Long Point World Biosphere Foundation Comes to Parliament Hill

 

Simcoe, ON, June 5, 2018– Representatives from 18 biosphere reserves co-hosted a non-partisan Reception on Parliament Hill on June 5, 2018, to allow Members of Parliament the opportunity to learn about the important role and contributions of Canada’s 18 UNESCO biosphere reserves.

One such biosphere was our very own Long Point World Biosphere Reserve (LPWBR). They were represented by the Long Point World Biosphere Reserve Foundation (LPWBRF), where they showcased their partnership with the Long Point Phragmites Action Alliance. This partnership has a membership of more then 25 organizations whose mandate and focus is to unite the community in fighting back against the invasive Phragmites Australis. More commonly known as the Common Reed, it is the number one threat to biodiversity and the sustainability of the rare and ecologically significant Long Point wetlands.

The Foundation also informed MPs of the work that they accomplished with other Biosphere Reserves in piloting the Amazing Places tourism program to promote local sustainable businesses. The pilot program was so successful that it is now being considered for implementation by Biosphere Reserves across Canada and in the northeastern United States.

“We are very excited about the success that this pilot project has had and we are looking forward to seeing it implemented across Canada. As a result of this, we are now collaborating with Environment Canada and Climate Change and numerous other organizations to develop and implement a long-term Integrated Conservation strategy for Long Point so that future generations can enjoy it,” said Dave Cameron, Chair of the LPWBRF.

“I was pleased to welcome Dave Cameron from the Long Point World Biosphere Reserve Foundation as they showcased to other parliamentarians the most diverse botanical and wildlife areas in Canada, said Haldimand-Norfolk MP Diane Finley.

“With over 1,380 types of plants and over 640 different bird and animal species, it has become much more than an environmental wonder: Long Point has become an economic and tourist hub for our community. I was glad to be a part of the Conservative Government that worked with our international partners and created the National Conservation Plan, which would protect our biospheres for future generations to enjoy.”

LPWBR was designated by UNESCO in 1986. Long Point itself is a 40km long sand spit created over the last 4,000 years by erosion deposits on the north shore of Lake Erie. It contains one of the only remaining old- growth Carolinian deciduous forests in the country and is a significant migratory bird corridor, with an internationally significant wetland complex. The Long Point peninsula is home to very significant populations of Species at Risk and some of the highest density of biodiversity in Canada.

Biosphere Reserves are considered to be learning sites established by countries and recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme to promote sustainable development based on local community efforts and sound science.

 

@biospherecanada @ccunesco #biospherereserve #receptiononthehill #unesco

 

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Causeway Project Committee receives Norfolk Dogwood Award

Causeway Steering Committee members John Everett, Rick Levick, Paula Jongerden (chair), Jan Everett and Peter Carson accepted the award certificate and sculpture on behalf of all committee members.

Simcoe, June 4, 2018: The 2018 Dogwood Award for contributions to Norfolk County’s culture and heritage by a group was presented to members of the Steering Committee of the Long Point Causeway Improvement Project.

“This committed group is the very best in community leadership, support and hard work,” said Melissa Collver, Norfolk’s Director of Heritage and Culture as she presented the award

The 10-year, $2.7 million project was a community-based effort to reduce the negative ecological impacts of the 3.5km causeway linking the Long Point peninsula on Lake Erie with mainland Southern Ontario. These impacts included high levels of wildlife road mortality, particularly of Species at Risk turtles and snakes, and the disruption of the natural hydrological functions of Big Creek Marsh, one of the largest remaining coastal wetlands on the Canadian side of the Great Lakes.

The project began in 2006 and was managed by a Steering Committee comprised of local concerned citizens, representatives of several local community groups, non-governmental organizations and county, provincial and federal agencies. Collectively, these people committed hundreds of hours of volunteer time to oversee this project for more than a decade. Nearly everyone on the committee lived, worked and/or owned property in Norfolk County. Notably, members of the Steering Committee who were employed by government agencies participated as volunteers outside of regular work hours.

Early in the project, it was agreed that the Long Point World Biosphere Reserve Foundation (LPWBRF) would act as the principal fundraising and administrative agency on behalf of the Steering Committee.

Because the Causeway is a Norfolk County road, the Committee and the LPWBRF worked in partnership with County Council and staff on all aspects of the project. They also consulted regularly with many regulatory agencies such as the Canadian Wildlife Service that have responsibility for protecting the Big Creek wetland ecosystem adjacent to the Causeway.

“Thanks to the initiative and hard work of these volunteer Committee members, the Causeway Project has achieved tremendous success by reducing reptile road mortality on the Causeway by nearly 80 per cent and restoring three aquatic connections between the Big Creek Marsh and Long Point Bay,” said Collver.

More than 95 per cent of the $2.7 million in funds raised by the Committee came from sources outside Norfolk County such as the federal and provincial governments, a major US conservation organization, other environmental organizations and the private sector. Much of this funding was used to purchase goods and services in Norfolk County.

Collver also noted that work of the Causeway Project Steering Committee has continued and enhanced the long heritage of nature conservation and sustainable development in the Long Point area and Norfolk County. As examples, she mentioned:

  • The formation of the Long Point Company to preserve Long Point’s marshes and waterfowl populations
  • The establishment of Canada’s first reforestation nursery at St. Williams
  • The preservation of Backus Woods as an old growth Carolinian forest
  • The designation of Long Point as a United Nations World Biosphere Reserve

Commenting on the award, Steering Committee Chair Paula Jongerden said the group’s work brought to the forefront the concept of our responsibility to Norfolk’s very extensive natural capital and demonstrated moral responsibility to our non-human heritage.

“The true community effort and shared dedication of this group exemplifies the notion of what is possible when we work together around a very important common goal – our natural heritage,” said Jongerden.

