We appreciate your interest in the work of landowners and other partners, like you, who are creating healthier Ausable Bayfield watershed communities. This newsletter is to let you know about opportunities for stewardship funding and technical support, programs, events, community news, the work of Ausable Bayfield Conservation and its partners, and ways you can help improve water quality, forest conditions, and habitat in your community - .to help protect soil, water, and living things.
Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority New Logo

Happy New Year

The year 2013 will be busy with the release of Watershed Report Cards in March, community watershed planning and implementation, maximizing project effectiveness, and taking positive action in partnership with you

We wish you all the best in the coming year and we certainly have lots of work to do this year. The spring tree order form is here and landowners are already starting to take part in this important program. Local volunteers are busy serving on steering committees in their watershed communities to blaze a trail towards healthier watersheds. Staff members are busy pulling together the best information possible for release of Watershed Report Cards in March to give you a view of the 'state of the watershed' and some of the actions you, your community, and agencies can do to improve and protect water quality, quantity, and forest conditions. We are working with farmers and other landowners who are doing projects that keep soil on the land and protect and enhance water quality and we have several programs to make sure the projects we do in partnership are the most effective they can be. There are several important dates coming up so sharpen your pencils and get out those calendars!

Ontario Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund to help Port Franks fight invasive weed Phragmites

Port Franks community to fight invasive Phragmites with support of Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund grant
The Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund provides grants to help community groups take action to help restore and protect Ontario’s Great Lakes

The Port Franks Community Phragmites Control Project has started off the new year on the right foot with support provided by the Government of Ontario’s Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund. The Province of Ontario has announced a $23,000 grant for the community’s work to help reduce the population of Phragmites Australis (common reed) in the Port Franks area.
“This invasive species poses a serious threat to the Lake Huron shoreline, rivers, and coastal wetlands,” said Nancy Vidler, Chair of the Lambton Shores Community Phragmites Control Group. “The funding will help us with on-the-ground control and monitoring to help us keep Phragmites in check.”
The provincial contribution is combined with funding from Ausable Bayfield Conservation, Municipality of Lambton Shores, Nature Conservancy of Canada, and other community partners to reduce the population of Phragmites, stop its advance, and restore habitat for native plants and wildlife.
For more information click these links:

Seeking Conservationist of the Year for Award

Call for nominations for Conservationist of the Year Award

Nominate a neighbour or community group today: It may be your neighbour. It may be a group or company in your community. Someone may be helping to protect the quality or quantity of your local water, or planting trees, or doing a runoff and erosion control project, or finding other ways to keep your lake, rivers, streams, soil, and living things healthy. You can say thank you by filling out a nomination form for an annual conservation award. Nominations are accepted until January 31, 2013. The award will be presented at the annual conservation awards to be held on March 21, 2013. The event promises to be an interesting one with the launch of the highly-anticipated new Watershed Report Cards.
For more information visit:

Province of Ontario’s Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund provides grant of $24,750 to the Bayfield River Valley Trail Association for work to restore water quality in Bayfield River and to improve trails

The Province of Ontario’s Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund has provided a grant of $24,750 to the Bayfield River Valley Trail Association for its work in a cooperative effort to restore water quality in Bayfield River and to improve accessible trails: The Bayfield River Valley Trail Association, in cooperation with many partners, is undertaking a project that has received funding support from the Ontario Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund. It is estimated the project will take 12 months to complete this project. Their project includes:
  • A solid new hard surface for wheelchairs, strollers and prams that will be 1.2 km long
  • Purchase of more trees for the Bayfield Tree Project
  • An interactive website
  • A trail guide
A website and trail guide will help hikers and provide insights into efforts of the organizations trying to improve water quality of the river and the Great Lakes.For more information on the Bayfield River Valley Trail Association project visit or visit this link:

Many community groups and agencies are supporting the project to protect and enhance water quality in the Bayfield River and area. They include the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority and the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation, Friends of the Bayfield River, The Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation, The Huron Stewardship Council, the municipalities of Central Huron and Bluewater, The County of Huron, Fresh Water Futures in Michigan, Farm Communities, Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy, Bayfield Area Chamber of Commerce, the Bayfield Ratepayers Association, and more.

Early in 2011, the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation of Michigan provided $100,000 for the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority's work with the Bayfield and area community to develop a watershed plan for the part of the Bayfield River running from Clinton to Bayfield. The plan outlines the steps needed to protect and remediate the watershed. One of the critical components of the plan calls for engaging community groups in restoring the Bayfield River. For information on the local watershed planning and implementation work, and what your community group can do to improve and protect the watershed, contact Ausable Bayfield Conservation at 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 or e-mail
Spring tree order form is here

Spring is here!
 ... well, the spring tree order form is here, anyway!

Landowners in Ausable Bayfield watersheds purchased and planted about 13,000 trees through last year’s spring tree orders. Their work helped Ausable Bayfield Conservation’s spring tree planting program plant a total of 61,000 trees. Property owners are now buying native trees and shrubs for conservation planting through the spring tree planting program. Residents can mail in tree orders by the end of January, or make over-the-counter orders by the end of February. (Payment of all orders is due by February 28, 2013). The spring tree order form, and more information, is available online at or by phoning 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610.
For more information click this link:

White squirrel along South Huron Trail near Exeter

This white squirrel is ready for Family Day WinterFest ... how about you?

See white squirrel on the South Huron Trail: Winter just got shorter! You can look forward to the Holiday Monday next month and snowshoeing, Lions Club breakfast, and other community events as part of Family Day WinterFest South Huron to be held on February 18, 2013.
See video movie of white squirrel promoting this community effort at:
For more information visit or visit:
Conservation Dinner to take place April 18, 2013

Get your Conservation Dinner ticket early for chance to win Early Bird Draw Prize Print
 Exeter Lions Club, Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation, Conservation Dinner Committee hard at work to try and match last year's record-breaking success in support of accessible trails, recreation and education for children, commemorative woods and more

A beautiful limited-edition print could be yours. The 'early birds' who buy a ticket early for the gala Conservation Dinner and auction get extra value. A prize print will awarded to the winner of a draw from among all tickets sold by February 25, 2013. The 24th Annual Conservation Dinner takes place Thursday, April 18, 2013 at South Huron Recreation Centre in Exeter. Tickets are $60. You receive a charitable gift receipt for income tax purposes for part of that amount. Call 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 or visit or this link:

Watershed Tales Student Writing Contest

Only three weeks left for students to submit entries to writing contest

Calling all student writers: Do you know a young person who would like to write and who cares about their local environment? Young people in Ausable Bayfield watershed schools are invited to write about protecting soil, water, and living things as part of the third Watershed Tales Student Writing Contest. Submissions will be accepted until January 31, 2013. For submission form visit:
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