CCKT Annual Meeting Spotlights Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation

May 11, 2023

Concerned Citizens of King Township (CCKT) recently hosted its Annual General Meeting, serving as a platform for community members to delve into diverse issues and forthcoming plans. The gathering featured a standout presentation by Susan Walmer, the CEO of the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust, who offered deep insights into environmental stewardship efforts on the Moraine.

The AGM began with Bruce Craig, the organization’s chair, acknowledging the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and Mississaugas of the Credit, and offering respect to all Indigenous peoples. He gave a recap of the year’s events, underscoring strategic alliances, participation in plans such as the Township’s Rural Zoning Bylaw and the Municipal Comprehensive Review, as well as tracking proposed developments like the Jane King Lands and the Mary Lake project.

The incoming CCKT Board for 2023–2024 was elected, featuring CCKT members – Tom Butt, Bruce Craig, Fred Jessop, Lee Ann Kraft, Geoff Simpson, Gill Watt, and Cathy Wellesley. Additionally, honorary member, Deb Schulte, was welcomed as an advisory board member. The organization is keen on broadening its membership and encourages those eager to support CCKT’s mandate of fostering sustainability and safeguarding the natural heritage of King Township to visit CCKT’s website (cckt.ca) and sign up.

Susan Walmer, in her keynote presentation, stressed the urgency to protect the distinct natural heritage characteristics of the Oak Ridges Moraine, an area shaped by glaciers 13,000 years ago. She highlighted the value of preserving environmentally significant zones of the Moraine via avenues like land gifts, conservation easements, and property acquisitions. Susan pointed out the essential ecological benefits these lands provide, such as carbon storage and habitat creation, which bolster human health and climate change resilience.

Susan shared various conservation endeavors, notably a successful campaign centered on the rare Kirtland’s warbler. She also spotlighted the Land Trust’s land restoration activities, collaboration with local Indigenous communities, and the crucial role of community education. Emphasizing the importance of solid relationships with local politicians and government personnel in conservation endeavors, Susan conveyed her message passionately.

Finally, Susan championed the cause of preparing younger generations to become environmental caretakers and addressed the obstacles young people confront in taking up farming owing to steep land prices. She inspired attendees to engage with environmental conservation entities and concluded her address by thanking them for their collective dedication to safeguarding the environment for future generations.