White trillium

Your donations in action…

You have sent our Executive Director, Caroline Schultz, to court.

You will remember that last spring we told you the story of Ruby and his perilous journey from Costa Rica. Yes, we had fun sharing Ruby’s story with you and you seemed to enjoy reading it. That does not diminish the seriousness of this issue. Every year, millions of birds die by colliding into buildings. These deaths are preventable.

Your ongoing support of Ontario Nature helps us work with lawyers from Ecojustice in a private prosecution case against Menkes Development Ltd., the owners of the Consillium Place complex in Scarborough. Our goal? To demonstrate that there is a requirement under law (the Ontario Environmental Protection Act and the Ontario SPCA Act) to ensure that buildings are retrofitted to reduce window hazards.

Building owners and developers are paying attention and migratory birds had a strong voice in the courtrooms of Ontario last week. Together we are saving lives. Thank you.

At the time of this writing Caroline was still listening to heart wrenching testimony about the kinds of injuries birds sustain when they collide with buildings. As more information becomes available we will share it with you here.

Nurturing Ontario’s Special Spaces – the youth are in the swamp!

…and the forest and the waterfront and along the trail. Teenage nature lovers are taking action. With your ongoing support our youth program continues to flourish and exceed expectations. In celebration of Earth Day, our young naturalists held five concurrent events nurturing special spaces in Ontario and making a big difference for nature.

Hundreds of teens and adults joined together on a sunny spring day to care for nature in Ontario. Trees were planted and waterfronts cleaned; roofing tiles were removed from wetlands and walking trails were maintained and cleared. On April 30, 2011 and working in partnership with local naturalist clubs and with some of you, the Ontario Nature Youth Council made a big difference to the following spaces in Ontario:

  • Pine Bay Nature Reserve in Thunder Bay
  • Minesing Wetland near Barrie
  • Lemoine Point Conservation Area in Kingston
  • Bob Hunter Memorial Park in Markham
  • Rathwood Park in Mississauga

Thank you for supporting this program. This event will continue to grow in 2012 and we will let you know how and where you can participate next spring.

In the meantime our Youth Council is unstoppable and is now making plans to host our 80th anniversary gala dinner as well as planning the 2011 Youth Summit for Biodiversity and Sustainable Living. The summit was a huge success last year and even more teens will be participating this year. If you know a young naturalist (or someone who just needs to get outside for a weekend) who would like to join with teenagers from across Ontario to participate in nature workshops, bird watching, hikes and campfires the weekend of September 24th and 25th in Schomberg, Ontario, please contact Sarah Hedges, Nature Guardians coordinator at sarahh@ontarionature.org (space is limited to 100 teens).

A very special thank you to the Trillium Foundation, Ontario Power Generation and many of you for your financial support of this program. Together we are helping foster the environmental leaders of tomorrow. Bravo!

An important milestone at Malcolm Bluff Shores

Eighty percent of the spectacular Malcolm Bluff Shores property along the Georgian Bay shoreline north of Wiarton is now protected forever. On Saturday, May 15, 2011 we gathered with over 80 members of Ontario Nature and the Bruce Trail Conservancy to celebrate the acquisition of the first two parcels of Malcolm Bluff Shores. Since March 2009, more than $2 million has been raised to purchase this magnificent property and protect it from development forever.

After unveiling the sign at the trail head and some stories for those who played a key role in initiating this project we walked along the top of the Niagara Escarpment on the Bruce Trail marveling at the beauty of spring trilliums in full bloom and the rock face below us. While it rained on the rest of our province we were left with the warm feeling of sunshine on our faces and mud on our boots as we gathered in the Colpoy’s Bay Community Hall for lunch and more stories.

Ontario Nature will be taking the lead on purchasing the third and final property of Malcolm Bluff Shores. We are thrilled to be able to announce a further $100,000 in funding from Mountain Equipment Co-op for this part of the campaign. We are very proud that MEC felt this project was worthy of such a large financial commitment and we are deeply grateful for their support.

We are now moving into the final stretch of this significant land acquisition and are offering you and all your friends a chance to protect your very own share of Malcolm Bluff Shores. Join us for a virtual walk through the property and purchase your very own share here. All members now have a chance to be a part of what we consider to be the most dramatic and majestic nature reserve in our province. Protect your share today.

Kimberley MacKenzie (left) and Caroline Schultz (right)

Contact our director of development, Kimberley MacKenzie, if you have any questions about your donations or our fundraising activities, or would just like to talk about this e-newsletter. You can reach her by e-mail or telephone 1-800-440-2366 (office) or 289-231-1339 (mobile).

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Celebrating 80 years of conservation in Ontario

When Ontario Nature members gather there are always lots of stories about botany, bird sightings, hiking and/or canoe excursions. This year we will be adding music, great food, laughter, a toast or two to nature, and even teenagers!

Please join us on the weekend of June 11 and 12th, 2011 as we gather with members to celebrate 80 years of conservation in Ontario. We will also be looking to the future and will celebrate the good work of the Ontario Nature Youth Council. After eight decades, it is time to pass the torch to those who will carry on our mission to protect wild species and spaces. What better way to pass on responsibilities than to ask our Ontario Nature Youth Council to host and emcee our gala dinner? This is sure to be an event you won’t want to miss.

Please consider joining us for all or part of the weekend. Registrations are coming in quickly and space is limited so please contact Lauren at laurenw@ontarionature.org or register online while there is still space.

 

You and almost 6,000 other people want the Province to protect Biodiversity.

We hear you and so will all provincial candidates during the election this fall.

The biodiversity charter signed by you and almost 6,000 other nature lovers in Ontario has exceeded our expectations. Thank you to all our members who took the time to raise their voice for biodiversity in Ontario.

Originally, we had planned to send the charter with your signatures to the provincial government on the International Day of Biodiversity, May 22, 2011. However, as that day draws near we think that your cry to protect the wild species and wild spaces of Ontario will be stronger if we wait until the days leading up to the provincial election in the fall. Like you, we want to make sure that biodiversity and the environment stay on the political agenda during that critical time. So we shifted our plans and will now be hosting a Rally at Queen’s Park on September 21, 2011.

We expect hundreds of teenagers, university students and members will be joining together to strengthen nature’s voice at Queen’s Park. The message: I vote for NATURE! If you know of a school group or club that would like to participate or if you have ideas about how to make nature’s voice heard please contact Kimberley at kimberleym@ontarionature.org as soon as possible. Your participation is what will help this campaign influence the Province to protect biodiversity long into the future.

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