Recent Media Coverage

Campaign preserves properties

The Kingston Whig Standard

By Nick Gardiner

March 27, 2012

GANANOQUE — Debra Sum­merfield loved to walk in the woods and photograph wildlife.

Now, Summerfield, who died of cancer in 2008, will forever be linked to a slice of pristine land near Lost Bay Reserve called the Summerfield Tract, thanks to the fundraising efforts of her husband, Ed Lowans, and their friends.

Lowans, who lives in Lyndhurst, made the largest single donation to a $168,000 campaign to preserve two Gananoque River properties totalling 160 hectares in perpetuity as conservation lands.

The campaign goal was realized within three months and is the final piece of an overall $765,000 project to preserve a historic migrating path for plants and animals in the UNESCO-designated Frontenac Arch Biosphere.

“Deb and I were heavily involved with environmental groups most of our lives,” Lowans said.

A member of the Thousand Islands Watershed Land Trust, Lowans did not disclose how much money was raised in memory of his late wife, but the contribution is a gesture she would have appreciated, and Lowans said he is grateful for the support to keep his wife’s memory alive.

The campaign was launched last November by the Thousand Islands group, the Gananoque River Waterways Association, Leeds-Grenville Stewardship Council, the Algonquin to Adirondacks Conservation Association and the biosphere.

Dann Michols, president of the Thousand Islands Watershed Land Trust, said in a statement that reaching the fundraising goal “attests to the local interest in landscape preservation and to the generosity of local landowners.”

Michols said donations from individuals ranged from $20 to $50,000, and contributions from organizations ranged from $1,000 to $57,500.

About 70 individuals and groups made contributions, with the Kingston Field Naturalists chipping in $5,000 on short order.

The Summerfield tract is an 89-hectare property that will nearly double the size of the Lost Bay Reserve while protecting wetlands along the shoreline of Lost Bay on the Gananoque River.

The property contains extensive wetlands and species-at-risk habitat and will be owned and managed by Ontario Nature.

A second property known as the Crank — because it is shaped like a handle — is a 60-hectare site that includes 3.8 km of shoreline on both sides of the river and includes rock shorelines, marshes, wetland, bare rock ridges and forests.

The property will be owned and managed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

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