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.

Happy Family Day this Holiday Monday!

Ausable Bayfield Conservation wishes you, your friends, your family, and your community, best wishes this Family Day Holiday Monday, February 20, 2012
Whether you're along the South Huron Trail for a nature walk as part of Family Day WinterFest South Huron, visiting one of our beautiful conservation areas, or otherwise enjoying nature, friends, and family - we wish you the best this Family Day!  

WinterFest is a go - snow or no snow!

Snow or no snow, it's a go! This Family Day Holiday Monday, February 20, enjoy Family Day WinterFest South Huron courtesy of Friends of the South Huron Trail and more than 20 community groups and businesses that are part of the WinterFest celebrations.
If there isn't enough snow for the snowshoe hike and free snowshoeing (courtesy Hansen's Your Independent Grocer), then enjoy a White Squirrel seasonal guided winter walk.
Visit or or for details

Job opportunity for Field Services - Labourer

Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) seeks a Field Services – Labourer. This is a regular full-time position reporting to the Stewardship and Conservation Lands Supervisor. The successful
candidate will assist in maintenance and development of lands owned and managed by the ABCA and assist in achieving objectives as set out in its Watershed Management Strategy. Please provide your résumé and cover letter with position title clearly marked ‘Field Services – Labourer’ by Friday, February 24 by 4:00 p.m. local time. For details visit:

Windreaks improve crop yields, shelter livestock

Increased yields are in addition to other benefits such as reduced heating costs in winter, lower cooling costs in summer : Farmers and other landowners may plant trees to help the environment but they’re also finding other benefits as well. Areas sheltered by windbreaks have significantly higher crop yields, according to Canadian and U.S. research. For more information visit:
Landowners are currently ordering trees for planting projects, such as windbreaks and roadside plantings, through the local agency’s spring tree planting program. Over-the-counter orders with payment are received until Wednesday, February 29, 2012. For an online copy of the tree order form and details local property owners can use this link:
“Planting trees for windbreaks can shelter crops from damage and protect livestock as well,” said Ian Jean, Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) Forestry and Land Stewardship Specialist. “Research in Southwestern Ontario indicates corn yields at least six per cent higher in areas sheltered by windbreaks and soybean yields about 25 per cent higher in sheltered areas compared to open areas.” A stateside study in Nebraska indicated hay yields as 20 per cent higher in sheltered areas than open areas. Increased yields aren’t the only benefits to windbreaks. They can help mark property lines and provide a barrier to wind and water erosion. “Windbreaks can keep drifting snow away from homes and farms, reduce winter heating costs, keep spray application from leaving the field, reduce soil erosion, protect livestock from extremes of heat and cold, and much more,” according to Jean.

Conservation Dinner committee selects Early Bird Prize Print

Buy your ticket by February 24 and you get added benefit of chance to win beautiful print
The Conservation Dinner committee has selected the Early Bird prize print for the 2012 Conservation Dinner. The print is called Tatsha Reach. Sandra Funk, of the dinner and auction committee, holds up the limited-edition print by artist Sam Maximick. The print will be awarded to the winner chosen from a draw of the name of everyone who has purchased a Conservation Dinner ticket by February 24. The draw will take place on February 27. For more information visit: This year's Conservation Dinner on April 19, 2012 promises to be exciting. One of the many coveted auction items will be a round trip voyage for four between London and Quebec City, courtesy of VIA Rail Canada.

Find out about our Special Guest Host Doug Brooks at or our acclaimed Feature Artist Martin Zimmer at or visit  

New Chair and Vice Chair for Ausable Bayfield Conservation

A new Chairman was elected on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012 for the Board of Directors of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA). Shown at the ABCA Annual Meeting on Thursday, February 16, at far right, Past Chair Jim Ginn (representative for Municipality of Central Huron) hands over the gavel to new Chairman Dave Frayne, at centre (representing the Municipality of South Huron and the Township of Perth South on the board); and new Vice Chairman Paul Hodgins (representing the Township of Lucan Biddulph). 

