To encourage action that helps people value, look after, and improve the land and resources of Grey and Bruce counties.”

 

STEWARDSHIP GREY BRUCE  encourages individuals and local groups to be good stewards by planning and managing the natural resources on their land in a responsible manner. We partner with natural resources related community organizations to link landowners with information on best practices, expertise and modest resources for a wide range of environmental initiatives.

Our board members are landowners and representatives of environmental interest groups. We are not-for-profit, volunteer based and community oriented. We operate within Grey and Bruce counties.

 

Our Vision:      Sustaining Natural Resources Together

 

                                                               bognor valley, Ontario, Canada

  

Mandate:     

Stewardship Grey Bruce exists to create a healthy, vibrant and sustainable community through empowered citizens, natural resources stewardship, and partner collaboration.

Core Values:            

  • Resource sustainability and a healthy environment for present and future generationsA degraded section of cold water stream near Kolapore Grey County
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  • The need for community collaboration and partnerships
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  • The importance of regular communication with partners, the community and government
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  • Being open and responsive to local natural resources issues
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  • Balancing social and economic values with the natural resource based economy of the counties Grey and Bruce
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  • Inviting and maintaining board & committee members that reflect a wide variety of expertise, experience and geographic representation
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  • Maintaining a fiscally responsible Stewardship Grey Bruce board through fundraising, training and budget exercises, and bi-annually review this Strategic Plan

Greetings from the Chair:

I am pleased to be part of Stewardship Grey Bruce.

Our eleven volunteer board members work together to find ways where we can partner to enhance the natural landscapes of Grey and Bruce counties. Our board represents various clubs and associations, conservation authorities, Grey County council and farmers who are interested in preserving and enhancing stewardship activities within our two counties.

To date, we have set one of our priorities as youth. As an organization, we are supporting the Youth Outdoor Expo, Roots of Bruce and the Grey Bruce Regional Envirothon. We believe strongly that being good stewards of our resources will come about only with strong environmental knowledge and commitment. This starts when you are young.envirothon

Partnering with groups that are like-minded is also very important. We have supported the Grey Sauble Arboretum project and their meadow initiative. We are aware that all types of habitat are necessary in order for the biodiversity of Grey Bruce to be maintained. We are also partnering with ALUS (Alternative Land Use Services) in order to naturalize marginal farmland found along stream banks.

Stewardship Grey Bruce is a young organization. We are the result of a commitment to the resource by members of both the Bruce Resource Stewardship Network and the Grey County Forest Stewardship Network. Unlike these precursors to Stewardship Grey Bruce, we are not under the wing of the Ministry of Natural Resources. Instead, we are building on the fine reputation of both the BRSN and GCFSN and pooling our talents to continue independently through partnership and collaboration.

I am committed to stewardship of the resource because I believe stewardship can make a difference!

Norah Toth

Chair Stewardship Grey Bruce

For further information contact Norah Toth, Chair at stewardshipgreybruce@gmail.com 

Meet the Board

Stewardship Grey Bruce is made up of a diverse group of volunteers from Grey and Bruce counties. Board members represent a varied range of landowners and land interests including farmers, loggers, recreationalists, anglers and hunters, urban and rural residents and naturalists.

Norah Toth, Chair: Norah has been active in stewardship endeavors for over 15 years.  Retired from Ontario Parks, she offers Stewardship Grey Bruce experience in the area of communications.  She believes that we need to work together to ensure resource sustainability for the benefit of future generations. 

Carl Sadler, Vice Chair: Carl is a representative from the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority and has been on the council for seven years. Carl is a Forest Technician with 35 years experience and is presently contracted as the Grey County Tree Commissioner, By-Law Officer, Certified Tree Marker and an Associate Member of the Professional Forestry Association.

Jo-Anne Harbinson, Secretary:  Jo-Anne is a representative from the Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority and has been on the council since 2009.  Jo-Anne brings to the council a passion for protecting the environment together with environmental planning and stewardship experience. She has been employed with the Conservation Authority for 24 years.  

Pat Kuntz, Treasurer:  Pat is retired from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture. Food and Rural Affairs. Pat is well known to rural landowners in Bruce County and has a history both in farming and in helping local groups in the area.

John Black: of Chesley is a retired environmental school teacher. John represents the Saugeen Field Naturalists and is an agricultural landowner with a family background in public service.

Ken Goldsmith: of Kilsyth  had been an employee of the Ministry of Natural Resources for many years. Ken also has a forestry consulting business in Grey County.

Ray Robertson: Ray represents the Grey County Agricultural Services Center. Ray is an excellent contact for the network into the agricultural community. Ray lives on a farm in the Markdale area

Ron Stewart: Ron is a rural landowner in Saugeen Shores. He is a well-known wood turner and advocate for the wood working industry in Bruce County. He represents the Bruce County Woodlot Association.

