Saturday, July 20, 2024

‘Together, we can rebuild’: Thousand Islands Watershed Land Trust awarded $100,000 grant

Don Ross, President of Thousand Islands Watershed Land Trust, accepts a cheque from Erik Wang, Interim Executive Director of Brockville and Area Community Foundation – Photo via TIWLT

The Thousand Islands Watershed Land Trust (TIWLT) has been awarded a significant grant of $100,000 from the Community Services Recovery Fund, an initiative established by the Government of Canada. This one-time $400 million investment aims to bolster various community service organizations, including charities, non-profits, and Indigenous governing bodies, assisting them in adapting and modernizing their operations to meet current challenges.

TIWLT expressed gratitude to the Canadian Red Cross, Community Foundations of Canada, and United Way Centraide Canada, the organizations appointed to distribute the funding. Acknowledgment was also extended to the Brockville Community Foundation (BCF), the conduit through which this funding was facilitated.

The allocated funds will be channelled towards the rehabilitation and expansion of TIWLT’s marketing and communications infrastructure, which was profoundly impacted by the closures enforced during the COVID-19 pandemic. For two years, workshops, science talks, group hikes, and meetings with landowners interested in the organization’s work faced significant disruptions.

Despite the challenges, TIWLT’s board of directors, community volunteers, partner conservation groups and local skilled trades operated within health protocols to restore and renovate the historically significant 1838 farm, now known as the Glen Elbe Learning Centre. This financial boost enables TIWLT to effectively communicate with the community and educators on local climate change mitigation strategies and the reversal of biodiversity decline.

“Glen Elbe Learning Centre provides a living, outdoor learning lab for students to engage with nature alongside real-world professionals, while working on the goal of UCDSB Grows for students to learn into being stewards of the earth in our communities and beyond,” said Cameron Jones, principal of Student Success and Real-World Learning at the Upper Canada District School Board.

Lauren Levac, UCDSB student success learning partner, added that “at a time of devastating climate change and global initiatives like 30 per cent of land being protected  by 2030, The Learning Centre and TIWLT will be instrumental in educating not just students … but everyone who lives in and loves this area”.

Jenna Sudds, minister of families, children, and social development, underscored the significance of community service organizations like TIWLT in fostering community ties and a sense of belonging, particularly in locales like Lansdowne.

“The Community Services Recovery Fund will enable organizations like the Thousand Islands Watershed Land Trust that serve our diverse communities to adapt and modernize their programs and services and to invest in the future of their organizations, staff and volunteers,” Sudds continued. “Together, we can rebuild from the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic and build a more just and equitable future for those in the Thousand Islands.”’

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