/Land trust focuses on core principles 

Land trust focuses on core principles 

By Robert Mackenzie

Published June 8 2017

The Haliburton Highlands Land Trust increased their funds by more than a third in 2016 thanks in large part to their new charity golf tournament.

The land trust’s 2016 financial statement was handed out at their annual general meeting Saturday and showed that their revenue after expenditures had increased to $7672 in 2016 from $5031 the year prior.

Treasurer Scott Drurie credited the increase in funds mainly to the land trust’s Wild About Nature golf tournament held for the first time last summer. “I think people targeted specific events” Drurie said. “People are more willing to donate when there’s an event.”
Drurie’s words were echoed in the financial statement which showed that while straight donations were down $4000 from the year prior the golf tournament brought in more than $19000 of new revenue.

“We focused on what we believe to be our core responsibilities: conservation and protection of our properties community education and outreach and research” board chair Mary-Lou Gerstl said in the AGM’s chair report. “We are committed to continue this focus as we go forward and to utilize our own properties wherever possible in an effort to create an increased awareness and understanding of the land trust and what we do.”

The trust was also awarded a number of grants in 2016 including $29000 from Canada 150 funding to go toward three proposed projects and $116000 from Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s OSARS Fund which will go toward a bat risk assessment endangered species monitoring and management project over the next two years.
Gerstl discussed many other upcoming events the land trust has planned for this summer including the second annual golf tournament July 27 a 10-year anniversary celebration of their Norah’s Island property July 16 and the upcoming BioBlitz over the June 24 weekend – a 24-hour period of biological surveying at Dahl Forest which includes guided workshops given by scientists.

Saturday’s AGM was the last for Lois Deacon Chris Whittemore and David Lawrence as part of the trust’s board of directors; the former resigned her post while the latter two decided not to seek another term on the board. Members in attendance approved Gerstl to continue her role as board chair for another year.