In 2007, I worked as a volunteer in the Muskoka Heritage Foundation (MHF). Today, they have merged with Muskoka Heritage Trust (MHT) to form Muskoka Conservancy. Back in 2007, they had partnered with Muskoka Roastery Coffee, Co, and 100% of all sales went to conservation and stewardship programs of the MHF and MHT.
The foundation helped families discover Muskoka in a whole new way. They organized adventures through Muskoka and they hosted guided hikes, art in nature workshops, and so much more! Muskoka is such a beautiful landscape that offers untold treasures.
WHAT DID THE MUSKOKA HERITAGE FOUNDATION DO?
To achieve its goal, the Muskoka Heritage Foundation:
- Identifies important natural areas in the District of Muskoka, alone or in cooperation with individuals, groups and government. (Proposals are welcome from anyone who believes an area deserves protection).
- Acquires key properties through gift or purchase and retains ownership in perpetuity.
- Conserves private property through voluntary stewardship agreements and recognition.
- Encourages the private and government sectors to set aside important natural areas.
- Has opened a conservation information centre to inform the public. This center used to be located at 9 Taylor Road in Bracebridge, Ontario.
- Organizes conferences every year on stewardship, and partnerss with other organizations that have similar interests. A few of them include: The Parry Sound Muskoka Stewardship Network, the Ontario Nature Trust Alliance, and Federation of Ontario Naturalists.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE FOUNDATION’S ACHIEVEMENTS?
Currently, through The Muskoka Heritage Trust, the Muskoka Heritage Foundation owns seven Nature Reserves totaling over 900 acres, operating them in partnership with a number of community groups. We hosted an international symposium addressing the value of the night sky in 2003, Ecology of the Night, and we continue to advocate for dark-sky friendly lighting across Muskoka. In 2006, we will help host the third annual Muskoka Star Party, a celebration of the value of the night sky and a commemoration of the black out of 2003. We hold an annual native tree and shrub sale that has added more than 7,500 trees and shrubs to Muskoka’s landscapes over the past three years.
WHAT USE IS MADE OF THE FOUNDATION’S NATURE RESERVES?
Under management agreements with community groups, lands are conserved and protected as wildlife preserves. The public is welcome to use these sites for educational, scientific and passive recreational purposes, provided there is little to no impact on the natural environment.
Your help is needed as a member of the Foundation and as an active participant in programs to help conserve the natural amenities of Muskoka for every one forever.
WHO ARE THEY?
The Foundation is managed by a Board of Directors who are year-round and seasonal residents of Muskoka.