Dear members and friends,
After 4 years of intense activity, 2017 was a time to catch our breath, consolidate our finances, and plan strategically for the next wave of land acquisitions. Your land conservancy realized several notable achievements last year. Firstly, Shirley McCall Stikeman and Conservation Manitou were recognized by Environment and Climate Change Canada for their efforts in protecting natural habitats, namely the 247-acre Lac de la Loutre (Atwater Lake) property. Secondly, we purchased 49 acres of forest between the west-end of Lake Manitou and Lake Brazeau for $21,000. Post year-end, we closed an additional 25 acres donated by the estates of Mary Powell and David Culver. We also formed a partnership with Nature Conservancy of Canada to acquire the 541-acre Barbara Richardson Wildlife Foundation property located just west of Lake Manitou with the goal of maintaining ecological connectivity in the region. As a result, Conservation Manitou today owns or co-owns a total of 1,221 acres of conservation lands.
Finally, funds pledged since the 2016 launch of the Capital Campaign have reached just over $200,000 or half our target. This is good progress and has allowed us to fully repay the balance of sale and capitalize the Stewardship Fund with $50,000. We would like to encourage your continuing support to endow the fund with at least $250,000 so that income generated can cover the annual carrying costs of our conservation lands. Donating to Conservation Manitou is an investment in our ecological assets that pays us dividends every day in the form of fresh air, clean water, erosion protection, enjoyment of nature and healthy living. Thanks to the strength of our community we have accomplished something incredible of which we should all be very proud. Please come and celebrate our 5th anniversary at the Annual Members Meeting, Saturday May 19 at 2pm at Place Lagny in Ste-Agathe-des-Monts.