It's hard to believe it's September, 2017. It's back to school - and back to work to plant trees, control erosion, limit water running off of land during storm events, and build watershed resiliency for a world that is changing. It's a busy month! It is thanks to you that work is taking place to protect water, soil, and living things in Ausable Bayfield watersheds. Keep up the good work.
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Logo - Ausable Bayfield Conservation

- Ausable Bayfield Conservation

Protecting Water, Soil, and Living Things

September 2017

Professor; Detroit Zoological Society CEO; Bestselling author; Filmmaker; Engineer; Healthy Watersheds Supervisor to present at Bayfield Sustainability Summit

Mari VelizAusable Bayfield Conservation is proud to announce that Mari Veliz, our Healthy Watersheds Supervisor, is one of the presenters at the Bayfield Sustainability Summit on Saturday, September 23, 2017. 

Other speakers include Jennifer Pate, who was a big hit when she spoke at the Conservation Awards in March, and Philip Keightley, who serves on the Ausable Bayfield Maitland Valley Drinking Water Source Protection Committee (SPC).

Other speakers include bestselling author Maude Barlow, National Honourary Chairperson of the Council of Canadians; and "envrionmental pioneer" Professor Tom Davis, of Fanshawe College, a Professor in the Donald J. Smith School of Building and Technology; and Ron Kagan, CEO of the Detroit Zoological Society. Blue Bayfield Sustainability Summit PosterDuring rain storms or periods of melting snow, the runoff created picks up contaminants which can then flow into large bodies of water … lakes and rivers that are a source of drinking water for nearby communities. Shallow, sunken gardens appropriately called ‘rain gardens’ protect local water quality by collecting, absorbing and filtering this runoff. Rain gardens not only reduce flooding and erosion  they can also create habitat for wildlife and add beauty to a community. Mari will discuss rural and urban stormwater management best practices, focusing on the rain garden that was built in the Village of Bayfield. 

Mari Veliz Mari has a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo and a Masters of Science from the University of Alberta. 

Mari has worked at the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) since 2000. The ABCA is a watershed management agency with a 2,400-square-kilometre area of jurisdiction along the southeast shore of Lake Huron. She has supervised the water quality and bio-monitoring program since 2002. As the Healthy Watersheds Supervisor, she also works with communities and agencies to undertake and implement community watershed plans and project implementation and evaluation. Currently, she is working with local, provincial and federal partners to evaluate the benefits of different agricultural best management practices.

Fall tree order form is online

Local landowners plant more than 50,000 trees through spring, fall tree orders

Ausable Bayfield Conservation staff say autumn good time to plant trees when crops are off, weather cools; Forestry, Stewardship Specialist says autumn good time to plant windbreaks, buffer watercourses, help forest cover, preserve topsoil; Fall tree order form is now online 

Autumn will soon sneak its head around the corner. The fact the fall season is waiting in the wings means it’s time to think about fall tree orders, according to Ausable Bayfield Conservation.

“Fall is a great time to plant ball and burlap evergreens and potted deciduous trees,” said Ian Jean, Forestry and Land Stewardship Specialist with Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA). Landowners picking up trees this year through tree order form.Local landowners planted more than 53,000 trees last year through Ausable Bayfield Conservation's spring and fall tree order programs.

We have posted the fall tree order form for 2017 at

There are fewer tree orders in the fall than there are in the spring but autumn is a good time to order trees and think ahead to the spring season, according to Ian.

There are grants available for some tree planting projects, Ian said, such as field windbreaks, treed buffers, and larger scale reforestation. He encourages watershed landowners to give him a call to find out more. “We are happy to help with project design and making it very easy to apply for grants,” Ian said. Funding amounts vary depending on the type of project and the local municipality. 

To find out more visit or call 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610.

5000 Trees Project tree order form online

Do you live in Grand Bend area? Do you have an NOM 1T0 postal code? If so, a $50 discount is available through the 5000 Trees Project. The Grand Bend 5000 Trees Project order form is online:

We hope to meet you at the 100th International Plowing Match (IPM) in Walton, Huron County this month

Ausable Bayfield Conservation is proud to be partnering with Maitland Conservation and Conservation Ontario in the conservation authorities tent at the 100th International Plowing Match IPM and Rural Expo - in Huron County this month (September 19-23, 2017)!

