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Nominate for the Conservationist Award.


Nominate person, farm, business, community group or organization for conservation award


We have presented annual award for almost four decades; Conservationist of the Year Award winner is honoured at March evening held to thank local partners in conservation

Do you know a person, business, farm, community group, or organization doing great work to protect water, soil, and habitat for living things in Ausable Bayfield watersheds? If so, you are invited to nominate them for the Conservationist of the Year Award.

We are accepting award nominations until February 15, 2020. The award winner is recognized at the Partner Appreciation Evening, an early-evening event to show appreciation for conservation partners, to be held at Ironwood Golf Club, in March.

“The Conservationist of the Year Award is one way we can say ‘thank you’ to some of the active local stewards who are helping to protect our water and soil resources and to improve our forest and wetland conditions,” said Brian Horner, General Manager and Secretary-Treasurer of Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA). “I invite you to nominate a person, farm, business, community group, or organization doing positive things in your watershed community.”

Ausable Bayfield Conservation has recognized outstanding achievements in conservation, each year since 1984, with conservation awards. Past award winners have included rural landowners and residents, agricultural producers and farms, service clubs, community organizations, companies, nature groups, and municipalities. Koos and Nathalie Vermue, agricultural producers from the Bayfield area, were winners of the Ausable Bayfield Conservationist of the Year Award in 2019.

To submit a nomination, visit for the nomination form and award information or visit the office east of Exeter at 71108 Morrison Line for a printed copy of the form. You may also call 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 or email for more information about the award. The nomination form is at this web page link:
Ausable Bayfield Conservation will make an offsetting donation to Carbon Footprints to Forests ( on behalf of everyone who attends the Partners in Conservation Evening in March. Trees will be planted locally, and maintained for the long term, to capture the equivalent of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) produced in travel to the event.

To find out more visit this web page:
Wonder, Investigate, Learn, Discover ... Be WILD at nature camp.

Summer Nature Day Camps are back in 2020


Be WILD - Wonder, Investigate, Learn and Discover at Summer Nature Day Camp

There are two weeks of day camps and they are chances to be 'WILD' (Wonder, Investigate, Learn, and Discover).

The first camp, for ages 6-9, is WILD Explorers Day Camp on July 8-12, 2020.

The second camp, for ages 10 to 12, is WILD Adventurers Day Camp from July 22-26, 2020.

Space is limited so register soon.

To find out more visit the nature day camp web page:

This February Holiday Monday is Family Day WinterFest South Huron.

Community partners add new events, bring back old favourites for 2020 Family Day WinterFest South Huron on February 17, 2020

Representatives of more than a dozen community groups are planning the tenth year of a popular local one-day winter festival. The community partners are holding some new events and bringing back some old favourites for Family Day WinterFest South Huron. The single-day winter carnival, in Exeter and area, is on Holiday Monday, February 17, 2020.

Thousands of people have attended Family Day WinterFest South Huron since the first multi-partner, family-friendly event was held in 2011. The events have built upon the popular annual tradition of the Exeter Lions Club Family Day Breakfast, first held in 2010.

The Friends of the South Huron Trail hold a free family snowshoeing event, with snowshoes provided by Ausable Bayfield Conservation.

To find out more visit the web page:
Order trees now

Order trees now

The Spring 2020 Tree Order Form is now available for download.

Download it for free on our tree order web page at this link: Mail-in orders can be sent in until January 31, 2020 or orders can be made accompanied by payment until February 29, 2020.

Tree order forms are available by calling Ausable Bayfield Conservation, by visiting our office east of Exeter at 71108 Morrison Line, or by visiting Ausable Bayfield Conservation's website ( at this link: Cost-share funding is available for many projects, such as field windbreaks, buffers, and reforestation. 

Forestry and Land Stewardship Specialist Ian Jean encourages interested landowners to give him a call at 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 to find out more.  

Local landowners continue to plant tens of thousands of trees each year locally to the benefit of watershed health and human health. Ausable Bayfield Conservation staff work all year to access funding support, for tree planting by landowners, from governments, non-government sources, industry, and the community. 

Tree planting helps to protect water and soil resources. It also helps to reduce risk from extreme weather and natural hazards (such as flooding or drought). 

Through the provincial Conservation Authorities Act, conservation authorities deliver “programs and services that further the conservation, restoration, development and management of natural resources in watersheds in Ontario.” Tree planting is one of the best ways to achieve these aims. Tree planting helps to protect water and soil resources and also reduces risk from natural hazards and builds watershed resiliency to help adapt to future weather events. 

