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Your Invitation to the Event of the Year

Bob Sullivan recognizing Gord and Jane Ball for their volunteer contributions.

These are fast times at The Couchiching Conservancy. In January, after the holiday season we become busy little elves, preparing to celebrate success and enjoy camaraderie at our Annual General Meeting. 

And we would love you to attend! This year the Annual General Meeting is to be held on February 4th from 1:30-4:30 pm at Hawk Ridge Golf and Country Club. We are excited to announce we will be featuring a mysterious guest speaker, Steve Burrows.

This year the Annual General Meeting is to be held on February 4th from 1:30-4:30 pm at Hawk Ridge Golf and Country Club.

Mr. Steve Burrows should be a pleasure for avid birders and readers alike. He is an award winning Canadian mystery writer with such titles under his belt as A Siege of Bitterns, A Pitying of Doves and A Cast of Falcons. He is an Arthur Ellis Award winner for Best First Novel, was on The Globe and Mail’s 100 Best Books of 2014 and shortlisted for the 2015 KOBO Emerging Writer Prize. On top of all this Steve is an individual who has enjoyed bird watching on five continents and was even a field editor for Asian Geographic. We are very much looking forward to welcoming this nature enthusiast to our community.

So, what is The Couchiching Conservancy community exactly? Well, birders, volunteers, students, citizen scientists, dedicated environmentalists, parents, children, sisters, brothers; these are the people who make up The Couchiching Conservancy. It is a loose community in which members participate as they see fit, and participation ebbs and flows through the year. It swells when there is a call to action and abates, like the creeks we monitor, when times are quiet. But the Annual General Meeting is the one glimmering chance each year for us to get together and celebrate our work toward a common goal. We count our triumphs of the past year. We honour our local environmental champions. We have the opportunity to fete our teams and committees who have made a difference. We can pat each other on the back and genuinely feel hope for the future of our environment.

This community sense of hope is the reason our Annual General Meeting is so important. It can be disheartening in this day and age to be working for the environment. Environmental charities get the smallest sum of donations of any non-profit groups in Canada. We are chronically faced with new challenges. It seems the more information comes out the more work we have to do. And we are also up against a horizon of possible environmental catastrophe due to climate change and habitat loss. It can be disheartening, but it does not have to be. That is why we would love for you to attend our Annual General Meeting. We do not just sit and hope, we work together for the future we want.  

The Conservancy is the community I have adopted in Orillia. It is one I am proud to be a part of.  It means belonging to a group with common interests and for us a common goal, to protect nature for future generations. If you would like to be involved in protecting nature here in the Couchiching region, if you want to become a part of a great community, if you are interested in birds, or mysteries, please join us on February 4th at Hawk Ridge. We would be delighted to see you there.

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Courtney Baker is the Administrative Assistant at The Couchiching Conservancy, a non-profit land trust dedicated to protecting nature for future generations.