Lee Thurston: Lee is as a Conservation Resource Technician with the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority.  He brings to the board experience working both within the public service and private industry.   Lee is a rural landowner and Stewardship Grey Bruce’s representative for the Grey County Woodlot Association.

Kevin Predon : Kevin is the Forest Conservation By-Law Officer, Noxious Weed Inspector, and County Forest Manager for the County of Bruce.  He is originally from Cayuga, ON, is a graduate of the forestry programs at Sault College and Lakehead University, and has gained a diversity of experience from working in the forests across Ontario and Alberta.. 

Jack Westlake: Jack is chair of the Inglis Falls Arboretum Alliance and a member of the Grey County 4-H Executive. He retired from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food as an Agricultural Representative for Grey County.

Catherine Dickison:  Catherine  moved to Walkerton from farm in South Bruce. Retired from Scotiabank as Financial Advisor. Long time board member of Saugeen Valley Conservation Foundation and recently appointed Trustee to Bruce County Public Library.

Anna-Marie Fosbrooke : Representative from Grey County Council

Youth Projects

Stewardship Grey Bruce believes that fostering an appreciation for nature and natural resources among our youth is one of the best ways to solidify the conservation and protection of our natural resources into the future. To demonstrate this, we support opportunities for youth. These projects are directed exclusively towards our young people.

Youth Outdoors EXPO

The organizing committee for the Youth Outdoors Expo believes that children have a keen interest in outdoor activities but need opportunities to be introduced to them in a “hands on” manner. To facilitate this introduction to the “Great Outdoors”, the Youth Outdoors EXPO offers children the opportunity to experience first-hand several outdoor activities and to instil the values of and appreciation for our natural heritage. This full day event for youths aged 10-17, allows them to partake in a number of outdoor activities pertaining to hunting, fishing, environmental science, and nature appreciation.

The Youth Outdoors EXPO is held at the Sydenham Sportsmen’s Association clubhouse south of Owen Sound. The day is free and includes a BBQ lunch. Pre-registration is required and spaces are limited.

Partners:

Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority, Saugeen Field Naturalists, Sydenham Sportsmen’s Association, Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters Zone H, Grey Sauble Conservation Authority, South Grey Anglers and Hunters, Bruce Power, TD Friends of the Environment, Watson’s Tackle House, Stewardship Grey Bruce, Ministry of Natural Resource & Forestry

Grey Bruce Children’s Water Festival

This event hosts every grade four student in Grey and Bruce counties over a four-day period to help them understand the values of water. Students are taught a number of principles about water including the importance of water to life and to ecosystems, why water conservation is important, how to conserve water, how water is treated for human consumption, why wetlands are important on the landscape and how they work.

High school students from many of the high schools in Grey and Bruce counties are enlisted as volunteers to help teach the grade fours. These high school students claim they get as much out of the experience as the grade fours! All of the activities are hands-on which leads to a fun filled day of learning for all involved.

Check out - waterfestival.ca Partners:

Bluewater District School Board, Bruce Grey Catholic District School Board, County of Bruce, County of Grey, Georgian Bay Chapter of Professional Engineers of Ontario, Grey Bruce Health Unit, Grey Sauble Conservation Authority, Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority, Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry, Ministry of the Environment, Municipality of Brockton, Source Water Protection, Sydenham Conservation Foundation, Stewardship Grey Bruce

Bruce Grey Forest Festival

This program is modeled after the highly successful water festival. It celebrates the importance of both our forests and forestry heritage. This program targets children in grade six and runs for three days in mid to late October.

In a similar style to the water festival, all the activities are hands-on. They are also in-line with the grade six curriculum of the Bluewater School Board. Each activity is manned by high school volunteers who benefit from leadership and educational experience. Some of the many topics covered include forest stewardship, biodiversity, proper forest management and forest ecology.

forestfestival.ca

Partners:

Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority, Grey Sauble Conservation Authority, County of Grey, County of Bruce, Grey County Woodlot Association, Bruce County Woodlot Association, Bluewater District School Board, Stewardship Grey Bruce, Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry.

Roots of Bruce

This annual event highlights the agricultural industry in Bruce County. For three days, grade 3 students from throughout Bruce County learn about forest products produced from the forests in Grey and Bruce counties. Stewardship Grey Bruce places an interactive interpretive display at this event which is held in Walkerton.

Rootsofbruce.com

Grown in Grey

This annual event highlights the agricultural industry in Grey County. Every year children from Grey County learn about the value of County Forests and some of the products they might use that are produced from the forests of Grey and Bruce counties. The event runs for two days in mid-April and is held at the Chatsworth Community Fairgrounds.

growningrey.org

Grey Bruce Regional Envirothon

High school students from Grey and Bruce counties showcase their environmental knowledge on such topics as fish, wildlife, forestry and soils in a competition format during this annual competition. Regional Envirothon competitions are held all over North America. The winner from each regional competition moves on to a Provincial competition.