Come visit us at Section 6A - Lots 21 and 22 and experience some amazing interactive constructions and activities and find out about grants, cover crops; buffers, windbreaks, and trees; invertebrates; and much more!

Marina Lather, of Centralia, wins Student Environmental Award

The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation (ABCF) presents a $1,000 Student Environmental Award each year. The Foundation announced that the 2017 winner is Marina Lather, of Centralia. 

Bob Radtke, Conservation Foundation Chair, presents award to Marina LatherFoundation Chair Bob Radtke presented the student bursary in a brief ceremony at the boardroom at Morrison Dam Conservation Area east of Exeter on August 21, 2017.  Previous winners of the student award have been Samantha Bycraft (2016); Barb Alber (2015); Connor Devereaux (2014); Ryan Carlow (2013); Greg Urquhart (2012); Raina Vingerhoeds (2011); and Ryan Finnie (2010). 

In order to apply for this award, a student must be a graduating secondary school student, or a student currently enrolled in university or college, and pursuing education in a conservation or environmental related course of study such as biology; ecology; geography; forestry; fish and wildlife; agriculture; or outdoor education. 

Golf tourney raises $5,000 towards pedestrian bridge on trail


12th South Huron Trail Fundraiser Golf Tourney draws 17 teams; brings community closer to bridge goal

The Twelfth South Huron Trail Fundraiser Golf Tournament saw another increase in participation this year with 17 teams having taken part at the 2017 tourney. The charity golf tourney was in support of a project to create a pedestrian bridge along the South Huron Trail.

The winning team at the 12th South Huron Trail Fundraiser Golf Tournament, held at Ironwood Golf Club east of Exeter, on August 28, 2017 was (from left to right in photo) Steve Thomas; Jim DeBlock; Craig Hebert; and Bob Illman.The golfers at the fundraising event, along with sponsors and donors, raised more than $5,000 for the bridge project. This brings community support for the bridge at more than $140,000 raised of the estimated $200,000 cost of the pedestrian bridge project. Organizers say donations are still encouraged to realize the goal of building the pedestrian bridge, to be called Jones Bridge.

The community golf tournament, now hosted by the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation, has raised more than $50,000 for the trail over the fundraising event’s history dating back a dozen years. The year 2017 was the second year that junior golfers took part alongside other golfers.

The winning team at the 2017 event was: Steve Thomas, Jim DeBlock, Craig Hebert, and Bob Illman.
  • To find out more visit this link: 
Increased number of teams helps charity golf tourney raise more funds for pedestrian bridge project

Jones Bridge dedicated by Donna Jones
in loving memory of Ted Jones

Donna Jones, of Exeter, has donated $50,000 towards the community project to construct a new pedestrian bridge along Morrison Line, on the South Huron Trail. The bridge is to be called Jones Bridge and it is dedicated by Donna Jones, in loving memory of Ted Jones. She presented the donation on Friday, June 30, 2017 at the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Administration Centre at Morrison Dam Conservation Area east of Exeter.  Shown in the photo (from left to right) are, Brian Horner, General Manager and Secretary-Treasurer of Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA); Tom Prout, Past General Manager (Retired) of ABCA, and a current Director with the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation (ABCF); and Bob Radtke, Chairman of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation; the donor, Donna Jones, presenting the cheque; Donna’s son, Randy Jones; and Donna’s daughter-in-law Susann Jones.Bob Radtke thanked Donna Jones for her generous donation: “On behalf of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation Board of Directors I would like to give my heartfelt personal thanks to Donna, who is leaving a lasting local legacy, in loving memory of her husband. Her community-minded donation, in Ted’s memory, will benefit many people for many years.”

