Local Groups Discuss Priority Place Progress

On March 12, 2024, members of the five Working Groups that have been established under the Long Point Walsingham Forest (LPWF) Priority Place collaborative met with key partners in Port Rowan to reflect on progress and obstacles encountered under the initiative.  The individuals attending the meeting represented a diverse array of local NGOs and included a representative from Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), the funder of the program.  The assembly, the first face-to-face meeting of the Working Groups since the Covid-19 shutdown, sought to enhance communications and outreach opportunities.

The meeting featured contributions from coordinators of the Working Groups: Road Ecology, Open Country, Agricultural Runoff, Forested and Treed Swamps, and Invasive Species. The event was enriched by the presence of notable guests including Tom Masschaele from Norfolk County Council, environmental expert Peter Zuzek, representatives Jess and Fawn Sault from the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, and Julia Sunga from the ECCC’s Canadian Wildlife Service.

Dr. Sunga shared insights into ECCC’s new larger Carolinian Zone Priority Place and discussed what changes may be experienced by the partners of the LPWF Working Groups. Participants were asked to consider the implications for their work and to consider new collaborative partnerships with players in the larger Zone.

While attendees acknowledged challenges, there was a unanimous sense of achievement regarding the strides made toward the goals set by the respective Working Groups. Discussions also highlighted new ventures and underscored the pivotal role of Priority Place funding in bolstering and expanding collaborative habitat restorations.

Cynthia Brink, the event’s organizer from the Long Point Biosphere, reflected on the meeting as productive and a significant step forward, expressing optimism for the organization of similar future engagements.

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