Past Programs, Projects, and Initiatives
Species at Risk: Habitat Stewarship Project
The Habitat Stewardship Project, funded by Environment Canada, was completed in June 2010 and involved collecting data on species at risk sightings, particularly birds and reptiles, in the Kawartha bioregion. Data was collected, managed, and mapped using ESRI ArcGIS.
The Farmlands Program was created in 2006 and completed in 2009. Its mission was to secure a sustainable future for the region’s farmers and farmlands. A sample of some of the Program activities include:
The Farmlands Program brought hands-on farming workshops to the region every winter, based on the interests of local farmers.
The Program mandate to keep farmland in active production means that supporting new farmers was a primary focus for the program. We facilitated the creation of a CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training) group in the area. See www.craftontario.ca for more information. We have also worked closely with Fleming College during the development of their exciting new graduate certificate in Sustainable Agriculture, which commenced at the Lindsay campus in January 2010.
Support for farmers was provided through hosting meetings and commissioning a feasibility study for an organic beef co-op (2009). Where many farmers are finding it hard to make ends meet in the beef business, organic beef carries a strong premium, and the positive outlook in the feasibility study encourages farmers to consider going organic.
Ground-breaking research has been completed on the implications for farmland owners registering a farmland conservation agreement on their lands. This research suggests that farmland protection could go hand in hand with supporting new farmers in accessing land at below market cost in some cases.
Over the past three years, the Program’s research also shed light on land use trends in agriculture on thousands of acres in the region. Detailed studies undertaken in Durham, Northumberland, City of Kawartha Lakes and Peterborough County have especially highlighted the increasing percentage of farmland that is not farmed by the owner, but by a tenant. Concerns for the future include the fact that non-farming farm owners may have little knowledge of farm stewardship.
The Land Between
The Land Between began as a Collaborative program with a neigbouring land trust to the west, the Couchiching Conservancy, to pursue Peter Alley's vision of understanding and enhancing a distinct ecological region. The program has grown under the leadership of Manager, Leora Berman, and its many and diverse working partners are its true constitution. The momentum and opportunities presented have warranted the development of a broader structure that is aligned with this potential.
The Land Between goals are to enhance the social, cultural, natural and economic features of a landscape of 20 to 60 kilometers wide, and which extends from Georgian Bay to the Frontenac Arch. This region marks the transition between the Canadian Shield to the north and the St. Lawrence Lowlands. It is a mosaic of exposed granite and limestone bedrock characterized by a high diversity of plant and animal populations. The Kawartha bioregion is central in The Land Between.
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