Ontario Streams has launched a new environmental program called “Adopt-A-Stream” with a $165,300 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
The initiative has been designed to raise environmental awareness and engage the public and area businesses in local stewardship.
Local MPP Dr. Helena Jaczek and Ontario Trillium Foundation volunteer Paul Howe joined staff and Board of Directors from Ontario Streams, which is heading up the initiative, for the launch Aug. 17 at the Cawthra Mulock Nature Reserve, a 108-hectare area just northwest of Newmarket, in King Township, York Region.
"Ontario Streams has done a great job in raising awareness and engaging the public in the importance of environmental stewardship. This Trillium grant will allow them to continue the great work they do for our community and for our environment," said Dr. Helena Jaczek, MPP Oak Ridges-Markham.
With this three-year grant, Ontario Streams is now actively seeking out 25 partnerships and Adopt-A-Stream groups within the first year of the initiative to spread environmental awareness and education throughout communities in York Region and Simcoe County. Funds from the grant are being used to hire a program coordinator, help with key program costs and to help with the cost of equipment for staff.
"Today starts a new chapter in Environmental Stewardship in Ontario. In three years we are confident that we will be announcing the expansion of the Program across Ontario, thus fulfilling the "Ontario" Streams mandate. We must all remember the adage, 'We all live downstream!' " said Bob Giza, an Ontario Streams board member and co-founder of the Adopt-A-Stream program.
Established in 1995, Ontario Streams is a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to the conservation and rehabilitation of streams and wetlands, through education and community involvement.
Since its inception, it has worked closely with numerous communities, landowners and school groups to develop lasting partnerships in education and environmental stewardship. It regularly has several projects on the go which include tree planting, debris and garbage clean-up, habitat creation, bio-engineering, biological monitoring, mitigating fish barriers as well as restoring and creating wetlands.
For more information on Ontario Streams, please visit the website at: www.ontariostreams.on.ca
Cawthra Mulock Nature Reserve, York Region, Ontario, Canada
Description of the woods:
The Cawthra Mulock Nature Reserve is located just northwest of Newmarket in King Township, York Region. It is 108 hectares or 268 acres and is 50% woodland. Just north of the Oak Ridges Moraine, the Cawthra Mulock Nature Reserve’s rolling hills and forested ridges are a refuge for wildlife.
Under the protection of Ontario Nature since 2003, the property is a valuable green space in a rapidly developing area of Ontario. It is identified as being a key natural area in the York Region Greening Strategy. The reserve also falls within the context of the Ontario government’s new Greenbelt system.
Surrounded by intense agricultural and urban development, the reserve provides refuge to a variety of wildlife. The most notable feature of this property is the diversity of habitats it encompasses. The property hosts a large tract of mature hardwood and mixed forests. Enormous beech trees rub shoulders with tall maples and hemlock. A small wetland area, dominated by birch trees and larch, is part of the larger Ansnorveldt wetland complex.
Part of the West Holland River watershed, the property boasts two creeks. White-tailed deer, red fox, great blue herons, red-tailed hawks and great horned owls are just a few of the residents that call this nature reserve home.
Ontario Streams officials accept a plaque from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The people in the photo (left to right) are: Township of King Mayor, Mr. Steve Pellegrini; Ontario Streams’ Field Supervisor, Doug Forder; Ontario Streams’ President, Michael Giza; MPP for Oak Ridges - Markham, Dr. Helena Jaczek; and Ontario Trillium Foundation Representative, Paul Howe.