News & Events

Volunteer Opportunity - Help us build our Resource Library!

Volunteer Opportunity: Resource Centre Organizer 

Are you passionate about collecting and organizing resources? Do you enjoy creating systems that help others access information easily? If so, OLTA has an exciting volunteer opportunity for you! 

Position: Resource Centre Organizer 

Organization: Ontario Land Trust Alliance 

Location: Remote 

About Us: 

The Ontario Land Trust Alliance (OLTA) is an environmental charitable organization, with a mission to empower a vibrant and enduring land conservation community in Ontario. OLTA accomplishes this through providing direct support for nature conservation and stewardship, offering training and educational programs; promoting community networking; helping to ensure land trusts meet (and exceed) a set of national standards and practices; and raising the profile of the work of land and nature trusts.  

Position Description: 

As a Resource Centre Organizer, you will play a vital role in helping our organization develop and maintain our resource Centre. Your main responsibilities will include: 

  • Gather resources pertinent to land conservation from various sources. 
  • Organizing resources by categorizing them based on themes, topics, and relevance. 
  • Tagging resources with appropriate keywords to aid in navigation and search functionality. 
  • Collaborating with team members to ensure resources are up-to-date and accurately categorized. 
  • Assisting in the development of strategies to improve the usability and accessibility of the Resource Centre. 

Qualifications: 

  • Strong organizational skills with a keen eye for detail. 
  • Experience using WordPress 
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively within a team. 
  • Excellent communication skills. 
  • Passion for environmental conservation is a plus. 

Time Commitment: 

This position is flexible but ideally requires a commitment of at least five hours per week for three months. 

Benefits: 

  • Opportunity to contribute to a meaningful cause and make a difference. 
  • Gain valuable experience in information management and organization. Training will be provided.  
  • Work remotely and set your own schedule. 
  • Join a supportive and passionate team dedicated to land conservation. 

How to Apply: 

If you are interested in becoming a part of OLTA’s Resource Center team, please send your resume and a cover letter outlining your interest to admin@olta.ca. Feel free to include any relevant experience or skills that you believe make you a great fit for this role. 

Applications from BIPOC applicants are encouraged. We openly welcome and invite applications from persons with disabilities and those protected by the human rights code.  

Join us in our work to conserve Ontario’s natural heritage and make a lasting impact through effective resource management. We look forward to hearing from you! 

Note: This is a volunteer position. 

Deadline for Applications: May 31, 2024, 12:00 pm EST

OLTA Gathering 2024 - Call for Presentation Proposals

OLTA’s Gathering this year will be held on October 28-30, 2024 at Isaiah Tubbs Resort in Prince Edward County. OLTA’s Annual Gathering is an annual conference for Ontario land trusts and other like-minded conservationists. It is a time for sharing experiences and learning from others.

We are currently looking for your presentation ideas and proposals. We are especially interested in your successes and learnings to share with your land trust colleagues. Did you complete a significant land securement; undertake a new stewardship, outreach or research project; have you furthered your equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) goals as an organization?

Please submit your topic suggestions or proposals for presentations to admin@olta.ca by 9am May 1st. The proposal form is Gathering – Presentation Proposal.

Sessions are generally 40 minutes with 15 minutes for questions. Sessions can be presentation, panel or interactive format. Suggested areas of interest:

  • Land stewardship
  • Land securement
  • Diversity, equity & inclusion
  • Board governance
  • Funding & fundraising
  • Communications
  • Standards & Practices.

We strongly encourage content from Indigenous communities and other under-represented groups within the conservation sector.

We are looking forward to hearing your ideas!

2024 Gathering Committee

OLTA is Hiring! Summer Communications Specialist - NEW Deadline - April 24

Communications Specialist – Summer Position 

About Ontario Land Trust Alliance (OLTA) 

The Ontario Land Trust Alliance (OLTA) is an environmental charitable organization, with a mission to empower a vibrant and enduring land conservation community in Ontario.  OLTA accomplishes this through providing direct support for nature conservation and stewardship, offering training and educational programs; promoting community networking; helping to ensure land trusts meet (and exceed) a set of national standards and practices; and raising the profile of the work of land and nature trusts. 

The Communications Specialist will report to the Communications and Engagement Coordinator and will assist with matters related to marketing, communications, and media relations activities for OLTA members, partners, and stakeholders. 