Forests and tree planting have benefits for water, soil, and air. Windbreaks protect farmland from wind and water erosion and reduce stress on field crops. They decrease stress on livestock and reduce winter heating and summer cooling costs. 

Calendar of Events 2020

This list is in development.

Mark your calendars! Here are some of upcoming dates of interest:
  • Saturday, January 18  – Annual Winter Hike  – Varna (Bayfield Trails event)
  • Sunday, February 2 – World Wetlands Day
  • Monday, February 17 – Family Day WinterFest South Huron
  • Saturday, March 14 – International Day of Action for Rivers
  • Saturday, March 21 – International Day of Forests
  • Sunday, March 22 – World Water Day
  • March 2020 – Partner Appreciation Evening and Conservationist of the Year Award
  • Saturday, March 28 at 8:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. – Earth Hour 2020 
  • Thursday, April 16 – Conservation Dinner 
  • Wednesday, April 22 – Earth Day
  • Monday, May 4 at 9 a.m. – Friends of the South Huron Trail
  • Saturday, May 9 – Invasive Species Removal: Garlic Mustard Pull
  • Friday, May 22 – International Day for Biological Diversity (World Biodiversity Day)
  • Saturday, May 23  – World Turtle Day
  • Friday, June 5 – World Environment Day
  • July 6-10 – Summer Nature Day Camp by Ausable Bayfield Conservation
  • July 20-24 – Summer Nature Day Camp by Ausable Bayfield Conservation
  • Friday, September 18 – EarthEcho Water Challenge/World Water Monitoring Challenge/World Water Monitoring Day
  • September 19 – World Cleanup Day
  • Sunday, September 20 – Commemorative Woods Tree Dedication Ceremony at Morrison Dam Conservation Area (MDCA)
  • Sunday, September 20 – Terry Fox Run
  • Sunday, September 27 – World Rivers Day
  • Monday, November 2 at 9 a.m.  – Friends of the South Huron Trail meeting 
  • Saturday, November 7  – Owl Prowl
  • Saturday, December 5  – World Soil Day

Other dates may be added as the year goes on. Dates are subject to change.

For other events and Board of Directors meetings visit the Ausable Bayfield Conservation website at

Also, this is the International Year of Plant Health. (PDF)

For other dates and for updates visit the Ausable Bayfield Conservation website at this link:
Visit for flood messages.

For most recent flood messages, visit

Flood Outlook, Water Safety Watershed Conditions Statement flood message for lakeshore was issued on January 16, 2020

Be sure to read the most recent flood messages from Ausable Bayfield Conservation at our website and on our social media channels (Facebook and Twitter).

For the most recent flood message(s), visit this page: Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) issued a Watershed Conditions Statement - Flood Outlook and Water Safety flood message, on January 16, 2020, with specific reference to the lakeshore.

Residents and municipal officials were reminded to stay well back from breaking waves, and to also stay away from top-of-bluff areas during and after the storm, in case there has been any movement of the lake bank. It is important to remember that there may be a delay between erosion at the toe (bottom) of the bluff and subsequent bluff failure.

Strong winds, combined with near record-high water levels on Lake Huron, were expected to result in higher than normal waves hitting shoreline areas.  In addition to flooding of low-lying coastal areas, continued erosion of the lakeshore bluff is likely. Saturated lake banks, and the absence of shoreline ice increased the erosion potential of this event. 

ABCA continues to monitor watershed conditions and provides updates as required.

Visit the flood messages page for full details of the flood message and for the most current flood messages.
Get your ticket now for chance to win limo ride prize.

Tickets available for 31st Conservation Dinner on April 16, 2020


Conservation Dinner charity auction begins fourth decade of supporting community


Winning patron, who buys ticket early, could win limousine ride prize in Early Bird Prize Draw to be held on February 10

It’s the start of a new decade and a local community committee is set to embark upon its fourth decade of a charity auction event in support of conservation projects in local communities. The 31st Conservation Dinner takes place on Thursday, April 16, 2020 and tickets are now available, said Dave Frayne, Chair of the Dinner Committee.

There are many reasons to buy a ticket early for the Conservation Dinner, according to the Chair. There is a limited number of tickets, the charity fundraiser is a sold-out show year after year, and the Dinner Committee expects a great deal of excitement for this year’s event – the Dinner’s 31st year. Here’s another reason to get your ticket early: Wave Limo and Tours (, of Grand Bend, is donating a limousine ride for up to 10 people, to and from the event, to this year’s winner of the Early Bird Prize Draw, drawn from early purchasers of Dinner tickets. Only people who buy Conservation Dinner tickets before Monday, February 10, 2020 at 4 p.m. are eligible for the Early Bird Prize Draw.

