The Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust has reached the first milestone of a $1 Million campaign launched in the fall of 2010. Chaired by the Honourable H.N. (Hal) Jackman, the milestone represents 66% of the way to the goal. Multi-year contributions from private foundations, new supporters of the Trust and individual donations have helped reach $660,000 to date.
$1 Million Dollar Fund will Focus on Two Key Areas
One To establish a Stewardship Fund that will provide for the perpetual care of the lands entrusted to ORMLT.
What are the above funds used for?
With over 35 properties to be monitored, the need for a fund in support of this work is imperative. Depending on the size of the property and complexity of the agreement itself these monitoring visits can range in costs from $500 to $900 each, annually. Property monitoring, an annual requirement of conservation easements, includes time and costs for pre-visit contact and arrangements, travel, addressing landowner questions along with general relationship building, report writing, and post-visit feedback and presentation.
Support for restoration efforts can take the form of extensive landowner contact to introduce landowners to a variety of conservation programs and options offered by others, securing grants for work on Land Trust owned properties and following up on physical work undertaken by monitoring planting success. Prices for native stock for hand planting continue to rise. Machine planting of native trees on a property can amount to $2000 per acre.
Two To support program expenses in pursuit of protection.
What are the above funds used for?
For each land transaction, including "donated" lands and easements, the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust incurs expenses that can range from $20,000 to $50,000. The Trust must invest in staff time, relationship building, surveys, assessments, appraisals and legal costs. Sometimes all this is undertaken and the willing landowner decides for many reasons not to move ahead with an agreement.
The cost and challenge of reaching into 32 municipalities, each with many social groups and fraternal clubs and organizations, each with differences in issues across the moraine and sheer distances to be travelled, takes time and money. Support for outreach is critical and not easily found in typical project funding. Volunteers are often utilized to support outreach activities, but support materials and reimbursement for travel are important needs for this activity to continue. Outreach and education programs of the Land Trust are targeted at "multiplier" audiences, those who lead and influence others in their understanding of how the moraine functions and why it requires protection. Work of the Land Trust is made easier when more people understand the delicate balance between sustainable use and protection.
With more cash resources at hand, the Trust can leverage even further support through matching grants or required cash contributions to access program funding from a broader variety of sources.
Why Investing in a Land Trust Works
Consider what an acre of forest alone does for us. It cleans the air we breathe. It cools our climate. Forests help to cool, clean and regulate water with roots protecting us from run-off and erosion. A forest shelters wildlife, birds and insects who contribute to pollination, disperse seeds and provide for recreation. It has been estimated the value of these services amounts to $2,191 per acre, annually.
With over 3,300 acres under protection through agreements with the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust, this grass-roots charity is now helping to contribute $4,549,000 in non-market ecological services annually. This number will only grow. Help the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust reach this target to promote the protection of lands across the moraine. It's about public benefit, your health, and the future for all our children. Help support the Oak Ridges Moraine by contributing to the 10th Anniversary Stewardship Fund. Donate now.