network member groups, other organizations and program sponsors.
This project was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada through the federal Department of Environment and Climate Change, as well as the Government of Ontario, the Helen McCrea Peacock Foundation and TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.
We were there when nature needed us most. Thanks to our
dedicated network of members, nature groups, supporters, and Advocates for
Nature, we were able to mobilize citizens and bring local environmental issues
to the attention of the province. Here are just a few of our Action Alerts from
Our Advocates for Nature are people who are willing to take that extra step by communicating directly with the government and other decision-makers about the need to protect nature in Ontario. As an Advocate for Nature, you will receive emails about important conservation issues and easy ways you can take action when your help is urgently needed. Become an Advocate for Nature today.
Protecting nature one acre at a time
December 3rd was Giving Tuesday, a day for Canadians to give to the causes that mean the most to them. This year, for our Giving Tuesday cause, we were raising funds to help purchase a 360-acre property on the Frontenac Arch – a geological wonder that supports some of the best remaining forest, shoreline and wetland habitat that we have left in the province.
Thanks to your very generous support, we surpassed our Giving Tuesday fundraising goal! We are now on track to permanently protecting this vulnerable habitat and creating our 26th nature reserve. Thank you to Quest Nature Tours, Ontario Nature’s Board of Directors and an anonymous donor who matched every dollar raised up to $20,000.
Working with Indigenous communities on conservation action
For conservation professionals and advocates, knowledge of Treaties is a key facet to successful and responsible nature protection and engagement with First Nations. For this reason, Ontario Nature has hosted workshops on Treaties for conservation colleagues. Continuing with the cross-cultural dialogue, this past October we co-hosted a three-day gathering on protected areas and climate action.
Over 100 leaders and knowledge holders from Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities and organizations from across Ontario gathered in Kingston to share insights and strategies about the nature protection challenges we face and how to address them. A full report and video summarizing the gathering will be released in 2020.
This year, Ontario Nature began an ecological restoration project on our Sydenham River Nature Reserve (SRNR). A biodiversity hotspot, SRNR features one of Ontario’s most biodiverse waterways and is a sanctuary for many endangered and rare species.
The goal of the project is to restore formerly healthy
forest ecosystems and lush habitat in areas of the reserve that were converted
into agricultural crops. The first stage of the project involved removing
drainage tiles, developing vernal pools and establishing native tallgrass
Over two weekends this fall, we hosted seed collection and
planting events with volunteer stewards of the reserve, Lambton Wildlife, and
the Sydenham Field Naturalists. Thanks to the support of many dedicated Ontario
Nature members and volunteers, the next stage of the restoration project –
planting native trees – can be completed in 2020.
This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada and the TD Ready Commitment, as well as the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Canada and the IBM Community Grants Program.
Making nature more accessible for all Ontarians
We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to immerse themselves in nature, regardless of their age or abilities. That’s why we’re dedicated to making our nature reserves more accessible by improving our trail networks.
Last year, we unveiled the first accessible boardwalk at our Petrel Point Nature Reserve. This year, we have nearly completed a new accessible trail at our Cawthra Mulock Nature Reserve near Newmarket that focuses on both wheelchair and visual accessibility. With the first phase of the project now complete, we are exploring the use of interpretive features such as signage designed for visitors with low vision.
The Ontario Trillium Foundation is generously funding the new accessible trail at the Cawthra Mulock Nature Reserve. The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded $108 million to 629 projects last year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario.