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Issue One – Newsletter – Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy

Mayhew Tract sign unveiled at dedication ceremony

Dignitaries speak at dedication ceremony and sign unveiling to recognize generous donation of land by Mayhew family in memory of Jack and Iris Mayhew;
Donation of nature area first for local Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy

Cyclists rode from Bayfield to the Holmesville area on Friday, June 19, 2015, during the Celebration of Water Weekend, to attend the dedication ceremony and sign unveiling for the Mayhew Tract. This important forested property, in the Holmesville area, was donated by the Mayhew Family, in memory of Jack and Iris Mayhew, to the local Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy (HTLTC).

A crowd of people came in cars and on bicycles to attend the June 19 dedication ceremony and sign unveiling for the Mayhew Tract near Holmesville. This ten-acre tract is the first donation of land to the Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy (HTLTC) and is to be preserved for generations to come. This important forested property – which provides water storage, recharge, and habitat benefits to the area – was donated by the Mayhew family, in memory of Jack and Iris Mayhew. Jack and Iris’s children, Janine, Tim, and Greg, attended the ceremony along with other Mayhew family members. From left to right, in photo, are Roger Lewington, Chairman of the Land Trust Board of Directors; Tim Mayhew; Janine Jones; Greg Mayhew; and Nancy Mayhew.
A crowd of people came in cars and on bicycles to attend the June 19 dedication ceremony and sign unveiling for the Mayhew Tract near Holmesville. This ten-acre tract is the first donation of land to the Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy (HTLTC) and is to be preserved for generations to come. This important forested property – which provides water storage, recharge, and habitat benefits to the area – was donated by the Mayhew family, in memory of Jack and Iris Mayhew. Jack and Iris’s children, Janine, Tim, and Greg, attended the ceremony along with other Mayhew family members. From left to right, in photo, are Roger Lewington, Chairman of the Land Trust Board of Directors; Tim Mayhew; Janine Jones; Greg Mayhew; and Nancy Mayhew.

Jack and Iris’s daughter Janine and sons Greg and Tim were among family members to attend the ceremony. Greg Mayhew, of Holmesville, spoke on behalf of the Mayhew family. He said it was “a little overwhelming” that, instead of a few people shaking hands in front of a sign for a photo, dozens of people attended  to witness the dedication of land. “Thank you to everyone who came out today and made this possible,” he said. “It is our hope that this donation will preserve this lot in the natural state that Jack and Iris appreciated and we encourage others to see the value in our forested lands.” He said the parcel is a natural drainage area and provides natural habitat as well.

“Jack and Iris Mayhew farmed here for nearly 43 years,” he said, pointing to the home farm, cater-cornered from the Mayhew Tract. Greg recalled that at a time when his father, an avid outdoorsman, might have cleared fencerows or removed trees for more crop land, “he was still planting trees and creating grassed waterways.”

When recalling the history of the ten-acre parcel that was donated, he said it was a source of firewood and a place to enjoy nature. Greg recalled his mother bringing her children and grandchildren to the site. “Every spring Iris would bring us down to look for pussy-willows, a tradition she continued with her grandkids,” he said.

Huron County Warden Paul Gowing and Municipality of Central Huron Mayor Jim Ginn were among the dignitaries who spoke at the ceremony to thank the Mayhew family for the generous donation which will help to provide local forest cover, groundwater recharge, and wildlife habitat for generations to come. The donation from the Mayhew family is the first one received by the new land trust. “This is a historic first donation of land to the Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy,” said Warden Paul Gowing. “I commend the Mayhew family for your generous donation,” he said. “We appreciate your trust in protecting this land in the memory of Jack and Iris Mayhew. Your donation will safeguard wildlife habitat, while enhancing air and water quality for our children’s children,” he said.

Mayor Jim Ginn said it was a pleasure for him to speak at the ceremony for a number of reasons. “It’s a privilege that the first donation to the Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy happens in Central Huron,” he said. “It is also a privilege because I knew Jack and Iris very well. Jack owned another property directly across the highway from my farm. For a number of years we got to know each other pretty well, and spent many times talking about trees. It was kind of a passion both of us had. On behalf of the Municipality of Central Huron I would like to thank the Mayhew family for donating this and showing the good stewardship practices to preserve this land in perpetuity.”

Bill Strong, Constituency Manager, brought remarks on behalf of Huron-Bruce MP Ben Lobb, who had a prior commitment at another charitable event. “Ben got to know Jack and Iris very well over the years,” Strong said, and the fact that Jack was an accomplished wood carver made the donation of this woodlot an appropriate way to remember Jack and Iris. “I had the privilege of knowing Jack myself,” said Strong. “Congratulations to the Mayhew family for this donation.”