Tasks and Responsibilities 

The Communications Specialist would undertake the following activities: 

  • Collaborate with our Engagement and Communications staff to write communications content, compile articles and features, write emails, as well as assist with the production and editing of the monthly e-newsletter 
  • Work with Engagement and Communications staff to develop a comprehensive social media 6-month plan and schedule 
  • Maintain and grow OLTA’s social media and other media presence 
  • Research conservation and land trust specific topics and create communications content based on this information 
  • Assist with showcasing OLTA and OLTA’s land trust members’ programs, events and impacts through emails, newsletters, and social media 
  • Design graphics for OLTA’s social media, website, and newsletter 
  • Organize data to grow engagement opportunities 
  • Support the work of other OLTA staff on proposals, communications, and community outreach projects 
  • Other duties as assigned 

Qualifications 

  • Proven experience/training in communications and engagement 
  • Excellent verbal and written skills; excellent editing skills 
  • Demonstrated organizational and time management skills, ability to multi-task and meet overlapping deadlines 
  • Demonstrated computer skills, including working knowledge (ideally) of Adobe Design Suite including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, WordPress, Canva, and social media pages including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter 
  • Experience (and/or passion!) working in conservation, environment, or sustainability-related fields is an asset 
  • Some experience working with the charitable sector is preferred 

 

Other Requirements 

  • Access to a home office workspace 
  • Must have access to high-speed internet and adequate bandwidth, as working from home will be required most of the time 

Employment Type 

This is a full-time summer position, 35 hours per week for up to 16 weeks, pending funding approval. The position will be remote with some travel in Toronto, and possibly elsewhere in Ontario, expected. Hours are flexible with core working hours of 10am to 3pm.  

To Apply 

Deadline for applications is 9:00am, April 24, 2024, EDT. Applications will be assessed on a rolling basis until the right candidate is found, so please apply early.  

If you are interested in joining our team, please submit a cover letter and your resume (PDF) to admin@olta.ca, indicating Summer Communications Specialist in the subject line.

Applications from BIPOC applicants are encouraged. We openly welcome and invite applications from persons with disabilities and those protected by the human rights code and will provide accommodation during all stages of the recruitment and hiring process, upon request. 

Applications will not be accepted by fax and/or regular mail. No phone calls please. 

OLTA thanks all applicants for their interest; however, only those being considered for an interview will be contacted. 

Conservation Easement Agreements: Charitable Assets -- and Liabilities March 26

Join us on March 26, 1:00-2:00 pm for an important discussion about long term stewardship of CEAs. We will cover the enforcement of CEAs, provide examples of when extinguishment (partial or full) can occur, and the process of amending CEAs and considerations for when and how to do this.

To participate, please register here.

This training is free for OLTA members and associates and $45 for others.

Conservation Easement Agreements Webinar March 7

Join us on March 7, 12:30-1:30 pm as we explore the possibilities associated with donation of a Conservation Easement Agreement. We will discuss responsibilities of land trusts in issuing receipts, benefits to the landowner, tax considerations, and donation scenarios.

To participate, please register here.

This training is free for OLTA members and associates and $45 for others.

Annual Property Monitoring Webinar February 29

Join OLTA, Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust, and Thames Talbot Land Trust for a discussion of annual monitoring practices and procedures.

Participants will gain a better understanding of who typically completes annual monitoring, training for property monitors, documentation and forms completed with each site visit, and what happens next!

In addition to routine monitoring, we will also talk about ways to incorporate species at risk monitoring into annual procedures to keep your records up to date and to help inform stewardship decisions.

Thursday February 29, 10-11:30 am

This training is free for OLTA members and associates and $45 for others.

To participate, please register here.

 

Estimating GHG Benefits Webinar February 22

 

Join us for a webinar on Estimating Greenhouse Gas flux benefits of forest conservation and restoration.

While there are broadly recognized GHG and climate mitigation benefits of forest conservation and restoration efforts, accurate quantification remains a challenge, often requiring many samples and high-quality repeated measurements.

An alternative approach that can be easily implemented at a local scale uses estimates of carbon stocks and dynamics based on remote sensing imagery in conjunction with carbon process models. A globally comprehensive version of such estimates with high spatial resolution is freely available from the eNGO Global Forest Watch. Dr. Thomas will introduce and demonstrate this approach, and summarize alternative methods and emerging issues.

