Volunteers Meagan Coughlin & Jamie Ross are veterans of the Conservancy’s Water Quality Monitoring Program
Freshwater Future, a cross-border organization working to protect the Great Lakes, has awarded The Couchiching Conservancy the 2019 Freshwater Hero award for their, “innovative and progressive approaches to land and water conservation and stewardship.”
“Whether it’s collecting water samples from area creeks, listening for evening frog calls on a nature reserve, or attending community events as ambassadors, this army of dedicated environmentalists is critical to the work of the Conservancy,” wrote Freshwater Future in their spring newsletter.
“We are honoured to accept this award on behalf of our citizen science volunteers”, said President of the Board, Jamie Ross.
“The program was developed in 2015 so we could treat the Nature Reserves like research stations: What is happening in our region? What species are present? Which ones are absent?” Ross said. “It has been an important land stewardship tool for the Conservancy and has become an important pathway for volunteers to actively participate in conservation efforts,” he added.
In 2019, the citizen science program is funded through the generous support of Environment Canada, The Youssef-Warren Foundation, the estate of Sheila MacFeeters, the Angela Rehhorn Citizen Science Fund, and Canada Summer Jobs.
There are currently 150 citizen science volunteers participating in seven monitoring activities at 38 Conservancy Nature Reserves throughout Simcoe County and the City of Kawartha Lakes.
Freshwater Future is the only watershed-wide organization dedicated solely to supporting the needs of community-based groups working to protect and restore Great Lakes land and water resources. Able to help protect and restore the Great Lakes like no other organization, they have helped thousands of community-based groups and individuals since 1996. They are a collaborative and entrepreneurial organization that seeks opinions and partnerships from diverse communities and collaborators, values citizen knowledge and abilities and understands the importance of our natural environment for current and future generations.