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Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant Supports a Path Forward for the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust.

May 14th 2024, Schomberg, Ontario  

  The Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust (ORMLT) extends its gratitude to the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) for their generous contribution through the Resilient Communities Fund Grant, aiding in the organization’s post-Covid-19 recovery efforts. This grant empowers the organization to enhance its capabilities through targeted initiatives focusing on leadership development, volunteer engagement, and community outreach. 

Spanning nearly 470,000 acres from the Trent River to the Niagara Escarpment, the Oak Ridges Moraine encompasses the lands of the William’s Treaties First Nations and borders Canada's major urban centers. Like many entities, the Covid-19 crisis presented challenges for the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust. Contraction in revenues hindered its ability to effectively deliver programs, leading to a reduction in staffing by 50%. This financial strain prevented the organization from investing in essential community consultations as our strategic plan expired. 

The ORMLT remains dedicated to forward-thinking practices that benefit both communities and the ecology of the Oak Ridges Moraine. The grant from OTF allows the organization to manage increased workloads amidst staffing and funding constraints while gathering valuable feedback from the communities they serve. 

In response to these financial challenges, the ORMLT explored diversifying revenue streams, including assessing readiness for a social enterprise. Engagements in 2024 involved community discussions on local environmental issues, the land trust's role in conservation, and hosting a roundtable event at Hiawatha First Nation to gather feedback on how we can identify and support synergies and alignments in our conservation efforts, and work towards building a stronger relationship with the First Nation Communities of the Williams Treaties, a process built on trust, respect, and open and thoughtful communication. 

The Trust is committed to forward-thinking practices that positively impact both the communities and the ecology of the Oak Ridges Moraine This grant provides an opportunity for ORMLT to navigate the burden of increased workload amidst staffing and funding limitations, while being able to gather valuable feedback from the people they serve on the Moraine. The ORMLT’s commitment to inclusivity ensures a safe, constructive environment where all community members feel represented. This work addresses historical exclusions from outdoor spaces and barriers to nature appreciation. 


Finally, as a response to their financial vulnerability, the ORMLT examined ways to diversify our revenue streams to support strategic plan including an assessment of our readiness to stand up a social enterprise, including an organizational readiness assessment and ideation process. 

With the support of Ontario Trillium Foundation, ORMLT has gained crucial feedback from diverse stakeholders, guiding the organization in developing actionable initiatives to better serve the communities near the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust. This grant not only aids in pandemic recovery but also strengthens their resilience for the future. 



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Susan Walmer, CPA, CMA   

Chief Executive Officer  

Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust  

5595 17th Sideroad, Schomberg ON L0G 1T0  

905-939-3333 x32  

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