Bob Radtke, Chairman of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation, also brought remarks. The Conservation Foundation facilitated the creation of the Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy as a local and permanent way for people to leave a lasting land and nature legacy. People can do this through donations and bequests of land to protect and preserve the natural, recreational, scenic, historical, or agricultural importance of some of the properties of the historic Huron Tract area. “The Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy is a volunteer organization with a separate board of directors,” Radtke said to the crowd. “The Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy gives people in the Huron Tract area a way to make a positive difference by helping to protect, restore land, water, and nature. The land is permanently protected to preserve its conservation, heritage, or agricultural values,” he said. “On behalf of the Foundation I would like to commend and thank the Mayhew family for this generous and lasting donation in the memory of Jack and Iris Mayhew. This lasting legacy will not only provide environmental health benefits to the people of this area but it will inspire other people to do the same. This is the start of something very important.”

“This is a special day for the land trust,” said Roger Lewington, Chairman of the Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy, marking the first donation of land. “This will be here for generations to come.” There is a need for more forest cover and that makes it even more important to have donations that preserve forest cover we have, Lewington said. “Forest cover provides wind protection, cleans the air we breathe, retains runoff, and provides sanctuary for wildlife.”
The Mayhew Tract is located about two kilometres south of Holmesville, on the northeast corner of Tower Line Road and Parr Line. It is just north of the watershed divide between the Bayfield River and Maitland River.

The ten-acre (four-hectare) Mayhew Tract property is entirely forested. Most of the trees are lowland hardwood (for example, Silver Maple and Aspen) and there are also some conifers near the west side of the property. There is also an intermittent drain on the property. The forest helps to store water through the year and recharge the groundwater table. This is one of the benefits to this nature area along with habitat.
Land trusts or land conservancies are independent, charitable organizations that work with private landowners to preserve open space and nature. Land trusts accept donations and bequests of land and conservation agreements and, in some cases, may purchase land or conservation agreements. The land is then protected from that time on.

The Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy gets its name and geographic boundaries from the days of early settlement in this part of Ontario. The Huron Tract was purchased by the Canada Company, an agent of the British government, to be distributed to colonial settlers of Upper Canada.

The HTLTC is a volunteer organization with a community board of directors. The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation helped to create the land trust in 2011. The Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy gives people a safe, reliable, long-term way to leave financial contributions or bequests of real property for the protection of land, water, and habitat for generations to come. The Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy can protect important nature areas for the long term, with the help of “an inspired community that values and protects natural lands and habitat.” For more information visit htltc.ca.

Community group seeks donations to acquire 4.75 acres of river bank in Bayfield area

Bayfield River Valley Trail Association, community volunteers hope to raise $70,000 for purchase of 4.75-acre River Flats property in Bayfield

A group of community volunteers, sponsored by the Bayfield River Valley Trail Association, has negotiated an offer to purchase, conditional on financing, to buy the 4.75-acre River Flats property, to the immediate southeast of the Bayfield Bridge.

The volunteers include Helen Varekamp, Jack Pal, David MacLaren, Roma Harris, Kirsten Harrett, Gayle Waters, Ray Letheren, Larry Dalton, Doug Vanderhaar, Mike Dixon, Wayne McKaig, Sandy Scotchmer, and Dave Gillians.

Organizers of the fundraising campaign call it a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to acquire about 1,000 feet of river bank natural area within the old village boundaries of Bayfield. They say purchasing the property now can help to preserve access to the naturalized area along the river.

The total cost to purchase the property, including all legal and fundraising costs, is to be $70,000.

To donate to the campaign, visit the Bayfield River Valley Trail Association’s Bayfield River Flats campaign website at BayfieldRiverFlats.ca.

Tax-deductible donations in amounts of $50 or more can be made payable to the Bayfield River Valley Trail Association (BRVTA) at Main Street Optometric in Bayfield. Bayfield River Flats T-Shirts or tote bags will be offered to the first 200 contributors for donations of $250 or more. A crowd-funding program is to be set up through the website at BayfieldRiverFlats.ca. You may follow, like, or share the fundraising campaign on social media at Facebook and on Twitter using the hashtag #BayfieldRiverFlats.

The Bayfield River Flats property was once home of the Thomson grist and sawmill. Community spokespersons say that following a successful fundraising campaign, the river bank property and its forested setting beside the river, within the village of Bayfield, could become a place for nature appreciation and Bayfield River access.