Dr. Sean Thomas is an internationally recognized expert in tree ecophysiology and forest carbon processes, and in recent years has pioneered the use of biochar in forest restoration applications.

Thursday February 22, 11am-12noon

This training is free for OLTA members and associates and $45 for others.

To participate, please register here.

Join us to talk GIS - January 24

As part of OLTA’s ongoing commitment to our Land Trust members, join us on January 24th from 1 – 2:30PM EST as we deliver training on GIS tools. This webinar is presented by our GIS Technician Katya Kozina and will provide participants with an introduction to GIS software and the geospatial and attribute standards of the Canadian Protected and Conserved Areas Database (CPCAD).

Participants will learn about the fundamental components and capabilities of GIS, including vector data and geodatabase management, geospatial data creation, and feature class editing. The webinar will cover information that land trusts and other organizations should know when preparing to report protected areas to CPCAD.

This training is free for OLTA members and associates and $45 for others.

To participate, register here. If you have any questions, please reach out to Jessica at Jessica.Obodoechi@olta.ca.

OLTA is Hiring - Conservation Science (Maternity cover)

OLTA is seeking an experienced Director of Conservation Science for a temporary maternity leave position. In this job, you will join OLTA’s leadership team, work with dynamic staff and volunteers, and oversee diverse programs.

Responsibilities:

The Director of Conservation Science will report to the Executive Director, taking a lead role in program oversight and operations.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Oversee programs with an emphasis on financial management, development of work plans, record keeping, and reporting on program deliverables.
  • Provide guidance on program activities such as the development and implementation of field work protocols and techniques, education and training resources.
  • Review agreements, reports, resources, and other documents related to program delivery.
  • Liaise with funders including federal and provincial governments, partners, and OLTA members about existing program progress and new opportunities.
  • Developing proposals to support OLTA’s Strategic Priorities.
  • Assisting in the development of communications materials related to OLTA’s impact and program outcomes.
  • Other duties as required.

Salary Range: $50,000-65,000 (full time annual salary)

Experience:

  • A post-secondary diploma in a related field.
  • Minimum five years of experience in a similar position.
  • Significant experience leading program coordination and delivery, including financial management.
  • Ability to prioritize and manage several different and varied tasks simultaneously and meet tight and often competing deadlines.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communications skills (written and oral).
  • Self-starter: ability to work independently as well as collaboratively as part of a team.
  • Knowledge of Ontario’s ecology including flora and fauna identification, species at risk, and restoration techniques preferred.
  • Knowledge of land trusts, land securement, stewardship, and climate change preferred.

Employment Type:

This is a temporary position to cover maternity leave. The employment term is for a period of approximately 9 months. OLTA is open to exploring a part-time or full-time arrangement depending on the preferred candidate. The position is based at the OLTA office in downtown Toronto (currently remote working). Hours are flexible around core hours, occasional travel within Ontario is anticipated.

The successful candidate is expected to have a suitable home workspace. The candidate will be required to attend in-person staff meetings at an agreed upon location in the GTA.

 

To Apply:

Applications from BIPOC applicants are encouraged. We openly welcome and invite applications from persons with disabilities and those protected by the human rights code. We will provide accommodation during all stages of the recruitment and hiring process, upon request.

If you are interested in joining our team, please submit a cover letter and your resume (single PDF) to admin@olta.ca, indicating Director of Conservation Science in the subject line. Also indicate in your cover letter whether you would prefer a full-time or part-time position. Deadline for applications is December 30, 2023 at 5:00pm.

Applications will not be accepted by fax and/or regular mail. No phone calls please.

OLTA thanks all applicants for their interest; however, only those being considered for an interview will be contacted.

For more information about OLTA, please visit our website at www.olta.ca.

Kawartha Land Trust is Hiring!

Kawartha Land Trust is recruiting for a Regional Conservation and Climate Partnership Convenor (RCCPC)

About KLT
Kawartha Land Trust (KLT) is a dynamic land conservation charity with an impressive track record of growth. Our mission is to care for the lands entrusted to us and help others protect the land they love in the Kawarthas. We create nature reserves for future generations by acquiring ecologically important lands and/or interest in lands. We also enhance our stewardship of the land by engaging landowners in land care initiatives through our Partners in
Conservation program.