The team that wins the Provincial competition moves on to an international competition. Several teams from Grey Bruce have won the Provincials and moved onto the international stage. Typically, students don’t have environmental classes in high school. This means that these kids spend a lot of their own time (along with the hard work of a willing teacher/team leader) preparing for this competition.

ontarioenvirothon.on.ca

Partners:

Forests Ontario, Ministry of Natural Resources, Grey Sauble Conservation Authority, Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority, County of Bruce, Grey County Woodlot Association, Bruce County Woodlot Association, Stewardship Grey Bruce, Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry.

Ontario Stewardship Rangers

On an annual basis the Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry brings an Ontario Stewardship Ranger team to Grey and Bruce counties. This team usually consists of four 17 year olds who spend the summer working for and learning about the environment. Stewardship Grey Bruce  applies to MNRF to use the team to enhance environmental projects which we identify as beneficial to the local area.

The team spends several days on each project before moving on to another project. If you are a not for profit organization and have an interesting project you could use help with, or if you are a student who will be 17 this summer and have an interest in learning about the environment and how you can help it please contact the Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry at 519-376-8465.

Environmental Projects

Environmental Stewardship

Stewardship Grey Bruce feels it is important to showcase projects that demonstrate good stewardship practices for landowners and help landowners achieve their own good stewardship goals.

Grey Sauble Arboretum Project

Adjacent to the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority Administration Centre is an arboretum that was started in 1964. The Arboretum Board has decided to incorporate a meadow habitat within its plan. This meadow will provide habitat for many species that are considered uncommon or might be recognized as at risk. Stewardship Grey Bruce believes that good stewardship involves the enhancement of a variety of landscape types and was pleased to partner with the Grey Sauble Arboretum Committee.

Trees for Streams

Stewardship Grey Bruce is partnering with ALUS (Alternative Land Use Services) to create two healthy landscapes that sustain agriculture, wildlife and natural spaces. These projects will provide not only a positive change on the land but also be located in such a way as to provide demonstration areas. We are pleased to be part of these rehabilitation projects.

 

Education/Awareness Projects

Helping landowners to be aware of and to implement the proper strategies to move themselves towards sound stewardship of the land is a goal of Stewardship Grey Bruce. Stewardship Grey Bruce partners with other organizations and agencies to offer workshops and conferences to increase landowner knowledge about various resource concerns.

Grey Bruce Woodlot Conference

Each year Stewardship Grey Bruce works alongside its partners to put on a two-day conference directed towards woodlot owners in the two counties. The first day of the conference consists of seminars which highlight topics of concern to woodlot owners while the second day provides a tour of some local woodlots to observe various management practices. Each year a different theme is chosen and the topics generally reflect that theme. Input from local forestry specialists and suggestions from the previous year’s attendees help with the selection of the theme each year. The subjects selected may include water, wildlife or flowers, insects and pests, financial incentive programs, harvesting information and financial aspects of woodlot ownership. The woodlot conference is always held on the last weekend in March at the Elmwood Community Centre. Pre-registration is recommended. For more information

Partners:

Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs, County of Grey, County of Bruce, Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority, Grey Sauble Conservation Authority, Grey County Woodlot Association, Bruce County Woodlot Association, Stewardship Grey Bruce

Grey County Woodlot Association

The Grey County Woodlot Association focuses specifically on woodlot owners and forestry initiatives. Intended for people who own woodlots, the association is an excellent source of information about woodlots and their management. Members of Stewardship Grey Bruce sit on its board of directors. If you would like more information about the woodlot association or think you would like to become a member, please contact.

gcwa.ca

Bruce County Woodlot Association

Similar to its sister organization in Grey County, the Bruce County Woodlot Association focuses on education that will assist woodlot owners. It also encourages forestry initiatives. Members of Stewardship Grey Bruce serve as advisors to its board of directors. If you would like more information on the association or think you would like to become a member, please contact us here

bcwa.ca website link

PAST PROJECTS

Stewardship Grey Bruce is building on the fine reputation of both the Bruce Resource Stewardship Network (BRSN) and the Grey County Forest Stewardship Network (GCFSN). These two organizations have positively impacted the landscape in the past. Below you will find a summary of some of the projects which both GCFSN and BRSN were involved.

Tall Grass Prairie Pasture Demonstration site

The goal of this project was to establish a 4 acre Tall Grass Prairie in Grey County for the purposes of pasturing cattle. The site would be used as a demonstration project to showcase an alternative for typical cool season pasture for farmers or tree planting for land owners. Although vast expanses of Tall Grass Prairie Habitat did not historically grow across Grey County, neither did the typical cold season grasses historically used by agriculture, and the benefits of having a mixture of both on a farm are numerous, for farmers and society.

