N E W S  R E L E A S E
For release 07/12/05

December 6, 2005

Land Trust celebrates acquisition of first property for preservation

Northumberland – The site of many happy school days memories for area residents has just become the first property to be acquired for environmental protection by the recently established Northumberland Land Trust (NLT).  On November 25th, the NLT assumed responsibility for the lands encompassing the Laurie Lawson Outdoor Education Centre (LLOEC), thanks to a generous donation by the former owner, Dr. Mary Bedford-Jones, and an agreement between the Trust and the Kawartha-Pine Ridge District School Board.  Members of the media are invited to attend a short walkabout and Q&A session with the NLT on Wednesday, December 7th.   Meeting time on the 7th is 11:00 a.m. at the LLOEC.

“We are pleased to make this exciting announcement, our land trust’s very first acquisition of environmentally-sensitive land to be preserved and protected for future generations,” says Dr. Doug Galt, president of the NLT.  “It is a fantastic achievement for the Trust and a wonderful Christmas gift for Northumberland residents.”  Dr. Galt notes that, through an agreement with the Kawartha-Pine Ridge DSB, the outdoor education centre established on the property in the late1960s will continue to be made available for the use of students for educational purposes.

The not-for-profit Northumberland Land Trust was established last year to promote the preservation and protection of environmentally significant areas and wet lands across the county.  The LLOEC property features a large stream course, and a mix of forest types that provide an important habitat for many local species of flora and fauna.  Over the years, the 100 acre parcel also has been the site of more than 125,000 student visits from elementary, secondary and special needs classes.  The LLOEC, which is currently over-seen by outdoor education naturalist Mark Rupke, will continue to operate as a centre for student activities while the NLT will ensure that habitat protection, responsible forest management, and the re-introduction of native species continues on the site as it has under the care of Mr. Rupke.

“This is an example of what Northumberland residents and organizations can do when we pull together to protect our environmental heritage,” says Dr. Galt.  “The NLT is indebted to the school board, our property donors and financial supporters, our board of directors and, of course, Dr. Bedford-Jones, all of whom have made this historic first acquisition possible.  Thanks to the vision of all these participants, it is truly a landmark development and a wonderful first win for the NLT.

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For further information contact: NLT communications coordinator Al Hoffman at (905) 372-3636. 

BACKGROUNDER

The Outdoor Education Centre property (LLOEC)

  1. 42 hectares west of Burnham on Telephone Rd., Lot 24, Conc. #2, Hamilton Twp.
  2. the only remaining wooded area for some distance just north of Lake Ontario
  3. contains a duck marsh, portions of Cobourg Creek, and ephemeral wetlands
  4. a mix of reforestation (in red pine), climax forest  and birch, beech and hemlock
  5. home to many amphibians and invertebrates, as well as otter, deer and fox
  6. provides spring/fall shelter to migrant birds and is a favourite with naturalists
  7. home habitat for great-horned owl, hawk, grosbeak, indigo bunting & woodcock
  8. used for scientific wildlife studies by the ROM and the Christmas Bird Census
  9. in use since 1968 as an outdoor education centre for area students
  10. students study mapping skills, geography, forest management, and ecology

 The Northumberland Land Trust

  1. established in October 2004 with the assistance of the Willow Beach Naturalists
  2. a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving environmentally sensitive and historically significant lands in Northumberland County
  3. ensures the protection of natural areas that represent ecological systems currently existing in Northumberland County.
  4. assists in preserving the scenic nature of the Northumberland Hills and facilitates, where possible, the restoration of prairie grasslands, wetlands, and old growth forests under control of the NLT
  5. facilitates the protection of rare indigenous plants, animals, landforms, and wetlands.
  6. where possible,makes these lands accessible to the public for education, use, and enjoyment
  7. actively seeks financial support from individual donors, local organizations and various government levels
  8. seeks donations of land or conservation easements on land of interest to the Trust
  9. public memberships will be available at the Trust AGM on January,12, 2006

NLT Board Organization

  1. President – Dr. Doug Galt, Vice President – Paul Peterson
  2. Treasurer – Joan Chalovich, Secretary --  Frankie Liberty and Directors – Dr. Brenda Beck, Russell Lake, Audrey E. Wilson, and Lewis Dunk  
  3. Communications Coordinator, Al Hoffman and Special Projects Coordinator, James Thomas

For more information about the NLT visit www.northumberlandlandtrust.ca (this site).