Brian Horner also expressed his thanks: “I want to thank Donna for her generous donation that serves as a lasting and fitting tribute to her husband, Ted Jones,” he said. “Ted gave the gift of conservation and nature enjoyment to others during his lifetime and Donna is continuing Ted’s legacy with her gift here today. This donation will make it possible for thousands of people to enjoy nature safely on this multi-use trail and that is such an extremely appropriate way to remember a man who touched so many lives.”  

A community fundraising campaign is underway for this new pedestrian bridge to be located west of Morrison Line and this generous donation is helping the campaign move much closer to its goal. A pedestrian bridge would give a new alternative to people using the road. The bridge would link the north and south sides of the trail so people would not have to walk along the roadway over Morrison Dam.

Brandon J. Lemieux Memorial Beach Cleanup in Bayfield September 16, 2017

Brandon Lemieux, who loved to walk along the beach and who helped to keep the beach clean, passed away on September 16, 2016. 

Brandon’s mother, Susan, wished to honour Brandon’s memory and asked if Bayfield was interested in assisting. The municipality, and a number of local groups, were pleased to join forces to coordinate a beach cleanup to honour Brandon. 

Those community organizations include the Municipality of Bluewater, Blue Bayfield, The Bayfield River Valley Trail Association, Pioneer Park Association, Love Your Greats, the Beach Management Committee, and the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation.

Interested citizens are asked to meet at Bayfield’s Main Beach parking area at 9 a.m. on Saturday, September 16. Participants are asked to wear appropriate footwear. Gloves and bags will be provided. Citizens in the village of Bayfield have been willing volunteers for beach cleanups for at least 20 plus years. Cigarette butts and fast food containers, including plastics have dominated the collections over this period. Studies have shown that plastics are becoming a major concern in the Great Lakes, and that aquatics species are mistakenly consuming plastics that appear to them as food. Forty-five million people also use these lakes as their source of drinking water.

Brandon had been visiting his great grandfather’s summer cottage off of Stanley Side Road 1 since childhood. His summers always included trips to the village of Bayfield for ice cream and a trek down to Bayfield Beach for a swim and for fishing off the end of the pier – which was his passion.

Brandon worked as a cook in the kitchen of JD’s Restaurant. 

Often, Brandon could be found strolling the Bayfield Beach. Even when he was living in Seaforth he would make time to travel to the village to spend some hours on the shoreline. 

Even after relocating back to his hometown of Kitchener, Brandon made sure his daughter also knew of this special place. A visit to the Bayfield beach was a must each and every summer.  

Brandon was passionate about the beach and expressed this passion by spending countless hours picking up litter. It was important to him that the beach and Lake Huron be maintained for future generations.

Brandon’s connection to Bayfield Beach was so strong that he always said that he “felt the most himself there.” 

Join the Bayfield and area community in honouring Brandon’s memory, at this memorial shoreline cleanup in Bayfield on Saturday, September 16, 2017, by demonstrating your community support for his passion for protecting our most valued resource, water.

Ipperwash Beach Cleanup on Saturday, September 9, 2017

Join St Clair Conservation on Saturday, September 9, 2017, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., at Ipperwash Beach for the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.

The meeting place is Centre Ipperwash boat launch at the end of Ipperwash Road.

Please dress for the weather. If you have garbage pickers or gardening gloves, please bring them. St. Clair Conservation will provide gloves and garbage bags. The event is hosted by St. Clair Region Conservation Authority. The cleanup takes place at Centre Ipperwash Beach in the Municipality of Lambton Shores, Ontario.

Drinking water source protection authority seeks applicants to fill three seats on local source protection committee

A local source protection authority has issued a notice calling for applications to fill three vacant seats on a committee that is protecting municipal sources of drinking water.  Help protect your tap water by protecting drinking water at its sources - Lake Huron and the water under our feet in aquifers - groundwater that feeds our wells.The Ausable Bayfield Maitland Valley Drinking Water Source Protection Committee (SPC) is a 15-member committee in addition to the Chair. The committee reduces risk to drinking water in the Maitland Valley and Ausable Bayfield source protection areas. The SPC does this by putting into action locally developed and provincially approved source protection plans. The Ausable Bayfield Source Protection Authority (SPA), on behalf of the source protection region, is seeking applications from individuals to fill two vacant committee seats from the Economic – Agriculture sector and one vacancy for a committee member from the Other – Environmental public interest sector.

