Protecting soil, water, and living things happens when people, communities, and agencies work together to create awareness and take positive action. This newsletter is to let you know about grants for your stewardship projects and technical support. It tells people about programs, events, community news, the work of Ausable Bayfield Conservation, the landowners and residents of this watershed and other community partners. This newsletter offers ways you can help improve water quality, improve forest conditions, and wetland cover, conserve water, reduce stormwater runoff, and improve your community by building healthier watersheds. For more information visit

Conservationist of the Year Award - Nominate nowAusable Bayfield Conservation calls for nominations for award to recognize watershed’s Conservationist of the Year

Local conservation authority honours watershed person, farm, business, or group with award for their work to protect soil, water, and living things

Ausable Bayfield Conservation invites you to nominate a person, business, farm, or organization for the Conservationist of the Year Award to be presented in March of 2015. The nomination deadline is January 31, 2015.
“This award is a way for us to make special mention of an exceptional person, business, or group that has been doing good work for several years for the benefit of soil, water, and living things in the watershed,” said Brian Horner, General Manager and Secretary Treasurer of Ausable Bayfield Conservation. Examples of this kind of work include conservation-related education or projects that protect or improve water quality and habitat for species.
For more information visit: Conservationist of the Year Award

Spring Water Awareness Program SWAP

Conservation educators to visit local schools to teach children to avoid high water, thin ice: When snow falls on the ground it may be easy to forget the snow will soon melt. When snow melts, water levels rise in local streams and rivers and that water starts to flow at a fast rate. Educators at Ausable Bayfield Conservation plan to visit about a dozen local schools in February and March. They will do so to teach students to avoid thin ice and high water.
Ausable Bayfield Conservation offers the Spring Water Awareness Program (SWAP) free-of-charge for the tenth consecutive year. “This program has taught thousands of local students to stay away from high and fast-flowing water and to avoid ice, which may be thin,” said Denise Iszczuk, Conservation Educator with Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA). Fifteen of 24 watershed elementary schools, with 2,787 students, took part in the program in 2014.
Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation and member municipalities make this safety awareness program possible for elementary schools in the watershed. These schools can receive this free program on a first-come, first-served basis.
For more information visit: Spring Water Awareness Program SWAP Web Page.

World Wetlands Day is February 2

Healthy Headwaters Wetlands Initiative works to improve local water quality, quantity and habitat for healthier future:  This February 2, 2015 is World Wetlands Day. The theme this year is Wetlands for our Future. The key role of wetlands in our future is a reason this year’s event has a focus on youths ages 15 to 24. The theme focuses on the need for wetlands for future water quality and water quantity.
Wetlands filter water and provide habitat for many species, according to Angela VanNiekerk, Wetland Specialist with Ausable Bayfield Conservation. “Wetlands can slow water down,” she said. “This allows for sediment and nutrients to settle. That improves water quality before it reaches our rivers and lakes.”
The Healthy Headwaters Wetlands Initiative (HHWI) is a local wetlands partnership. Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) is leading this partnership along with local groups such as Middlesex Stewardship Council, Huron Stewardship Council, and Ducks Unlimited Canada. Environment Canada’s National Wetlands Conservation Fund and other agencies provide funding support. This funding makes it possible to help landowners preserve, restore, or enhance natural features on their own properties. Healthy Headwaters provides landowners with technical expertise and financial incentives. This allows local people to complete successful wetland projects.
For more information visit: World Wetlands Day News Item or Healthy Headwaters Wetlands Initiative Web Page.

Exeter Lions Club marks 25 years of work on Conservation Dinner
Gala dinner and auction has raised more than $925,000 over quarter century; Lions Club prepares for 25th year co-hosting charitable fundraiser

The Conservation Dinner has raised more than $925,000 for community projects over the past quarter century. The year 2015 marks the 25th year that volunteers from the Exeter Lions Club will have co-hosted the fundraiser in partnership with Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation and the Conservation Dinner Committee.
The gala charity dinner and auction is to take place on Thursday, April 16, 2015 at South Huron Recreation Centre in Exeter.
Exeter Lions Club President Chris Keller said the fundraiser reflects a positive partnership and the dinner’s success is thanks to generous donors, patrons, and volunteers. “The Exeter Lions Club is proud to be a partner with Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation and the community volunteers on the Conservation Dinner Committee,” Keller said. “We are really looking forward to our 25th year raising funds for the community through this great event.”
Tickets for the gala charitable dinner and auction are $65 each. Patrons receive a charitable gift receipt, for income tax purposes, for a portion of that amount. To purchase a ticket or to donate to the 2015 Conservaton Dinner, phone 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 or email For information visit or
For more information visit: Conservation Dinner Web Page


Spring Tree Orders

Tree order form available at office or online:  Ausable Bayfield Conservation is pleased to offer spring and fall tree order programs for landowners in the watersheds. The Spring 2015 Tree Order Form is now available. Visit Tree Orders Web Page.
Grand Bend area residents are encouraged to participate in the ‘5000 Trees Project’.  Order 20 or more trees from the Ausable-Bayfield Conservation Authority for spring planting and receive a discount of $50 (per address in N0M 1T0 postal code). The Grand Bend 5000 Trees Project initiative is supported through a partnership with Grand Bend Community Foundation, The Rotary Club of Grand Bend, The Municipality of Lambton Shores and Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority.  The goal is to support the planting of native trees in the Grand Bend Area following recent tree losses due to the summer 2014 tornado and the Emerald Ash Borer and to promote a healthy community forest by raising awareness and providing education.
Mail-in orders must be received by January 31, 2015. An invoice will be mailed to you (payment due by Friday, February 27). Orders are taken accompanied by payment until Friday, February 27.
 If you have questions please contact Ian Jean, Ausable Bayfield Conservation Forestry and Land Stewardship Specialist at 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610, or by e-mail at

Summer Nature Day Camp organizers to offer campers new chance to be
W.I.L.D. for Nature this summer

Summer Nature Day Camps return to Morrison Dam Conservation Area this summer; Ausable Bayfield Conservation adds an overnight visit to Camp Sylvan during new week for older campers:

Ausable Bayfield Conservation is offering two different summer day camps in 2015 including a new camp with a twist. W.I.L.D. Nature Camp is taking place for the first time. The camp takes place August 17 to 21 and is designed for young people ages 9-12. The camp is held at Morrison Dam Conservation Area near Exeter but it has an overnight field trip to Camp Sylvan, where campers will sleep in covered chuckwagons.
Denise Iszczuk, Conservation Educator with Ausable Bayfield Conservation, said many parents and guardians have lasting memories of having taken part in the Camp Sylvan Conservation Program. “Adding the overnight stay at Camp Sylvan can give their children the experience of a lifetime,” she said. “Parents and guardians, and new campers, can also take comfort in the fact that it is only one night away from home.”
Summer Nature Day Camp for children ages 6-9 begins on July 20 and runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Afternoon snacks and juice are provided. Early drop-off and late pick-up is available. Cost is $170 per child per week. There are only 24 spots available. For more information visit: Summer Nature Day Camps Web Page or WILD Nature Camp Web Page.

WinterFest returning in 2015

Community getting together to bring back popular Family Day WinterFest South Huron on Holiday Monday, February 16, 2015: For more information visit: Family Day WinterFest South Huron Schedule.
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