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Who We Are

Carolinian Canada Coalition

Collaborating for a Healthy Ecoregion 


Welcome to the Big Wild

Immerse yourself in nature on your doorstep.  Stretching from Toronto to Windsor, the Carolinian Life Zone has some of the most unique and fragile nature in North America. 

Who We Are

Carolinian Canada’s diverse network advances a strategic ‘Big Picture’ vision for healthy landscapes and a green future in Canada’s deep south.    

Since 1984, Carolinian Canada Coalition has been a leading ecoregional group in Canada. We bring together thousands of people and groups who care for our unique habitat network, green infrastructure to support thriving wild and human communities in harmony for generations.

(Canadian Registered Charity 83559 4722 RR0001)

Explore Carolinian Canada to discover your unique nature.  You can’t live without it.  

Do You Live in the Carolinian Life Zone?  While in reality, the boundaries of the Carolinian Region are fuzzy, this map of EcoRegion 7E roughly corresponds with the Carolinian Life Zone.
View Carolinian Life Zone in a larger map

Our Mission

Advance a collaborative conservation strategy for healthy ecosystems in Ontario’s Carolinian Life Zone.

Our Vision

Greening the Future in southwestern Ontario

The Coalition's vision for healthy landscapes is demonstrated by the Big Picture, an important tool for hundreds of conservation allies and stakeholders to restore a natural heritage system in harmony with existing land uses. The Coalition uses the Big Picture as a basis for exploring key issues, networking between stakeholders, promoting a researched understanding and catalyzing effective action.
Click to Explore CCC's Big Picture

Our Mandate

  1. To preserve, protect and restore the flora and fauna of the Carolinian Life Zone in southwestern Ontario, by organizing and participating in environmental projects.
  2. To conduct research relating to environmental issues affecting the Carolinian Life Zone in southwestern Ontario and to disseminate the results of such research to the public.
  3. To educate and increase the public's understanding of the importance of conserving the natural features of the Carolinian Life Zone in southwestern Ontario by developing and offering educational materials and programs.

Our Supporters

The Coalition is supported by donations, memberships and grants from groups such as Environment Canada, Ontario Trillium Foundation, TD Friends of the Environment and many others.

Click to Explore CCC membership


Our board and committees bring together major public and private organizations in conservation, First Nations, planning, agriculture, forestry, stewardship, education and others who care for the land. All share a vision to cooperatively protect and restore a network of high quality natural areas across Carolinian Canada for enhanced quality of life for all.

The activities of the Coalition are directed by a Board of Directors drawn from a wide range of sectors. Coordination for Coalition activities is provided by an Executive Director, Michelle Kanter.

Our Current Work - find out more on our programs menu above

The Carolinian Canada Coalition coordinates one of the largest and most ambitious Ecosystem Recovery programs in Canada addressing the needs of dozens of species at risk in collaboration with over 100 partner groups.  

We recently completed Conservation Action Plans for 15 Biodiversity hotspots identifying key strategic actions to support healthy habitats and communities.  Currently we are working with partners to implement these actions, align with provincial and local biodiversity priorities, and track progress through our Big Picture Report Card in development. 

Our Landowner Leaders program, EcoTrail Network and Grow Wild Bootcamps assist caring citizens to the lead the way to a green and healthy future in their communities.

Now, everyone can access our science-based assistance through our Big Picture Services

Watch for:

  • Go Wild Grow Wild April 8 2017 - Join in the biggest biodiversity expo for Canada's deep south to green your travel and backyard. Participating exhibitors and sponsors have interacted with over 4,700 adventurers, gardeners, families and nature lovers since 2015 at this annual event and reached thousands more through multi-media promotions.
  • AGM July 8 2016 - Making Big Picture Connections with Ontario's New Environmental Commissioner at Backus Heritage Conservation Area  
  • Forum October 25-26 2016 - Restoring Resilience: Big Impacts Across Small Spaces with the Ontario Invasive Plant Council at the Toronto Botanical Gardens for 350+ conservation practitioners and interested laypeople from across Ontario highlight exciting new projects, innovations, and accomplishments.
  • We are piloting an exciting new program, In the Zone, for backyard biodiversity action for local wildlife, climate resilience and healthy neighbourhoods. Gardeners, volunteers and community groups are invited to join this movement.
  • Updates in our free Carolinian Canada EcoNews

In 2016 whave partcipated interested in greening the future through their outdoor activities across the region.  We hope to grow this initiative into a major annual expo to expand the circle of conservation allies working for a healthy ecoregion and a green future in Canada's deep south.

How We Work

  • From 1984-1994, Carolinian Canada funded land acquisition and stewardship projects directed at conserving 38 critical unprotected areas across the region. These programs resulted in private landowners agreeing to conserve over 15,000 acres and acquisition of 2,000 acres by conservation groups. Public education and scientific studies were also undertaken.
  • In 2001, we developed the Carolinian Canada Big Picture, a vision for healthy landscapes in Canada's deep south. It is used by hundreds of conservation allies and stakeholders as a guide to restore a natural heritage system in harmony with existing land uses. The Coalition uses the Big Picture to forge partnerships and take action for healthy landscapes.
  • The Coalition is a central networking hub for conservation in southern Ontario, providing regular communications and venue for discussion between public and private partners involved in landscape stewardship.
  • The Coalition has a multi-faceted outreach program including social media, talks, presentations, displays, educational publications, heritage plaques and advice to interested groups. Our annual Conservation Awards recognize and encourage 'conservation champions' among many sectors.
  • Our Ecosystem Recovery Program works with communities to develop and implement Conservation Action Plans that address the recovery of the more than 150 species at risk in the region. Facilitated by the Coalition, these plans are developed by teams of stakeholders including municipalities, community groups, First Nations and stewardship groups.

Quick Facts About Carolinian Canada

  • 25% of Canada's population on 0.25% of its area
  • More endangered and rare species than any other life zone in Canada
  • A great diversity of wildlife of all kinds, including many species not found elsewhere in Canada.
  • Less than 2% of the landscape is in public ownership
  • 73% of the landscape is in highly productive agriculture.
  • Forest cover has been reduced from 80% to 11.3%
  • Forest interior has been reduced to just 2%
  • Wetlands reduced from 28.3% to 5.1%

Major Conservation Issues

  • Biodiversity
  • Climate Change
  • Species at Risk
  • Water Quality/Quantity
  • Human Health
  • Healthy Economy

Conservation Challenges

  • Multiple and overlapping jurisdictions
  • Privately-owned Landscape
  • Highly populated and intensively productive
  • Competing Demands

Explore Carolinian Canada

Click Here to Download an Overview  (pdf)

Program Highlights
Opportunities for Action 
Progress With Partnerships