Prairie Pasture is not pastured during the spring and therefore provides important grass and nesting habitats for spring time birds, particularly the sharply declining meadow species such as Bobolinks and Eastern Meadowlarks. Prairie Pasture provides lush green pasture for cattle during the hot dry summer months of July and August. Prairie grasses have a full 2/3rds of the plant living underground as roots. The roots may grow as long as 16 feet. This makes Tall Grass Prairie fantastic as a carbon sink since the roots still hold the carbon, even as the plants are grazed. As well these long roots are an adaptation to surviving through the droughty months, and will help the grasses survive should global climate cause longer dryer summers. Partners:Sydenham Conservation Foundation, Ontario Trillium Foundation, MNR&F Owen Sound –CFWIP, Environmental Farm Plan, Grey County Forest Stewardship Network

Turtle Nest Protection Cages

Two species of turtle that live in Grey County are the snapping turtle and the eastern painted turtle. These are the only two turtles out of nine Ontario species whose populations are not listed as being at some level of at risk. However their numbers are rapidly decreasing and every year countless turtles are seen dead on the roads of Grey County. Although these turtles may seem plentiful in our wetlands; their habits of digging nests into the suitable habitats on the shoulders of roads result in many getting struck by vehicles every year.

The vast majority of these turtles are females who are making nests. Therefore, while there may still be good numbers of turtles around, the gender ratios are typically way off kilter. As long lived males begin to die off, we will see drastic declines in turtle numbers. One way to combat this is to ensure the highest levels of juvenile recruitment into the population. Once again, roads cause problems because the shoulder habitat is so attractive to nesting turtles and is often the best habitat around resulting in turtle nests being concentrated into small areas. Once predators such as raccoons and skunks learn these areas they constantly hunt there, finding the nests by the smell before it has time to dissipate.

The Grey County Stewardship Network sought the advice of turtle experts and got the designs for bottomless cages which can be embedded around the nests to protect them from predators. The cages were made of two inch hardware cloth and were about two feet by two feet and about one foot in depth to prevent predators from digging under the cages. While these can be difficult to install on roadsides, the network offered them to landowners free of charge, if you committed to installing and monitoring them. The cages should be removed from the ground the following June, as turtles sometimes wait until the following spring to emerge from the nest.

Although this effort does not help solve the roadside issue directly, it does ensure that nests not on roads receive the best possible protection and therefore the highest possible recruitment into the population.

Shallow Lake Wetland Restoration Project

Shallow Lake is a large wetland area with a rich history in Grey County. Originally a wet grassy meadow the area was mined for marl which resulted over time in a very productive and locally important provincially significant wetland. As well as all the other environmental benefits provided by wetlands such as ground water recharge, water filtering and water retention, fish and wildlife habitat and a place for human recreation this wetland is also an important staging area for both waterfowl and shore birds. Over time the wetland suffered through ownership disputes and less than suitable land uses causing the wetland to dry and lose its productivity. Along with its partners the Grey County Forest Stewardship Network has worked as a partner to restore the Shallow Lake Wetland back to its former glory.

Partners:

Sydenham Conservation Foundation, Sydenham Sportsmen’s Association, Owen Sound Field Naturalists, Grey Sauble Conservation Authority, Concerned citizens

Protecting Our Headwaters

Grey County is blessed with some of the most numerous and highest quality cold water streams in Ontario. With this comes some of the best stream and fly fishing, as well as many critical spawning areas for the fish of Georgian Bay. Although our streams are generally in good shape, there is much to be done in maintaining and improving that status.

This umbrella project covered any Cold Water Stream Rehabilitation Project that has been done or was planned for the future. Money received for general cold water stream restoration went into this account and was then dedicated to the rehabilitation of the cold water streams of Grey County.

At the advent of this program in 2008 we were able to raise funds to tree over 1000m of Keifer’s Creek which flows directly into Georgian Bay and houses spawning Rainbow Trout and a resident population of Speckled Trout.

, naturalists, and the forest industry..

Documents

cofTake a look at the paper at the link here à http://www.forestsontario.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Alternatives_to_afforestation_Final-Lo.pdf )

 

It defines afforestation as “the establishment of forests on lands that have been open and not covered by forest for quite some time (50 years by some definitions)”.  However; Forests Ontario uses 20 years for their 50 Million Trees program, so it doesn’t need to be a tremendous amount of time.  Afforestation is what is happening all across southern Ontario through the efforts of Conservation Authorities and organizations analogous to ours. Afforestation is all about creating new forest cover and adding it back into the land base from which is was subtracted decades earlier. Reforestation refers to the replanting of existing forest canopy cover, areas that are already mapped as “forest”, and intended to stay that way in perpetuity. 

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