Cross-border Conservation Training Program
Recognizing that American-owned lands are key conservation properties in many land trust catchment areas in Ontario, the Ontario Trillium Foundation has provided funding over three years to OLTA and American Friends of Canadian Land Trusts (AF) to launch the Cross-border Conservation Training Program (CCTP) in 2016. The McLean Foundation has also provided support for program implementation.
Our goal is to increase the collective capacity of Ontario conservation organizations to be successful at “cross-border conservation” – to secure high-priority conservation properties owned wholly or partly by US taxpayers – and to bring more funding to support such work. We envision offering training opportunities in the form of workshops and one-on-one mentoring. CCTP also has funds for mapping, communications resources, and a small grants program to assist OLTA members with the costs of initiating cross-border conservation gifts.
Rainy Lake Conservancy, Georgian Bay Land Trust, Lake Superior Watershed Conservancy, Magnetawan Watershed Land Trust and The Bruce Trail Conservancy have all partnered with AF to secure one or more of these cross-border conservation gifts. In Ontario, 12 cross-border gifts combine to protect over 800 acres since 2011. US income tax benefits made these gifts financially feasible for the owners, many of whom have passed their Canadian properties down through generations. The total appraised value of these gifts is over $6 million USD.
The Old Man Creek Preserve was saved from subdivision and development by an American who acquired the land and donated it to American Friends of Canadian Land Trusts in a transaction facilitated by the Magnetawan Watershed Land Trust. Photo credit: Steven H. O. Jones (www.panoramio.com/user/501074)
Conservation organizations can help develop the program by completing this short, online survey.
Professional advisors and conservationists can gain more information and become involved by contacting:
Conserving Species at Risk on Land Trust Property
Do you know what Species at Risk you have on your land trust properties? Would you like to learn how to protect them? Thanks to the support of the MNRF Species at Risk Stewardship Fund we are able to offer support to land trusts to help you conserve Species at Risk on your properties!
This project enables OLTA to provide guidance and expertise to enhance the capacity of local land trusts to undertake strategic conservation planning and management on their properties to benefit Species at Risk. This will be accomplished through delivery of technical training through open workshops, plus one-on-one support for up to six (6) land trusts to develop targeted Species at Risk action plans to inform their conservation work.
For more information on the program, please review our program guidelines document: Developing Action Plans for Species at Risk – Project Description.
Naturally Accessible – Discovering Ontario’s Land Trusts
Photo credits: freeimages.com and Jenna Quinn
Naturally Accessible – Discovering Ontario’s Land Trusts is an initiative of the Ontario Land Trust Alliance (OLTA) in partnership with the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario. It aims to educate and train Ontario’s land trusts and other conservation partners on their obligations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) and to work with them to promote and grow accessible recreational, outdoors and educational opportunities offered to the public through their conservation properties and programs.
Currently 1 in 7 people in Ontario has some type of disability. That’s 1.85 million Ontarians! By 2036, as our population ages, it is expected that 1 in 5 Ontarians will have a disability. That is a lot of potential members, donors, volunteers and champions. Why not start now to think about how to be inclusive as possible as you look to engage your public in the work that you do!
Learning from our Accessibility Roadmaps
Thanks to support from the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario, OLTA was able to work with four land conservation organizations to develop ‘accessibility road maps’ to develop and prioritize actions they can take to make their operations and facilities more accessible to people with disabilities.
Accessibility Roadmap Reports 2014-2015
- rare Charitable Research Reserve – Accessibility Roadmap 2014(PDF)
- Ruthven Park – Accessibility Roadmap 2014 (PDF)
- South Nation Conservation – Accessibility Roadmap 2015 (PDF)
- Ontario Nature – Accessibility Roadmap 2015 (PDF)
We refined these reports to focus on specific topic areas that were common challenges for our participating organizations.
- Naturally Accessible Part I_The Built Environment
- Naturally Accessible Part II_Public Spaces
- Naturally Accessible Part III_Accessible Communication
We have also produced the Naturally Accessible Resource Guide (Word Document), which brings together a collection of materials that will help your organization improve the accessibility of communications, programs, meetings and facilities for persons with disabilities. We would appreciate your feedback and input to keep this resource up to date, so please contact us if you have ideas or questions!
Assessing Your Organization (AYO) Program
Ontario Land Trust Alliance provides instructional tools to help land trusts understand and implement the Canadian Land Trust Standards and Practices.
Thanks to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for their support of $265,100 over 36 months to build the organizational capacity of Ontario’s Land Trusts by delivering OLTA’s Assessing Your Organization (AYO), a program that assists Ontario land trusts in achieving the Canadian Land Trust Standards and Practices.
In 2007, OLTA launched its Organizational Assessment Program. This program is intended to help strengthen land trusts through a systematic review and discussion of their governance and operating practices in light of the Canadian Land Trust Standards and Practices. Through the guidance of OLTA facilitators, the assessment process helps land trust boards meet legal requirements and regulations, recruit and train excellent board members, set priorities for organizational development, as well as secure land efficiently and effectively for conservation and protection.
The main tool used for this program is the Assessing Your Organization: Using Canadian Land Trust Standards and Practices workbook. Assessing Your Organization is designed to complement the 2005 Canadian Land Trust Standards and Practices and is created for land trusts and other entities that wish to undertake an analysis of their organization’s progress toward implementing the Canadian Land Trust Standards and Practices.
Testimonials from participants of OLTA’s Organizational Assessment Program:
“This is a good prelude to a 5-year strategic planning process. I think we were mostly aware of pending issues with plans for addressing them –This lights a fire under us, highlights needs so we’re clearer as a group.” – The Couchiching Conservancy
“Good ‘wake-up’ call for what we need to get going on.”
– Thousand Islands Watershed Land Trust