History of Kawartha Conservation
More than 30 years of Conservation Management
Kawartha Conservation has seen many changes since its creation in 1979, but the focus has always remained clear: abundant, clean water within a healthy landscape.
Board of Directors, mid-1980s
Local headlines in February of 1980 celebrated the inaugural meeting of twenty-two municipalities partnering to form the Kawartha Region Conservation Authority. The watershed boundaries have not changed over the years but the twenty-two municipalities have since undergone amalgamation and now number seven. Over the years the Authority also become known simply as Kawartha Conservation, though its legal name remains the same.
For many years our headquarters were located in Heritage House, Fenelon Falls. Eventually we outgrew the space and in 1992 built our present administrative centre within the Ken Reid Conservation Area, located just north of Lindsay.
The Ken Reid Conservation Area property was our first acquisition in 1981. Inaugural chair David Murray helped arrange the purchase from long time local farmer Ken Reid. Four other properties were later acquired within the Kawartha Conservation watershed: Fleetwood Creek Natural Area in 1985, Pigeon River Headwaters Conservation Area in 1987, Windy Ridge Conservation Area in 1999, and Durham East Cross Forest Conservation Area in 2006.
In the early days of Kawartha Conservation, staff looked after the health of our watersheds through private land stewardship initiatives. Reforestation and erosion control enhanced the stream habitat of many shorelines providing clean water and healthy watersheds. An education program began in 1982 involving over 7,000 school children every year. In mid 1990ís dramatic funding cuts by the provincial government required significant cuts to service, but the Authority began to regain environmental management opportunities in 2000, as amalgamation saw municipalities take a leadership role in the environment.
Today Kawartha Conservation provides a wide range of services including planning and regulations; watershed monitoring; shoreline naturalization and conservation lands management.
With funding provided by the Province through the Clean Water Act, we continue to step up our research to fully understand the nature of the watershed environment. These efforts will help ensure that our watershed communities enjoy abundant clean water within a healthy landscape for generations to come.
In October 2009, we celebrated our 30th anniversary.