birds eye view of potential nature reserve

Thank you – 2023 Annual General Meeting Recap

In Events, News by couchiching

Our thanks to over 190 people who attended in person and on Zoom!

It was wonderful to connect with you again and share work accomplished in 2022 as well as plans for 2023 and beyond. A written re-cap is below our video recording.


  • Jane Bonsteel read highlights from the 2022 Annual General Meeting minutes.
  • Outgoing President of the Board, Neil Gray, shared a summary of 2022 activities, and recognized departing board member, Jamie Ross.
  • Homi Bam provided an update on the status of the Heartwood Fund, with over $3 million in pledges and contributions to support the long-standing efforts to protect local wilderness. Homi shared the reasons why he and his wife Linda made a pledge.
  • Jack Booth, Treasurer, reviewed the financial statements. The decline in the financial markets in the first three quarters lead to a loss of investment revenue which supports our organization.
    • The statement shows the investment loss for 2022 vs the very strong income in the prior year ($281,000 swing).
    • The bottom line for the year was a loss of $40,000.
    • The Conservancy continues to be in a strong financial position with no long-term debt and over $1,684,000 in the reserves and endowment funds. Although the last two years have been unusual (large surplus in 2021, then loss in 2022), the average of the two years presents a more reasonable picture (average surplus of $139,000 and average investment income of $67,000).
  • A new Board of Directors was voted in.
  • Incoming President of the Board, Kathy Hunt, shared her reflections and connection to this work.
  • New Executive Director Dorthea Hangaard shared the Executive Director report, sharing several historic aerial photographs to highlight drastic changes of our area. Dorthea made the connection between to our Priority Areas for Acquisition mapping, and deemed it “our own Greenbelt”.
    • Success has been built on four key ingredients:
      • Reach out to landowners and get to know people.
      • Forge strong partnerships with other like-minded conservation organizations.
      • Convene roundtables of all interested parties in the area (stakeholders)a and look for solutions together.
      • Be ready with funds and organizational resources to act quickly on opportunities.
    • She shared information on the Grassland Birds Delayed Haying Program.
    • Recognition of volunteers: Adrian Leemhuise & Lorraine Morris, Mary & Omer Mick, Cathy Massig, Susan Crowe.
    • Land owners we have donated land or interests in land over the past two years were recognized in person, including Gary & Janice Nicholson, Evelyn Frantzke & Robert Williamson.
    • Announced the next project within the Corridors Campaign – the Morton Prairie Alvar
  • We recognized outgoing Executive Director, Mark Bisset.