Founded in 2001, KLT protects 33 properties that include more than 5,350 acres of ecologically diverse lands, some of which include hiking trails that introduce thousands of people to nature in the Kawarthas every year. We have achieved our successes through the work of our dedicated and growing team of donors, volunteers and supporters. Together, we can ensure more natural spaces in the Kawarthas are preserved forever.

KLT works within the Treaty 20 Michi Saagiig Territory and we are dedicated to continuing to create meaningful connections and relationships with First Nations communities in our region.

For more information on the Kawartha Land Trust and to consider further if you may be a fit for this opportunity, see KLT’s website, online/media or social media presence or visit the link: Employment Opportunities – Kawartha Land Trust

Northumberland Land Trust is recruiting for a Land Trust Operations and Stewardship Coordinator!

Northumberland Land Trust (NLT) is a non-profit charity based in Northumberland County, which acquires and manages nature reserves (currently 13) located throughout the County. See nltrust.ca for more details. NLT is looking for an individual to start work, full time, on or about January, 15, 2024, on an initial one year contract . There is a possibility of extending this one year contract.

The position requires self-initiative and an enjoyment of working with publicly minded volunteers who love nature and want to protect our natural environment. The position includes management responsibilities and you will report directly to the President. The full scope of the position is open to negotiation and dependent upon your experience and education. Post secondary education or experience in non-profit business management and/or natural resources/conservation management would be important assets.

You should be prepared to work remotely from a home office and travel to attend volunteer and Board meetings, the later of which are currently held in the Grafton area located just east of Cobourg. You will also be required, from time to time, to visit our nature reserves, which are located between Port Hope in the west, Brighton in the east and Campbellford in the north.

The expected number of hours a week is 40, generally five days a week (occasional weekends), on a flexible basis.

The following lists the key requirements of the position, recognizing that you and the organization must prioritize your work activities within your available time:

  • Fundraising and Public Communications
    • Lead fundraising efforts, including cultivating donor relationships, seeking grant opportunities and developing annual campaign efforts.
    • Maintain the donor management system to ensure up-to-date donor information and donation data.
    • Create and/or support the development of content for various communication channels, including website, social media, newsletters, press releases, and fundraising appeals.
    • Support ongoing website development and updates
    • Work with the social media volunteer to ensure that all platforms are being actively managed and updated with new events, news and other content.
  • Grant Writing
    • Seek out funding opportunities to support ongoing and new projects and complete institutional grant applications
    • Track and monitor grant projects and ensure reporting is completed on time and up to standards.
  • Organizational Management and Governance Support
    • Provide support to volunteers.
    • Support NLT executive with organizational financial management and budgeting.
    • Collaborate with the board of directors, supporting their efforts in strategic planning, policy development and governance.
    • Provide monthly reports to Board of Directors on work activities.
  • Land Acquisition and Stewardship
    • Support land acquisition and stewardship committees as required.
    • Implement work plans and ensure all work and projects are being carried out on time and within budget.
    • Respond to inquiries about potential land donations and prepare preliminary reports to the board for consideration. This may include completing background work such as municipal planning considerations, creating natural heritage maps, boundary maps, baseline biological review etc.
    • Coordinate severance applications and related legal work for donation transfers
    • Coordinate Ecological Gift appraisals and ecological sensitivity assessments
    • Support stewardship volunteers and contractors in relation to work carried out on the nature reserves, as determined by the Stewardship Committee or President, including budgeting and financial management.
    • Track annual applications for property tax exemptions (eg. Conservation Land Tax Incentive Program) and renew/submit applications as required.

 

Salary range: $50,000 – $60,000

For more information and to submit your resume with a letter of interest detailing your relevant qualifications and experience, please contact Rob Kennedy by emailing  rob.kennedy@nltrust.ca 

Applications are requested by no later than Thursday, November 30, 2023 at 12:00 PM (noon).

Please note that eligible applications will be considered for immediate interview upon receipt.

We thank all who apply, but only candidates chosen for interviews will be contacted.

