Conservancy volunteers building for the future

In Uncategorized by couchiching

It’s hard to believe that it’s been eleven years since the Couchiching Conservancy office at Grant’s Woods opened after renovations to the Grant house – and exciting to think that the activities and influence of the Conservancy have grown to such an extent that we are now embarking on a second renovation.

The work this time will not increase the footprint of the existing building but will provide for eco-friendly improvements as well as offices for the staff, a reconfigured entrance and improved facilities for meetings and training.

Eleven years ago, an enthusiastic and dedicated crew of volunteers helped accomplish the renovation and we are now building a new team to contribute skills and time to this new endeavour. Bruce Duncan is our volunteer Project Manager and his first call for help will appeal to anyone who has always longed to deconstruct a building. Starting Tuesday, September 1st, a crew will help take out windows, drywall, insulation and flooring in the breezeway to prepare for the new entrance.

After that, we anticipate needing help with framing, dry wall, flooring installation, basic kitchen installation, general carpentry and of course, painting. If you are a stonemason, plumber or can install steel roofing, we’d also love to have your help.

As with the first renovation eleven years ago, volunteers will be one of our most important assets and given the calibre and dedication of our current ones and we hope, the interest and involvement of new volunteers, we know that this renovation will be a resounding success. If you can give even a few hours over the next months we’d love to hear from you.

With a completely different kind of renovation in mind Tanya Clark and I met with members of our Ambassador Team and talked about new ways to promote the Conservancy through the booth we take to community events throughout the year. She and I then spent a happy morning in the parking lot at Grant’s Woods setting up the tent and rejuvenating the booth. One suggestion team members had was to engage children more and we came up with two activities which have proved to be unbelievably popular – Pin the Beak on the Bird and Guess How Many Bugs in the Jar. Everyone who participated got a lollipop and two prizes of a birdhouse were awarded for the best guesses for the number of bugs.

The Ambassador Team has grown over the summer and members have helped with the Carden Alvar Nature Festival, Passport to Nature events at both Farmer’s Markets, at our booth on Canada Day and at the July Downtown Sidewalk Sale. This is a great volunteer opportunity for anyone who enjoys meeting people and introducing them to all the programmes and activities of the Conservancy and a vital way of increasing our exposure in the wider community.

If you can help with the renovations or would like to join our dynamic volunteer program, visit the Conservancy’s website ( to learn more, email the Volunteer Coordinator at or call the office, 705-326-1620. We look forward to welcoming you as we enter this new, exciting period at The Couchiching Conservancy.

Written by Gay Guthrie.