This month’s Supporter Spotlight is on the Ling & Frenette-Ling family – Philip & Linda, and Tristan, Coral, Desmond, and Sidney.
The family lives in Markham, just an hour from their 400 acre property in the Kawartha Lakes. In 2015, Philip and Linda signed a conservation easement agreement with the Conservancy after getting connected through the Nature Conservancy of Canada. “It is an amazing place where we can escape to be surrounded by nature”, the family shared. “Conservation easements are a very under-appreciated way of protecting nature and leaving a natural legacy forever. It lets people own and use their property, while ensuring that when it gets sold or passed on through the family, the conservation values don’t go off the rails.”
“We all need to play an active role to protect natural places, because it is a part of who we are.”
As long-time supporters of the Conservancy as monthly donors, members and sponsors of the Passport to Nature program, the family made a special gift in support of the Corridors Campaign in June, after seeing the Challenge set out by the Conservancy Board, Development Committee and Advisory Council. The purpose of the Campaign is to increase the number of connected protected areas throughout the Black River Wildlands and Carden Alvar. Donations to the Campaign enable the Conservancy to act quickly when an opportunity for habitat protection arises. To date, almost $900,000 has been contributed, and 1,829 acres have been protected. When asked about their connection to nature, Philip shared, “I’ve felt deeply connected to nature my whole life, wanting all the creatures and their habitat to be able to live their lives without the unrelenting pressure from humans as we expand around the world, wiping out so many species and their habitat without caring (occasionally without knowing).”
On top of protecting nature, the family is devoted to helping connect people to nature. They shared, “people should have a place where they can experience and build a connection to nature – not only to enjoy it in the moment, but to go home with the realization that nature is special and important, and that we all need to play an active role to protect natural places, because it is a part of who we are.”
A favorite memory at their property involved camping weekends with their children’s classmates over the years, many had never camped and had never been exposed to nature beyond a city park. Every trip with different classmates you would bring a huge change over the weekend – starting with fear of going swimming in water full of particles and bugs and leaches and plants, but the end of the weekend they were jumping off the raft and wandering around the fields. “This positive transformation happens so fast and is the very reason we need to connect adults and kids to places like this – so they in turn want to enjoy and protect nature.”
They have also been involved with efforts to protect nature in other areas. Of note is eco-system shoreline restoration project of a 13 acre property they own along the St. Lawrence River in Maitland East of Brockville, centered on two-eyed seeing – where they have partnered with the River Institute, the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, South Nation Conservation Authority, River Rangers, Watersheds Canada and others. They are also regular supporters of Toronto Wildlife Center, Nature Conservancy of Canada, Sea Shepherd, Greenpeace and others.
Our sincere thanks to Philip, Linda, Tristan, Coral, Desmond, and Sidney for helping protect nature in the Couchiching region and beyond.
Learn more about the Corridor Campaign, an effort to expand the protected areas throughout the Black River Wildlands and Carden Alvar.
Featured photos: the Ling easement, and the family on the day the easement agreement was signed