 

Project part of national tree-planting effort

By Vincent Ball, Brantford Expositor

Tuesday, May 1, 2018 7:33:58 EDT PM

Tara Carpenter and her seven-year-old daughter Holly plants trees on Saturday on a vacant four-acre site on the west end of Simcoe. Brian Thompson/Postmedia News

SIMCOE  – A tree-planting project in Norfolk County on Saturday attracted a lot of people and organizers are delighted with the support the initiative received from the community.

“It was heartwarming to see so many people including a lot of youngsters come out to plant trees,” Tara Carpenter, of the Long Point World Biosphere, said following the event. “We had close to 100 people and the event was made possible by groups working together and it’s great to see that kind of cooperation for such a good cause.

“We planted 4,000 trees and we really needed all the people who showed up to make it a success.”

Several dignitaries including Norfolk Mayor Charlie Luke, Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett and Haldimand-Norfolk MP Diane Finley, also participated in the event.

A number of different species of trees were planted on a 1.6 hectare (four-acre) parcel of vacant Norfolk County land near the end of Luscombe Drive just west of Simcoe. The initiative was part of a national effort by 14 biosphere reserves across Canada to symbolically offset the greenhouse gas emissions caused by transportation to the upcoming international G-7 economic conference in June.

The project’s aim is to plant 100,000 trees across Canada that will sequester nearly 600 tonnes of greenhouse gases as the trees grow.

In Norfolk, the initiative was organized by the Long Point World Biosphere and supported by the Lynn Valley Scouts, forestry staff from Norfolk County and the Long Point Region Conservation Authority. It was also supported by the Canadian government, the Canadian Biosphere Reserves Association and the Charlevoix Biosphere Reserve in Quebec where the economic conference is being held.

Several Carolinian tree species were planted on Saturday including black oak, white pine, white oak, red oak, black cherry, bur oak, hackberry and trembling aspen to name just a few.

“This project continues a long tradition of reforestation in Norfolk beginning with the establishment of Canada’s first forestry station in St. Williams in 1908 to more recent efforts by our foundation that collaborated in the planting of more than 1,000,000 trees by the Long Point Region Conservation Authority with financial support from Ontario Power Generation,” Rick Levick, president of the Long Point World Biosphere Reserve Foundation, said in a statement.

 

Long Point Biosphere kicks off national G7 2018 Tree Planting Project

Norfolk Mayor Charlie Luke. Councillor Peter Black, MPP Toby Barrett and MP Diane Finley joined in the planting of nearly 3,000 trees organized by the Long Point World Biosphere Reserve Foundation in partnership with Norfolk County and the Long Point Region Conservation Authority.

Apr. 28, 2018 Simcoe, ON: Thousands of tree seedlings were planted on four acres of vacant Norfolk County land west of Simcoe today as part of a national effort by 14 Biosphere Reserves across Canada to symbolically offset the greenhouse gas emissions resulting for transportation to the upcoming international G7 economic conference in Quebec in June.

 The project’s goal is to plant 100,000 trees that will sequester nearly 600 tonnes of greenhouse gases (CO2 eq.) as the trees grow.

The local planting effort was initiated and organized by the Long Point World Biosphere Reserve Foundation
 (LPWBRF) and the trees were planted by the Lynn Valley Scouts under direction of forestry staff from Norfolk County and the Long Point Region Conservation Authority (LPRCA).

 Several Carolinian tree species were planted including Black Oak, White Pine, White Oak, Red Oak, Black Cherry, Bur Oak, Hackberry, Trembling Aspen, Kentucky-coffee, Pignut Hickory, Flowering Dogwood, Northern Pin Oak, and Large-toothed Aspen.

Dignitaries participating in a dedication ceremony included Norfolk Mayor Charlie Luke, Toby Barrett, MPP Haldimand-Norfolk and Diane Finley, MP, Haldimand-Norfolk. 

The participants were provided with refreshments and a pizza lunch for their hard work.

“This project continues a long tradition of reforestation here in Norfolk County beginning with the establishment of Canada’s first forestry station in St. Williams in 1908 to more recent efforts by our Foundation that collaborated in the planting of over 1,000,000 trees by the Long Point Region Conservation Authority with financial support from Ontario Power Generation. ,” said Rick Levick, president of the LPWBRF.

To encourage local citizens to participate in this carbon offset initiative, the LPWBRF is offering a free white pine or white cedar seedling to the first 50 people who apply to become members of the Foundation.

The national tree planting project is a collaboration between the Government of Canada, the Canadian Biosphere Reserves Association and the Charlevoix Biosphere Reserve where the G7 meeting will be held.  A commemorative plaque will be erected at the site to mark this event.

Plaque_Long_Point

For more information, please contact: Tara Carpenter (519) 771-0023 or Rick Levick (416) 723-2910

 

“NEVER GIVE UP” ON THE ROAD!

Jan Everett, author and illustrator of her book called “Never Give Up” reads the story to mesmerized students at Lynndale Heights PS, Simcoe. The book chronicles, little Johnny’s attempts to save turtles in peril crossing the busy Causeway Road, Long, Point, ON.

 

 

Then, the 300 children at the school practice carrying a turtle across the road when it is safe to do so.

 

 

 

 

 

Jan and Johnny intertwine their program with information about the local citizen-driven Long Point Causeway Improvement Project where $2.7 million was raised to build 12 tunnels under the Causeway so turtles can save themselves. As well, the students are told of the benefits of the Causeway being in the Long Point World Biosphere Reserve.

Jan and John crisscross South Western Ontario doing book readings to local schools, cub/girl guide groups & even Tillsonburg’s Turtlefest. Thousands of children and parents have heard the story and saved a turtle over the last 5 years. To contact Jan she can be reached at jan.everett4@gmail.com