By Jenn Watt
Published Oct. 24 2017
A dozen years of stewardship were marked on Sunday evening when theHaliburton Highlands Land Trust held its annual fundraising banquetthanking those who had donated land money and volunteer hours topreserve 700 acres of forests and wetlands.
“The land trust was established 12 years ago by this group of peoplewho believed in the concept and saw the value of a land trust in ourcounty and who were able to finance and help form the first board ofdirectors” said board chairwoman Mary-Lou Gerstl to the audience atPinestone Resort on Oct. 22.
“Two years later in March of 2007 Norah’s Island a 22-acre islandin Kennisis Lake was donated through the Eco Gifts program by BruceCarruthers in memory of his late wife Norah.”
From there more land was donated first by Peter Dahl and his sister Nana McKernan (the Dahl Forest) then by Don Smith (the Smith Forest)and then by Dennis Barry (the Fred and Pearl Barry Wetland Reserve).
As is their tradition the organization also took time to celebrateindividuals or “enviro-heroes” from each of the county’s fourmunicipalities for their environmentalism.
This year’s honouree from Dysart et al was Brian Nash of Haliburton Solar and Wind.
“Haliburton Solar and Wind is an innovative energy organization thathas built Ontario’s first off-grid demonstration centre right here inHaliburton County at the Abbey Gardens property” said board memberSheila Ziman who presented all four awards. “The centre is a criticalcomponent to Haliburton Solar and Wind’s ongoing efforts to increaseOntario’s situational awareness in context to energy policy andindividual energy security.”
Nash is an active volunteer who divides his time between the RotaryClub of Haliburton Haliburton County Development Corporation Dysart et al’s environment and conservation committee and Haliburton County HeatBank Ziman said.
In Algonquin Highlands this year’s enviro-hero was Coalition ofHaliburton Property Owners Association for its Love Your Lakes program.This program brought together the expertise of Trent Universityprofessors and environmental studies students with local lakeassociations to conduct shoreline evaluations helping to protect arealakes.
“The goal of the Love Your Lake program is to help shoreline ownerslandscapers and contractors maintain a minimum of 75 per cent of the100-foot ribbon of natural vegetation along the shoreline to mitigaterunoff reduce pollution and provide natural habitat for shorelinewildlife” Ziman said.
Accepting on behalf of the program was John McHardy and Rita Moore.In the last four years 72 lakes and 1000 kilometres of shoreline weresurveyed – more than anywhere else in the province she said.
Highlands East’s enviro-hero was the Glamor Lake Cottagers’ Association represented by Brian Cain.
Along with participating in the Love Your Lake program theassociation also was instrumental in supporting and promoting the septic inspection program. Members met with other lake associationsencouraging them to also support septic inspections.
“In addition they passed a motion to provide funds for shorelinerestoration work at the public park between Glamor and Little Glamorlakes. Little Glamor Lake Association will also provide funds for thisproject” Ziman said.
From Minden Hills the TD Tree Days volunteers were honoured for their work planting trees in Minden.
“TD Minden has hosted TD Tree Days for the last two years in Minden” said Ziman. More than 1000 native trees shrubs and flowers have beenplanted along the Riverwalk during that time.
“The new vegetation will help stabilize the shoreline createwildlife habitat and mitigate the effects of flooding not to metiondeter the geese and lessen the poop factor” she said.
Carol Patrick manager of TD Minden accepted the award on behalf of all the volunteers.