More landowners now helping to protect
Oak Ridges Moraine
Published November 15, 2006
More landowners are now helping to protect the Oak Ridges
Moraine, as a result of a major landowner contact program
launched earlier this year in selected areas of the moraine,
part of Ontario's Greenbelt.
Called the Caring for the Moraine Project (CMP), it was
created by 23 conservation and environmental organizations
working together to provide coordinated conservation services,
made possible with a grant of $230,000 from the Oak Ridges
Moraine Foundation, and contributions from the project
organizations totaling $460,000. Over the past six months,
more than 40,000 landowners living in three large areas
of the moraine containing important and sensitive environmental
features have been contacted. This has resulted in more
than 160,000 tress planted over an area of 80 hectares,
almost 2.5 kilometers of restored streams in important
watershed locations, and more than three hectares of new
The CMP will continue next year, in newly expanded project
areas, with $600,000 of new funding from the Oak Ridges
Moraine Foundation and over $1 million in funding contributions
from the partner organizations.
This is the first time that major conservation and environmental
protection agencies and organizations on the moraine have
come together to develop a strategic plan and provide
comprehensive, coordinated conservation services for landowners
living in particularly important areas of the moraine.
The CMP is strictly a voluntary program. It has been
designed to be a user friendly, one-stop starting point
for people who own land on the Oak Ridges Moraine and
are seeking advice on land management and restoration,
on protecting their drinking water sources, and on how
to improve their property value while helping to protect
its natural features.
The Oak Ridges Moraine is one of Ontario's most prominent
ecosystems. Its rolling hills, unique kettle lakes, hiking
trails and vistas stretch across the top of the GTA. It
is a big area - more than 160 kilometers in length. Stretching
from the Niagara Escarpment in Caledon to east of Rice
Lake, it is the starting point of the 65 rivers flowing
into Lake Ontario, Lake Simcoe and the Kawartha Lakes,
and is the source of drinking water for more than 250,000
people. It is important that moraine landowners get good
advice and support to help them protect these vital areas.
"This project demonstrates that landowners on the
moraine want to help protect its many important environmental
features," said Kate Potter, coordinator of the project.
With this project, landowners can access the resources,
experience and expertise of almost two dozen organizations,
ranging from the Community Streams Stewards Program, Conservation
Authorities on the Moraine, Ducks Unlimited Canada,
Kawartha Heritage Conservancy, Large Woodlands Conservation
Cooperative, local municipalities, the Nature Conservancy
of Canada, the Oak Ridges Trail Association, Stewardship
Councils on the Moraine and the Wetland Habitat Fund.
The three new expanded areas for the project are the
Western Headwaters area, covering parts of Peel and York
Region, and Simcoe County; the York-Durham Headwaters
area, covering parts of York and Durham Region, and the
Ganaraska Hills area, covering parts of Durham Region,
Northumberland and Peterborough Counties and the City
of Kawartha Lakes.