Planning for the future is a task that many people, businesses and non-profits do in order to determine potential needs and schedules. But what about planning our landscapes? Where does planning our environment fit in?
We recently had a community member bring in an aerial map of Grant’s Woods and the surrounding area. The map didn’t have a date on it unfortunately, but even without a date, it was evident that our neighbourhood has undergone some changes. Below is the older map and also the aerial view of our area today (from Google Maps). You can click on the map to make it bigger (and click the back button on your browser to return to this article) or right click on the map and click “Open in a New Tab”.
As you can see from these two pictures, there hasn’t been significant change with two exceptions. A few areas of forest have been clear cut to build houses and the aggregate pit has grown quite large (see the bottom section of the ‘today’ view).
Since Grant’s Woods is conservation land and it is owned by The Couchiching Conservancy, it means that it will never disappear. It will never be turned into housing or clear cut for parking. It will always be here as a place of solace for many nature lovers to enjoy with their families. The forest will also be a safe haven for many deer and other wildlife as well as a resting stop for a variety of bird species such as Barred Owls, Purple Finches and American Tree Sparrows.
Think of your own neighbourhoods – how has it changed in the past five years? Or ten years? Now think about how it could change in the future. Will your favourite walking area still be there? Will the air still smell fresh and clean? Will the water be swimmable? What about 100 years from now?
Our conservation efforts are reliant on the passion and dedication of the people that support us. To date we have thousands of acres of wild land under our protection and have made a promise to future generations to ensure that it is always protected.
The Heartwood Fund is another step in the evolution of the Couchiching Conservancy into a mature and lasting force for nature. But while our mission is to protect nature, at its core the Conservancy is about people – individuals who believe that a healthy natural environment is vital to the health of humanity as well; that the green spaces and diverse wildlife of this region are too valuable to be lost; that future generations deserve to inherit from us a world that remains livable, vibrant, balanced, and healthy. Read more about how we are Keeping Our Promise to future generations.
Thanks to the efforts of the Past Presidents Council, The Heartwood Fund continues to grow. Significant interest in the Fund by community members enabled us to reach our first milestone – over $1 million in pledges. Many people have contributed to the Fund because they can make an impact on the landscape in our area. These people believe in the mission of our organization and trust that we will continue to fulfill our promise. Thanks to their support, that promise will be fulfilled.
“The Couchiching-Severn landscapes form the backdrop of our family’s life and history, and as such are a part of who we are,” wrote Jane and Gordon Ball, “Our adult children return here to reconnect with the natural spaces they call “home”. The Couchiching Conservancy’s Heartwood Fund provides us with a wonderful opportunity to leave a legacy that will help to protect those landscapes forever, in our case via a life insurance policy. It’s a comforting and reassuring feeling to be part of this initiative. I know that our grandchildren’s grandchildren will appreciate it.”