The source protection authority issued the call for applications on August 15, 2017. Applications (cover letter and résumé), with position title clearly marked, are to be submitted by Monday, September 25, 2017 by 4 p.m. local time to be considered. For a summary of member obligations, job description, and full posting visit: After the closing of the application period, the source protection authority will then interview a short list of candidates.

Second year of Huron County Clean Water Project’s cover crops incentive category surpasses surprising success of first year

Cover crops are turning heads in Huron County, whether it’s a crop no one has seen before, or it’s a colourful field with sunflowers or crimson clover. The County of Huron is helping agricultural producers to adopt these new practices to conserve soil through an incentive program.  Cover crop incentive is one category of Huron County's Clean Water Project.Producers jumped on board in a big way in 2015 when the Huron County Clean Water Project introduced a cover crop incentive category. Farmers in Huron County then outdid themselves in 2016 by planting even more cover crops with support of the county program. The county-funded program provided support for 71 completed cover crop planting projects for a total of 4,637 acres in the first year of the cover crop category. That was a pretty successful first year, according to staff, and the next year was even better. Huron’s farmers completed 81 cover crop planting projects in 2016 and planted more than 6,000 acres with grant support from the county program. There has been more than $100,000 provided for cover crop incentives over the incentive category’s first two years in Huron County. The total project value is more than that.

The cover crop incentive category is now back for its third year. A phone call or email to the conservation authority is all it takes to get an application started, according to staff delivering the program. Most application forms can be completed over the phone. Grants are $10 per acre to a maximum of $1,000 per farm operation per year. The cover crop mix needs a minimum of three species and the field must have a minimum 50 per cent residue before next year’s crop is planted. 

The Huron County Clean Water Project provides grants for 16 categories of water quality projects. The Cover Crop Incentive category is just one of 16 categories. Landowners and community groups in Huron County have completed almost 2,400 projects over the past decade with the county support. The total value of those projects is more than $9.4 million. That’s good for water quality and good for the economy, according to staff delivering the program.
  • Watch CTV's Fields to Forks segment on the Huron County Clean Water Project Cover Crop Incentive Category at this link: Cover Crops News Item
This CTV news story, featured in Fields to Forks, interviews local farmers talking about cover crops and the Huron County  Clean Water Project:

Conservation Dinner Committee invites public to suggest possible feature artists for 2018 gala charitable auction

Featured art at gala charitable auction has ranged from ice, metal, and wood sculptures, to fine art, to culinary art; community committee invites people to suggest artists

The Conservation Dinner has honoured 21 local artists as feature artists over the 28-year history of the gala charitable auction event. The Dinner Committee is already at work planning ahead for the 29th Conservation Dinner in 2018. The community committee is inviting members of the public to suggest possible feature artists for next year’s gala.

To find out more visit: or Suggest feature artist.

The 29th Conservation Dinner is to be held on Thursday, April 12, 2018 at South Huron Recreation Centre at 94 Victoria Street East in Exeter. Tickets are usually ready for purchase as early as the Christmas season. Patrons receive a charitable gift receipt, for income tax purposes, for a portion of the ticket price.

The feature artist in 2017 was Iceculture Inc. of Hensall.This community fundraising event is organized by community volunteers, the Exeter Lions Club, and the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation. The featured art at the auction has ranged from culinary art, to sculptures made of ice, wood, or metal, to fine art such as paintings. The Dinner Committee has selected the feature art and feature artist each year. The community members on the committee, at the most recent organizational meeting, decided it would be a great idea to invite citizens to suggest artists whom they think would be worthy of consideration next year or in future years.