“If you buy a Conservation Dinner ticket you know you will get fun, fellowship, good food, and that you will be helping your community,” said Chair Dave Frayne. “If you buy a ticket before February 10 you will also get a chance to win the great Early Bird Draw Prize of a limo ride for up to 10 people.”

The Dinner Committee Chair thanked prize donor Bradley Oke and Wave Transportation for this year’s prize.

The Conservation Dinner takes place at South Huron Recreation Centre at 94 Victoria Street East in Exeter. Tickets are $85 each. Patrons receive a charitable gift receipt, for income tax purposes, for a portion of that amount. To buy a ticket or to donate to the 2020 Conservation Dinner, visit the Ausable Bayfield Conservation office east of Exeter at 71108 Morrison Line (just south of Highway 83) or phone 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 or email

The Conservation Dinner started in 1990. This gala charitable auction and dinner event has raised more than $1.2 million over three decades for projects in local communities. These projects include accessible nature trails in Bayfield, Clinton, Parkhill, Lucan, Arkona, Exeter, and Varna; busing for students to experience outdoor nature education; a $1,000 student environmental bursary benefitting students in local communities; a summer job at Ausable Bayfield Conservation for a senior secondary school student; turtle monitoring and events in Port Franks and Ailsa Craig; aquatic habitat studies in Old Ausable Channel, Grand Bend; and projects like nature day camps, fishing derby and Owl Prowl, and parks and conservation areas.

The Exeter Lions Club has been co-partner, with Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation and the watershed community, on the Dinner since 1991.

Net profits are split 50-50 between community conservation projects of the Conservation Foundation and community conservation projects of the Exeter Lions Club.

Find out more:
Conservation education programs may be coming soon to a library near you.

Education programs for local libraries

Local libraries encouraged to book their conservation education program today

One-hour conservation education programs for local libraries can be booked anytime during the 2020 year but conservation education staff recommend booking as soon as possible to ensure your choice of date and time.

Please contact Denise or Nina, by email, for more information or to book your program, or to learn more phone 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610.

Visit our staff contacts page for contact info: Eligible libraries are listed below:
  • Huron County libraries: Bayfield; Clinton; Seaforth; Zurich; Hensall; Exeter
  • Lambton County libraries: Grand Bend; Port Franks; Thedford; Arkona
  • Middlesex County libraries: Lucan; Ailsa Craig; Parkhill
To learn more click on this web page link:

Visit jobs and employment web page.
Applications for Aquatic Resources Technician accepted until January 27, 2020

Applicants for the job posting of Aquatic Resources Technician (February 18 to December 18, 2020) are invited to provide résumé and cover letter (via mail, e-mail or fax) clearly marked ‘Aquatic Resources Technician’ by January 27, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. local time.

For full job posting details and for other Jobs and employment visit this web page: The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) is accepting applications for an Aquatic Resources Technician contract position. The Aquatic Resources Technician assists the Healthy Watersheds Manager with projects related to monitoring water quality and quantity, aquatic communities, and conducting watershed studies and community outreach.
Pre-register by January 20 for January 24 Cover Crops meeting.

What are past trends for cover crops? Find out at Reviewing Past Trends cover crops event

Local agricultural producers are invited to join their peers at  Cover Crops: Reviewing Past Trends on Friday, January 24, 2020 from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) Office at 110 Don Street, Clinton.

This discussion is designed for local landowners to share their experiences with cover crops over the past several years.

Speakers include:
  • Derek Van Dieten (Seaforth)
  • Thomas Farrell (Kincardine)
  • Mike Funk (Upper Thames River Conservation)
  • Nathan Schoelier (Ausable Bayfield Conservation)
If cover crops are new to you, or if you've used them for many years, please join us to learn more and share your experiences.

Information on current grants will be available.

Please pre-register with Abbie Gutteridge at Ausable Bayfield Conservation at 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610, extension 256, or email by January 20.

Only 45 spaces are available so register soon.

This is a free event and a hot lunch will be served.

This event is co-hosted by Ausable Bayfield Conservation and Maitland Conservation.

For poster of invitation and to find out more visit:


71108 Morrison Line,
RR 3 Exeter, ON
N0M 1S5


8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday
Notices of service disruptions are posted at

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