Educators can book a half-day, full-day, or overnight outdoor educational experience through Ontario's longest-running program of its kind

This spring find out why schools in the watershed return to Camp Sylvan: The Ausable Bayfield watershed is home to the province's longest-running overnight outdoor conservation education experience of its kind - Sylvan Conservation Program at Camp Sylvan. Half-day, and full-day outdoor experential programs are available this spring as well as the overnight program. If your school is interested in curriculum-based field trips and in booking a one-day or overnight stay at Camp Sylvan Conservation Program, please contact 519-235-2610 or 1-888-286-2610, e-mail or visit: 

Water quality initiative ranked among top projects so far thanks to your votes

Your continued support and votes can earn additional financial support for local Base Mapping Project: Thank you for your online votes for the Base Mapping Project.

This Ausable Bayfield watershed project is seventh place in the Shell FuellingChange program at the time of the newsletter but this effort needs your continued support to remain in the top eight to receive additional support for this important work. The water from our watershed empties into Lake Huron, upon which millions of people in Canada and the U.S. rely for drinking water, so understanding how water flows across the landscape is imperative to helping protect it. Your vote can help the Ausable Bayfield Base Mapping Project earn valuable financial support through the Shell FuellingChange program.
Simply go to and show your support. Or visit: 


Conservation Strategy, new logo to be unveiled at March 15 Conservation Awards

Thirty-four people in the watershed community worked hard for a year to develop a new long-term guiding document called the Conservation Strategy. The document creates a new mission and vision for Ausable Bayfield Conservation as well as recommended actions for individuals and organizations, and a new logo and motto for ABCA. All will be unveiled at a public event, the Conservation Awards, on Thursday, March 15, 2012 at Ironwood Golf Club, at 70969 Morrison Line, just east of Exeter. Guest speaker is Dr. Ralph C. Martin, professor and Loblaw Chair in Sustainable Food Production at Ontario Agricultural College (OAC), University of Guelph. For more information visit: If you are interested in attending please call ABCA by March 8, 2012 to reserve your place. Download invitation now: 
or phone 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610.

School program teaching safety in times of high water books up faster than ever

The Spring Water Awareness Program was booked by schools in the watershed sooner than usual this year. The program teaches students about the dangers of thin ice, seasonal high water and floods. The SWAP program is funded with the support of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation and member municipalities of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority. For more information visit

Photo of Rock Glen Conservation Area earns honourable mention once again in province-wide contest

Conservation Ontario recognizes photo by Joyce Callcott: The votes have been tallied and the results are in! Conservation Ontario, the organization that represents Ontario’s 36 Conservation Authorities, has announced the winners of the 2011 Ontario Conservation Areas Photo Contest. For the second time, a person photographing ABCA's Rock Glen Conservation Area in Arkona has won honourable mention. Joyce Callcott's beautifully composed photo of the conservation area received honourable mention in the My Favourite Conservation Area category.
(Photographer Corrie White received an honourable mention in the province-wide contest two years earlier). For contest results visit:  The contest encouraged Ontarians to show off their photography skills while stepping into nature to explore their local Conservation Areas. To see all of the winning photos, and to find a Conservation Area near you, visit the Conservation Areas Search site 
Here is the previous honourable mention photo of Rock Glen CA, by Corrie White:
Rock Glen CA Corrie White photo

Parkhill community learns about actions to take place in 2012

ABCA releases report on coordinated response to mosquito issue: More than 120 people attended a public meeting in Parkhill on January 18, 2012 to hear about the progress of the joint effort to reduce the number of mosquitoes in that North Middlesex community, to avoid the situation that occurred last year, and to find out about plans to further reduce mosquito habitat in 2012. The Municipality of North Middlesex, the Middlesex-London Health Unit, and Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA), have been working together to address the mosquito problem since last year, when an abnormally high number of mosquitoes appeared in the Parkhill community following a wet spring. For more information visit: or download the report at:  
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