WORKING Every day to save the land you love

Celebrating Land Trust Heroes

The Ontario Land Trust Alliance (OLTA) represents the network of land trusts across Ontario. Land trusts are community-based, non-profit organizations primarily focused on protecting significant natural landscapes for future generations.
 |  Clearly Canadian  |  Activism
Conservationist Alison Howson Points Out Rattlesnake in Foliage

Have you ever wondered if your actions really make a difference to climate change?

Economic prosperity and human health depend on natural habitats storing carbon and providing clean air, water, and food. And yet, it is easy to feel like no progress is being made. The fact is, a lot of great action is being taken to protect the land you love!

Today, we celebrate the quiet heroes across Ontario who are protecting the land we all depend on.

Suppose you want to build resilience to extreme events—flooding, storm damage, even pandemics, the solution is the same; protect and restore nature.

“We know that nature conservation and restoration could contribute over one-third of cost-effective climate mitigation needed by 2030. Through protecting nature, planting trees, and restoring habitats like wetlands, nature provides cost-effective ways of capturing and storing carbon, reducing carbon emissions, and helping communities adapt to the impacts of climate change. “These are called Nature-based Climate Solutions,” says Alison Howson, Executive Director of the Ontario Land Trust Alliance (OLTA).

Every year, thousands of volunteers across Ontario protect and take care of over 45,000 hectares of land through 36 local community land trust charities. OLTA connects these Land Trust Heroes, provides resources, shares best practices, and helps overcome financial barriers. Together, this community is leading and supporting on-the-ground conservation work. OLTA also partners with provincial and federal governments to support the protection of nature.

The good news is there are a host of heroes already doing this work for you.

When you join us and support this work, you directly contribute to protecting and restoring more land, water, and air for yourself, future generations, and all the species we share the land with.

“A treasured Kawartha Land Trust (KLT) property is Big (Boyd/Chiminis) Island, located in Pigeon Lake. It is the largest undeveloped island in the Kawarthas and has significant cultural value to Curve Lake First Nation. Originally intended for development, a massive community effort in 2015 helped KLT to protect this island in perpetuity. OLTA’s support ensures that KLT has the greatest conservation impact in the Kawarthas and protects even more treasures.”—John Kintare, Executive Director, Kawartha Land Trust.

 
Planting trees 
Did you know that the net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to 10 room-size air conditioners operating for 20 hours a day?

By protecting land, you can provide essential and relatively cheap solutions to climate change. Restoring and protecting forests, wetlands, grasslands, and farmland is a nature-based climate solution. Nature absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and stores carbon in plants and soil. Nature also shields against storm surges, absorbs the worst effects of flooding, and protects biodiversity. Nature does the heavy lifting for us! All we have to do is protect it.

hike in the rain

Did you know that forests absorb about 25% of the CO2 pollution produced by humans worldwide?

“The Long Point Basin is one of the most biodiverse regions in all of Canada—and one of the least protected. With over 40% of this country’s species at risk, Long Point Basin Land Trust has worked to protect and shepherd the land in this area for nearly 25 years. We couldn’t do that without the help of OLTA—their valuable resources and large, involved community are key to our long-term success.”—Kristyn Richardson, Program Manager, Long Point Basin Land Trust.

“The Ontario Farmland Trust works in partnership with farmland owners to permanently protect agricultural land and natural features with Farmland Easement Agreements, ensuring Ontario farmland remains available for farming, forever. Being a part of OLTA helps to strengthen our mission and impact across Ontario.”—Kathryn Enders, Executive Director, Ontario Farmland Trust.

 
 
Did you know that carbon stored under 1 hectare of unbroken grassland is equivalent to removing 150 cars from the road for 1 year?

 
 Did you know that numerous studies show that living close to nature and spending time outside makes you healthier, happier and smarter?

“The Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust is working every day to protect our vital properties, sensitive habitats for wild and at-risk species that live on the Moraine and Greenbelt and Simcoe County. OLTA shares our passion and commitment to protect lands for all our neighbours who enjoy these natural, public benefits while helping Ontario adapt to and mitigate climate change.”—Susan Walmer, CEO, Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust.

“Muskoka Conservancy works with an entire community to protect numerous conservation properties among the Muskoka lakes. The Upjohn Nature Reserve is a terrific example where dozens of nature lovers have rallied to create a small trail network and wetland learning center known as The Wetland Access Trail. Hikers enjoy views of open water beaver ponds while learning how places like this prevent flooding and protect water quality. OLTA is an important part of our community, supporting our initiatives, and representing our efforts on a provincial stage.” —Scott Young, Executive Director Muskoka Conservancy.

 
Did you know that the net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to 10 room-size air conditioners operating for 20 hours a day?

You can be a land trust hero.

You are part of nature. Plant a tree, go for a walk, volunteer with a land trust, share nature’s benefits with others. Our lives literally depend on it!

Together, let’s celebrate our Land Trust Heroes and support the Ontario Land Trust Alliance.

Donate today at OLTA.ca or your local land trust

olta logo  Oak ridges moraine land trust logo    Muskoka Conservancy   KAWARTHA LAND TRUST logo    

 
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