History of Ontario Nature
(Formerly known as the Federation of Ontario Naturalists or FON)
Common Loon; CREDIT: Floridastock
Successfully negotiated the deferral of 18,500 hectares of critical caribou habitat in the Caribou Forest and completed a two-year aerial survey of woodland caribou.
Surpassed 150,000 records and 600 registered participants for the Reptile and Amphibian Atlas database.
Hosted five concurrent Earth Day conservation events through our Nature Guardians program.
In partnership with the Bruce Trail Conservancy, Ontario Nature protects Malcolm Bluff Shores – a 423-hectare property on the Niagara Escarpment that supports ecologically diverse plant and animal communities and includes pristine Georgian Bay shoreline.
Collects more than 5,500 signatures on a Biodiversity Charter for Ontario in the International Year of Biodiversity to submit to the provincial government asking that it take action to slow the loss of species in Ontario.
Working with Ecojustice, Ontario Nature launches a court case against a property manager whose office building complex killed or injured some 7,000 birds.
Launched the Reptile and Amphibian Atlas. This enormous undertaking helps protect some of the most endangered animals in the province. Nearly all Ontario’s turtle species are at risk of becoming locally extinct, a tragedy that will severely diminish a once richly diverse community of reptiles.
Saved more woodlands and wetlands by expanding our nature reserves. We purchased some of the province’s most sensitive habitats to safeguard them from development and the loss of biodiversity.
Worked closely with the provincial government to draft effective policies and regulations to support the Endangered Species Act.
After years of pushing for boreal forest protection, Premier Dalton McGuinty promises to protect at least 50% of the northern boreal region.
Working in partnership with the Boreal Songbird Initiative and other conservation groups, Ontario Nature helps collect 60,000 signatures petitioning the federal government to protect the boreal forest, described as a songbird nursery.
As part of Campaign Lake Simcoe, Ontario Nature jointly proposes the Lake Simcoe Conservation Act to put a stop to urban development and improve the water quality of the lake.
Ontario Nature urges greater protection for species at risk through a new, stronger Endangered Species Act.
Published a series on the Greenbelt and Your Health in partnership with the Ontario College of Family Physicians.
Ontario Nature proudly celebrates its 75th anniversary.
Ontario Nature collects 1,500 letters asking the Province for a new Endangered Species Act.
1,200 postcards submitted to the provincial government asking for boreal forest protection.
Members submit more than 2,300 postcards to Premier Dalton McGuinty, urging the government to guarantee that Ontario's provincial parks, conservation reserves and aquatic areas are fully protected under the upcoming Provincial Parks Act.
Ontario Nature publishes Suggested Conservation Guidelines for the Identification of Significant Woodlands.
Ontario Nature is a significant player in the development of the Greenbelt Act and Plan, which aim to conserve green space and contain urban sprawl in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
Ontario's Nature Network increases to 140 member groups.
FON renames itself Ontario Nature to refresh its image.
Seasons magazine becomes ON Nature.
Ontario Nature launches the Southern Ontario Greenway Strategy.
Ontario's Nature Network increases to 135 member groups.
Julyan Mulock and her late husband, Cawthra Falconbridge Mulock, donate 107 hectares of mature woodlands in King Township to FON.
FON joins with the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, World Wildlife Fund-Canada and Earthroots in a campaign to save the Algonquin wolves.
Seasons wins a Gold Award and an Honourable Mention at the National Magazine Awards.
FON launches its Smart Growth campaign and publishes A Smart Future for Ontario: How to Protect Nature and Curb Urban Sprawl in Your Community.
FON and allies ensure that mining activities are excluded from hundreds of newly protected areas.
Working for Wilderness is relaunched as the Ontario Nature Volunteers program.
FON launches the second Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas project, for which approximately 2,000 volunteers collect scientific data.
FON's work results in the passage of the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Act, protecting almost 195,000 hectares of land on the moraine from urban development.
FON represents more than 20,000 members and supporters and over 110 community-based naturalist clubs and environmental groups.
