Media Release: Launching the Caring for Nature in Chatham-Kent Fact Sheet | Carolinian Canada

Media Release: Launching the Caring for Nature in Chatham-Kent Fact Sheet

Tuesday, November 7, 2006 - 7:00pm

News Release

November 8th, 2006, Chatham, ON

Carolinian Canada Landowners Lead in Nature Conservation

Taking action to preserve the Carolinian Life Zone for the next generation

Carolinian Canada Coalition Launches Habitat Factsheet Series in Chatham-Kent to profile local landowners with good ideas.

Caring for Nature in Chatham-Kent” is a colourful and informative guide for landowners and communities. The publication features local landowners who are leaders in managing the valuable and unique natural heritage of Chatham-Kent. It also explains how land managers, including farmers, are protecting the health of local communities by conserving habitat. To be distributed throughout rural Chatham-Kent post, the factsheet is the first in a series published by the Carolinian Canada Coalition in counties across southwestern Ontario.

“Landowners who take care of habitat in Chatham-Kent and the rest of Carolinian Canada are protecting air, water and soil quality for everyone,” stated Michelle Kanter, Executive Director of the Coalition. “They are leading the way in conserving resources for human and wildlife communities.”

The Carolinian Life Zone is a place of vibrant natural diversity. You may not know that besides being home to thousands of productive farms and several busy urban communities, it has many natural gems waiting to be explored from St. Clair Marshes in Chatham-Kent to Rouge Valley in Toronto.

Larry Cornelis Robert Bossu

 

Click here to download original picture (approx 200 KB)

 

But the real secret about Carolinian Canada is that most of the thriving natural places are privately owned by landowners who care intensely for their region. The first factsheet tells the story of the Sheldons who decided to permanently protect and restore their land, an important habitat corridor, through a voluntary partnership with the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Then there is farmer Robert Bossu and nephew Larry Cornelis who help keep the Sydenham River clean for hundreds of downstream landowners (and rare mussels) by restoring natural floodplains with the help of conservation partners Stewardship Kent and Ducks Unlimited.

The guide offers a wealth of inspiring stories about how people can and are helping wildlife. “This region is one of the most challenging in Canada for landowners,” notes Kanter. “Wildlife and habitats here are different and more diverse than anywhere else in the country.”

There has been lots of ‘buzz’ about protected Species at Risk and this factsheet takes some of the mystery out of them. “It all comes down to managing your piece of habitat for your enjoyment and a sustainable income, if you choose.” According to the factsheet, a healthy landscape provides many benefits for people and helps to prevent species from becoming at risk.

 

Bossu Wetland

 

Click here to download original picture (approx 1.1MB)

“The publication of this factsheet is only one step in a Big Picture Outreach project,” adds Nikki May, project coordinator for the Coalition. The Carolinian Canada Big Picture is a vision for a healthy, balanced and sustainable landscape in harmony with current land uses. May worked with dozens of stakeholder groups to develop the factsheet.

“The factsheet will be most useful for landowners who have been thinking about a habitat project but could use some good ideas about how to start.” The factsheet brings together information from many sources, so it can save time for landowners.

Carolinian Canada is a coalition of public and community groups aimed at conserving the wildlife and habitats of southwest Ontario’s Carolinian life zone — a unique ecological region lying south of a line from Toronto and Grand Bend. Home to Tulip Tree, Hooded Warbler, Southern Flying Squirrel and other wildlife found nowhere else in Canada, the zone has the richest biological diversity in Canada—and the greatest number of rare and endangered species. The Coalition management committee includes representatives from conservation, stewardship, education, farming, forestry and planning groups.

Larry, Dorothy & John at Bossu Wetland

 

Click here to download original picture (approx 1.1MB)

 

The Chatham-Kent project is a pilot for a Carolinian Canada-wide program. Factsheets will be published in Elgin, Lambton and Norfolk Counties in the near future. The factsheet will be previewed at the Coalition’s annual general meeting on October 20th and the official launch will be in Chatham-Kent in November. Generous funding for the pilot project in this and other muncipalities came from Environment Canada, Pioneer Hi-bred Ltd., Friends of the Environment Foundation, the Ontario Trillium foundation and in-kind support came from many local groups.

The official launch will take place at the Bossu farm near Wallaceburg at 3pm on November th, 2006. The Wetland Habitat restoration project that was put in here last spring with the help of Stewardship Kent, Ducks Unlimited, and the Rural Lambton Stewardship Network, has been extremely successful, and is highlighted in the Factsheet. Factsheets are available from the Carolinian Canada Coalition to Purchase or Download here or 519-433-7077.

Carolinian Canada Coalition is generously sponsored by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

For more information contact:

Michelle Kanter,
Executive Director, Carolinian Canada
(519) 433-7077
mkanter@carolinian.org
caroliniancanada.ca

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Carolinian Canada will make every effort to provide assistance making materials accessible on request. Contact info@carolinian.org for more information