Monday, May 17, 2010

MPP Norm Miller helps launch Muskoka Stewardship Program thanks to OTF Grant

The Muskoka Heritage Foundation officially launched the new Muskoka Stewardship Program on Saturday, thanks to a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF). Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP, Norm Miller joined OTF representative Teri Souter in congratulating the Muskoka Heritage Foundation at the launch ceremony.

“The grant provided to the Muskoka Stewardship Program will help promote and protect the natural beauty of property in Muskoka,” said MPP Miller. “This voluntary approach allows landowners the freedom to choose how to care for their lands, with the option of asking for planning advice. Overall, this program will increase the natural value of property and will offer another unique characteristic to the landscape of Muskoka.”

{ OTF Plaque Presentation, from L-R: Rebecca Francis, Stewardship Coordinator, MPP Norm Miller, Muskoka Heritage Foundation President Dan Brooks, OTF representative Teri Souter}

{Group Shot with Master Steward volunteers from L-R: MPP Norm Miller, Matt Dodds, Paula Jackson, Jim Griffin, Rebecca Francis, Ariel Zwicker, Teri Souter, Dan Brooks}

The Stewardship Program is unique in that it encourages neighbours to help neighbours and empowers local volunteers to engage in their community. “The Muskoka Stewardship program exists to encourage private land stewardship. We want to help you to get to know your land better!” said Rebecca Francis, Stewardship Program Coordinator.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation is an agency of the Government of Ontario. The Foundation allocates grants to eligible charitable and not-for-profit organizations in the arts and culture, environment, human and social services and sports and recreation sectors.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Program Launch

Join us for the official launch of the Muskoka Stewardship Program!

WHO: MPP Norm Miller will join Teri Souter of the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF).

WHAT: To showcase the program and officially present Muskoka Heritage Foundation with our OTF plaque.

WHEN: Saturday, May 15th, 2010.

WHERE: The Bracebridge office of the Ministry of Natural Resources. Highway 11 at High Falls Road. The event coincides with the Annual Native Plant Sale put on by Muskoka Heritage Foundation.

I will also be showcasing the program and with photos from the workshop, program materials, and resources. Many of the Master Stewards will also be there to meet you. Come and say hello and learn more about property visits and land stewardship in Muskoka!

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Look what we did this weekend!

This past weekend, the Master Stewards got together as a group for the first time to attend the training workshop for the program. We had a great weekend full of guest speakers, walks in the forest, through a wetland, and along the shoreline. There was a lot of information to digest, but it is all part of the learning process. I am really happy with the way the group created an atmosphere of collaboration and learning not only from the guest speakers, but also from the wealth of knowledge that exists within the group. It was a fantastic weekend- thanks to the Master Stewards for attending and to the guest speakers for sharing their expertise with us!

Check out the photos below for a glimpse into what we did this past weekend:

{the gatepost sign, rack cards & Ontario Trillium Foundation plaque}

{here I am introducing the workshop to the Master Stewards}

{here we are chatting with Paula about connection to place}

{the group examines the tree over the path}

{Tony Armstrong, our guest speaker about Forestry, helps us with our tree identification}

{the Master Stewards chat over lunch}

{Jan McDonnell speaks to the group about forest habitat}

{Jan presents to the group about forest habitat}

{Judi Brouse presents on Water Quality}

{Dirk Janas presents on Wetlands}

{Peter Seybold welcomes us to his property for the practice visit}

{Chris Gilmour shows Peter Seybold a sarsaparilla plant}

{The Master Stewards contemplate the shoreline}

{Allan Guthrie talks tree cavities with Peter Seybold}

{here I am presenting Katherine and Peter Seybold with the very first gatepost sign of the 2010 Muskoka Stewardship Program}

{All the Master Stewards gather with the Seybolds at the end of the practice visit}

The Master Stewards are now ready to conduct property visits. Contact me if you are a landowner interested in a visit this summer.