Seasons wins its first National Magazine Award (Gold).
FON's nature reserve system doubles in size in one year with the expansion of Altberg Nature Reserve near Peterborough and the acquisition of Baptist Harbour on the Bruce Peninsula.
FON expands its campaign to protect the Oak Ridges Moraine and submits a joint application with other groups for a review of the laws and policies applicable to the development of the moraine.
More than 2,500 people respond to the Oak Ridges Moraine campaign by joining FON, making a donation or becoming an Advocate for Nature.
The Nature Network increases to 105 member groups.
The Partnership for Public Lands campaign protects 2.4 million hectares in 378 new parks and conservation reserves in northern and central Ontario.
FON launches a campaign to protect and restore southern Ontario's woodlands.
The Ontario Forest Accord balances conservation interests with long-term well being of northern communities and forest industry.
FON participates in largest conservation purchase in Ontario's history with acquisition of 16,000 hectares (6,000 acres) of Manitoulin Island's alvar coast. As part of this purchase, Quarry Bay becomes FON's 18th nature reserve.
Howard Krug bequeaths Kinghurst Forest, southwest of Owen Sound, to FON. At 240 hectares, Kinghurst is the best remaining fragment of old-growth upland forest in southern Ontario - protected forever as the 17th FON Nature Reserve.
FON wins an award for Outstanding Leadership in Environmental Education from the Ontario Society for Environmental Education.
More than 1,500 people arrive at Queen's Park to participate in the Portage for Wilderness, in a call to encourage the government to create new parks and protected areas in northern Ontario.
FON, Wildlands League and World Wildlife Fund-Canada join to form the Partnership for Public Lands to campaign for the completion of the provincial parks system.
FON sponsors the formation of the Ontario Nature Trust alliance (ONTA).
The Federation purchases Lyal Island, off the Lake Huron coast of the Bruce Peninsula, its 16th nature reserve.
FON launches Working for Wilderness– a conservation volunteer program to protect nature in Ontario.
FON's Nature Network expands to 83 clubs and 15,000 members.
FON publishes The Jumbo Book of Nature Science and A Citizen's Guide to Protecting Wetlands and Woodlands.
Seasons receives the Editors' Choice Award for Best Magazine of the Year with circulation under 50,000.
FON joins World Wildlife Fund-Canada to call for a moratorium on the spring bear hunt in an effort to protect the black bear population.
FON and its allies successfully campaign to expand Wabakimi Provincial Park (northwest of Lake Nipigon) from 155,000 to 892,000 hectares in order to encompass vital woodland caribou habitat.
FON receives the Canadian Environmental Achievement Award for excellence in a non-profit organization.
FON publishes Creative Conservation: A Handbook for Ontario Land Trusts and Putting Nature First: Conservation Principles to Guide in the Settlement of Aboriginal Land Claims.
Ontario's Wetlands Policy becomes law after two decades of FON campaigning.
FON serves on an advisory committee for Ontario's Environmental Bill of Rights.
More than 2,000 members participate in FON's natural history trips.
FON joins the Coalition on the Niagara Escarpment in a campaign to eliminate aggregate mining from the escarpment.
FON is instrumental in putting pressure on the government to cancel the duck hunt in Point Pelee National Park.
FON's joint proposal results in the passage of "Untaxing Nature," a policy that gives landowners a fairer tax structure if they opt to preserve private lands, and which will encourage agencies and non-governmental organizations to acquire land.
FON adopts the loon as its logo symbolizing the state of the environment.
Rare Breeding Bird program commences.
Why Wetlands? video wins best documentary award at Canadian Cable Television Programming Awards.
FON publishes the first Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario, thanks to the work of more than 1,600 volunteers who contributed 180,000 hours of their time over a five-year period.
FON's natural heritage protection campaign results in the establishment of Bruce Peninsula National Park and Fathom Five National Marine Park.
FON's parks campaign leads to the creation of 155 new parks, including five new wilderness parks, encompassing more than two million hectares.