If you would like to submit a name of a possible artist for the Dinner Committee’s standing record of nominees, please email (with ‘Feature Artist Nomination’ in the subject line) or phone 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610. You are invited to submit your suggestion for this year’s Dinner until September 15, 2017. The Dinner Committee will take all suggestions and add them to their list to assist them when selecting next year’s honoree.

Donation to trail development

Donna Jones, of Exeter, has donated $25,000, in loving memory of her late husband, Ted Jones, towards future development of the South Huron Trail. She presented the donation along the South Huron Trail, at Morrison Dam Conservation Area, on Friday, July 28, 2017. From left to right in photo are: Bob Radtke; Susann Jones; Randy Jones; Donna Jones; John Stephens; and Dan Turkheim.“This generous donation by Donna Jones is a beautiful way to remember Lion Ted Jones,” said Exeter Lions Club President Dan Turkheim. “I would like to thank Donna for her community spirit. I would also like to thank Donna for carrying on Lion Ted’s commitment to creating nature enjoyment and recreation opportunities along the Ausable River.” 

This generous donation is in addition the previous generous donation Donna Jones made, in loving memory of her husband Ted, towards the trail’s Pedestrian Bridge project: In the photo, presenting the donation is donor Donna Jones. Accepting the donation, on behalf of the Exeter Lions Club, are Exeter Lions Club member John Stephens and Exeter Lions Club President Dan Turkheim. Also taking part was Bob Radtke, Chairman of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation, a trail project partner organization; Donna’s son, Randy Jones, and Donna’s daughter-in-law, Susann Jones. From left to right in photo are: Bob Radtke; Susann Jones; Randy Jones; Donna Jones; John Stephens; and Dan Turkheim.

Healthy Lake Huron - Clean Water, Clean Beaches launches mobile-friendly website, new YouTube channel, new free email news update list for digital newsletters

Ausable Bayfield Conservation is proud to be a partner in Healthy Lake Huron: Clean Water, Clean Beaches. This partnership helps to protect water quality and beach conditions, and report to you about progress, along Lake Huron's southeast shore, from Sarnia to Tobermory.

Healthy Lake Huron is now providing regular news updates digitally - the public can sign up and receive these newsletters for free. The Partnership has also added a new YouTube channel and, as of Labour Day weekend, 2017, the Partnership launched an upgraded new, mobile-friendly website. The Partnership is also posting regularly on its Twitter feed. Healthy Lake Huron is adding these new channels to report to you about Lake Huron protection efforts by combining personal outreach - through presentations and displays - with the use of powerful and cost-effective new digital and social media tools.

Find out ways you can help to keep this Great Lake great. To find out about Lake Huron protection efforts, Healthy Lake Huron has created these communications channels for you: Thanks for all you to do to protect and improve water quality and beach conditions along the southeast shore of Lake Huron.

More than 500 people attend
second turtle release event


Families, youths, children from as far away as Hamilton area, London and Stratford visit Exeter area for event to release turtle hatchlings back into wild; Event donors, partners raise more than $2,000 for Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre

More than 500 people attend second turtle release eventOrganizers estimate 550 people attended the second turtle hatchling release event at Morrison Dam Conservation Area east of Exeter on Thursday, August 31, 2017. People of all ages came from far and wide for the turtle release event. They came from as far away as London, Stratford, and from Six Nations of the Grand River (Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga, Seneca, Onondaga and Tuscarora) – Turtle Clan of the Cayuga Nation – near Hamilton. 

The people came to meet live turtles and, supervised by the Huron Stewardship Council (HSC), to help to release 49 turtle hatchlings back into their maternal waters. They released Painted Turtles and Snapping Turtles, both native Ontario freshwater turtle species. The Snapping Turtle is listed as Special Concern under the Ontario Endangered Species Act, 2007 and the federal Species at Risk Act. The species is designated as a Specially Protected Reptile under Ontario’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. Those at the event also donated and raised funds for Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre (OTCC), home of the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre. “I was thrilled with the number of people who came and with the generosity of the community,” said Jory Mullen, Lead Species at Risk Technician for HSC. “The event raised more than $2,000 for the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre.”
Young people are helping to keep our Great Lake great.
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