The financing condition for property purchase must be met by November 30, 2016. Following the closing on January 31, 2017, the project proponents say the property would be transferred immediately to the Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy (HTLTC). This is to ensure the land will remain part of the community’s local land legacy in perpetuity. Campaign organizers say that a pending long-term management agreement between the Bayfield River Valley Trail Association and the Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy will ensure that the property will be maintained, improved and transformed.

A land trust can permanently protect land to preserve its natural, environmental, recreational, scenic, historical, or agricultural importance.

Land trusts or land conservancies are independent, charitable organizations that work with private landowners to preserve open space and nature. Acquisition of properties is subject to board approval and negotiation of management agreements. Land trusts accept donations and bequests of land and conservation agreements and, in some cases, may purchase land or conservation agreements. The land is then protected from that time on.

The HTLTC is a volunteer organization with a community board of directors. The Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy gives people a safe, reliable, long-term way to leave financial contributions or bequests of real property for the protection of land, water, and habitat for generations to come. The Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy can protect important nature areas for the long term, with the help of “an inspired community that values and protects natural lands and habitat.”

For more information visit Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy website.

Posted: August 25, 2015

Newsletter to keep community informed about work of Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy to protect natural lands in the future

Public invited to subscribe to free electronic newsletter to find out more about community board of directors’ work with the community to protect and preserve lands of natural, recreational, scenic, historical, or agricultural importance

A local organization that was formed to help preserve natural land, in the historic area of the Huron Tract, has created its first electronic newsletter. The Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy invites you to subscribe to the newsletter at this link:

Subscribe to Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy Newsletter

Read the first issue of the newsletter at this link:

Issue One – Newsletter – Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy

Bayfield’s Roger Lewington is Chair of the Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy (HTLTC). He says the newsletter provides a cost-effective way to keep people informed about efforts to preserve local natural lands for the future. “We want to make people aware of this land trust, which is a new option for donors to help preserve natural land in this part of Ontario,” he said. “The Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy offers a way for people to leave a local land legacy. People can help to permanently protect and preserve the natural, recreational, scenic, historical, or agricultural importance of some of the properties of the historic Huron Tract area.”

Land trusts or land conservancies are independent, charitable organizations that work with private landowners to preserve open space and nature. Land trusts accept donations and bequests of land and conservation agreements and, in some cases, may purchase land or conservation agreements. The land is then protected from that time on.

The Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy (HTLTC) is a new land trust created in 2011 by the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation, a registered Canadian charity. The HTLTC is a volunteer organization with a community board of directors. For more information visit the Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy Website.

The Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy gives people a safe, reliable, long-term way to leave financial contributions or bequests of real property for the protection of the land, water, and species for generations to come.

The Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy gets its name and geographic boundaries from the days of early settlement in this part of Ontario. The Huron Tract was purchased by the Canada Company, an agent of the British government, to be distributed to colonial settlers of Upper Canada.

Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy formed to acquire, protect lands for nature preservation in historic Ontario area

New charitable organization board of directors announced; first meeting held

A new charitable organization has been created to acquire and permanently protect lands for nature preservation throughout the area of the historic Huron Tract.

The Board of Directors for the Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy has now been announced. The land trust’s first Chairman is Roger Lewington, of Bayfield. The board also includes: Steve Boles, of Exeter; Steve Bowers, of Brussels; Don Farwell, of Stratford; David Kemp, of Staffa; Tom McLaughlin, of Lucan; Burkhard Metzger, of Clinton; Peter Twynstra, of Ailsa Craig; and Philip Walden, of Thedford.

Lands trusts are charities which accept donations or bequests of land to help conserve land through ownership or through conservation agreements with property owners. Land trusts are committed to protecting those lands and properties permanently. Information about land trusts in Ontario can be obtained through the Ontario Land Trust Alliance website.

The Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation facilitated creation of the Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy (HTLTC) to provide local landowners the opportunity to donate land throughout this important area of southwestern Ontario. Their donations go to a charitable organization with an independent board of directors made up of community-minded citizens, said Lewington. “Landowners throughout this historic area of Ontario now have a land-trust donation option as one way they can leave a lasting legacy for our environmental future,” he said. “Land trusts are important institutions that provide assurance to donors that their gift will offer a nature legacy for generations to come.”

The name Huron Tract refers to a stretch of southwestern Ontario land between Lake Huron and Lake Erie encompassing the modern-day counties of Huron, Perth, Middlesex, and Lambton. The Huron Tract was a one-million-acre area purchased and administered by the Canada Company, a British land development company acting with approval of the British government, in the 1830s. The Huron Tract is roughly 4,000 square kilometres in size.
Biographies of the directors, a map of the Huron Tract boundaries, and more information is available about the HTLTC online.

Anyone interested in donating to the Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy, or finding out more, can phone 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 or e-mail Huron Tract Land Trust Conservancy.