The concept of a land trust came to this region in the early 1990s when a handful of motivated people were looking for new ways to preserve wilderness areas.
Our most memorable childhood experiences, those that shape us, take place in the company of a trusted adult. Given the highly protective, restrictive nature of children’s outdoor experiences in today’s world, the presence of an involved adult is key. In essence, these adults act as the gatekeepers of children’s access to the natural world.
Each year hundreds of people head to the Carden alvar in droves. They are drawn by the landscape and species, but also by two special events hosted by The Couchiching Conservancy featuring the alvar and taking place in late May and early June – Carden Challenge and Carden Alvar Nature Festival.
Baltimore Orioles are some of the earliest returning migrants, making their presence known early in May. One of the most spectacularly coloured birds we have the pleasure of hosting each spring – the brilliant orange and black colours of the Baltimore Oriole.
With involvement in more than 40 natural properties and a very small paid staff, The Couchiching Conservancy would be in a tough spot if not for a small army of dedicated volunteers. Many of those volunteers make up property teams which help us look after the lands under our care.
As a Conservation Assistant completing fieldwork at the Carden Alvar Natural Area with the Couchiching Conservancy, I’ve had the opportunity to observe several wildflowers unique to this globally-rare alvar environment. They impact the various species of wildlife that call Carden home, and are worth appreciating.
As parents, we are constantly bombarded with all the things that we must be doing wrong. Blame and finger pointing is prevalent. There is even a trendy new label for this crisis of disconnect and inactivity – “Nature Deficit Disorder” – and the reported long-term effects of this syndrome are frightening.
But, here is the good news: we can fix this. We can turn it around. It is not too late.