FON acquires, relocates, and restores Goodwin House - thought to be the oldest freestanding house in North York - next to Locke House as part of its office space.
FON develops wetlands evaluation model.
Fieldwork on The Atlas of Breeding Birds of Ontario begins.
The Nature Network grows to 52 member groups.
FON offers more than 100 trips, in which over 1,200 people participate.
Three paid staff now work at FON.
FON renames its magazine Seasons.
FON launches campaign to protect wetlands.
Locke House becomes the FON's new headquarters.
FON's Action Seminar on Acid Precipitation leads to the establishment of the Canadian Coalition on Acid Rain.
FON founds the Coalition on the Niagara Escarpment (CONE).
FON forms the Foundation for Aggregate Studies.
FON grows to 42 member groups.
FON's support is vital in the passing of the Environmental Assessment Act.
FON's Young Naturalist magazine becomes Owl magazine.
FON's Wilderness in Ontario report leads to creation of provincial wilderness parks policy.
FON's Mail a Can to John campaign inspires Ontarians to mail in thousands of cans and bottles to Premier John Robarts as a call for legislation on disposable containers.
An FON campaign results in Ontario's Endangered Species Act.
FON reaches 15,000 members - a 33 percent increase in one year.
FON grows to 10,000 members
Young Naturalist's circulation totals nearly 26,000, and the magazine's three editorial board members are all volunteers.
FON's paid staff totals two - Jim Woodford and Gerald McKeating
The Ontario Naturalist publishes an editorial titled "Polar Bear National Park," which eventually leads to the creation of a provincial park.
FON's Ban the Wolf Bounty campaign calls for the full protection for wolves inside provincial parks.
FON launches the Battle of the Bulldozer campaign and raises $20,000 to purchase one of its first nature reserves, Dorcas Bay, on the Bruce Peninsula.
FON's volunteer-run Nature Reserves Committee leads to the creation of the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
FON's offices at Edwards Gardens destroyed by fire; irreplaceable records are lost.
An FON committee leads to the creation of the Bruce Trail Association.
FON has 3,500 members.
FON launches The Young Naturalist magazine.
Membership hits 3,000.
The Bulletin (successor to Circular) advocates for the protection of wetlands.
FON champions the protection of natural heritage on Lake Erie's shore leading to Long Point, Turkey Point, and Hawk Cliff provincial parks.
FON's Nature Network grows to 32 affiliated clubs and 1,650 members..
Along with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters and the Conservation Council of Ontario, FON begins action to protect all birds of prey in the province.
The Ontario Parks Act (now the Provincial Parks Act) is approved, largely due to the efforts of FON.
FON's first executive director, Dr. Bill Gunn, a biologist and sound recordist, is hired.
At the "Guelph Conference," FON leaders, along with the Ontario Conservation and Reforestation Association, launch the Conservation Authority system in Ontario.
FON distributes its first publication to Ontario schools urging the protection of wildflowers.
FON launches its first nature camp at Camp Franklin on Franklin Island in Georgian Bay.
FON publishes a study of the Oak Ridges Moraine, calling for its reforestation.
FON persuades the Ontario Government to restore protection for eagles and ospreys.
FON begins to document the decline in wetlands in southern Ontario.
FON proposes the establishment of a complete system of parks and nature reserves in Ontario.
Sanctuaries and the Preservation of Wildlife in Ontario, an FON report, leads to the designation of wilderness areas in Algonquin Park and a nature reserve at Point Pelee National Park.
At the first FON field day in Hamilton, participants identify 67 bird species.
Clark and Nora Locke build Locke House, FON's future home, on old Leslie Street in Toronto.
Circular, FON's newsletter, published to educate members and provide information about FON projects.
Through the hard work and dedication of early naturalists - especially A.F. Coventry, Henry Carl Nunn, J.R. Dymond, and T.F. McIlwraith - seven clubs and 28 members create the Federation of Ontario Naturalists (FON).
FON's first president, W.E. Saunders is selected.
A special committee urges that wildlife - game or otherwise - be considered the property of all citizens and that wildlife reserves be established.