 

OLTA is Recruiting Volunteer Board Members

We owe our collective successes to land trust members and supporters who play such a crucial role in protecting Ontario’s biodiversity and special places. Thank you.One of the most important volunteer jobs at OLTA is serving on the Board of Governors (directors). These incredible volunteers set OLTA’s strategic direction and provide governance oversight and expertise to support OLTA’s programs.One of the important responsibilities of OLTA’s Board is to ensure that we have excellent candidates in the wings to fill vacancies when existing governors complete their terms. We know there is a wealth of experience and knowledge amongst our members and supporters. So, I invite you to put forward your name for consideration or that of someone else who might be interested.What are we looking for? First and foremost, a love of the land and commitment to our mission to empower a vibrant and enduring land trust community in Ontario. At this time, we are seeking diverse skills and experiences, including in the areas of Indigenous relations, finance (investments), and nonprofit governance and law.  We are actively seeking to make our Board more reflective of the diversity of the Ontario population and welcome applications from among Ontario’s Indigenous, racialized and 2SLGBTQ+ communities and persons with disabilities. OLTA is committed to and working on diversity, equity and inclusion and encourages and values diverse perspectives on our Board. We know that this will help us better serve our mission across the province.If you or someone else are interested, please email Phyllis Lee within a few weeks at phyllis.lee@olta.ca. Please let us know a bit about your/themself, why you/they are interested, and what expertise and experience you/they would bring. We look forward to hearing from you!

Now Open 2023 OLTA  Awards - Call for Nominations

Which conservation stars from your community would you like the OLTA community to celebrate? Submit your nominations by September 30th!

There are four awards: 

  • Angus McLeod Vision Award - Volunteer Achievement: This award recognizes individual volunteers who have made outstanding contributions to the land trust community over many years. 
  • OLTA Vision Award - Professional Achievement: This award recognizes a professional (paid position) who has made an important contribution to the land trust community. 
  • OLTA Emerging Land Trust Leader Award: This award recognizes individuals 35 years and under who have made outstanding contributions to the land trust community. 
  • OLTA Land Trust Award for Excellence: This award recognizes land trusts who are raising the bar for excellence in conservation or community engagement. 

The Awards Committee is now accepting nominations until 5:00pm September 30, 2023. For more information visit: 

OLTA is Hiring a Granting Coordinator

 

Job Description

Reporting to the Grant Administrator, the Granting Coordinator is responsible for supporting the administration of our Greenland Conservation Partnership grant program which supports land trusts to preserve and steward more areas of significant ecological importance. The Granting Coordinator will assist the Grant Administrator with collating information for the program, in conjunction with Program staff and partner organizations. The Granting Coordinator will support the Grant Administrator in working with Finance staff for financial reporting under the program, as well as Communications staff for program content and information for communication and outreach opportunities. The Granting Coordinator must be able to manage, understand, and interpret complex data, and be prepared to provide summarized information for various audiences. The Granting Coordinator will be expected to develop an excellent knowledge of program requirements and the application of the program implementation rules.

 

Responsibilities:

Support the Grant Administrator with:

  • Preparing call for proposals, application templates and any other program materials.
  • Overseeing the grant application process and supporting applicants.
  • Reviewing grant applications for compliance with program requirements and preparing package of grant applications for distribution to the grant review committee.
  • Coordinating the activities of the grant review committee.
  • Preparing funding recommendations for approval.
  • Preparing funding agreements and reporting templates and managing award, invoicing and reporting process with approved grant recipients.
  • Maintaining detailed tracking system and electronic and paper files.
  • Tracking progress towards completing deliverables.
  • Preparing grant program reports for ultimate funder and completing all grant-program tasks required by our agreement.
  • Conducting annual program review.

 

Other Responsibilities:

  • Work with communications staff to create and share program communications
  • Provide support to the other OLTA staff and projects, as required.
  • Other duties, as assigned.

 

Employment Type:

This is a full-time position 37.5 hours per week until April 30, 2024. The position is based at the OLTA office in downtown Toronto (currently remote working). Hours are flexible around core hours, occasional travel within Ontario will be expected.

Salary range: $40-50,000

 

To Apply:

Applications from Indigenous and racialized applicants are encouraged. We openly welcome and invite applications from persons with disabilities and those protected by the human rights code and will provide accommodation during all stages of the recruitment and hiring process, upon request.

If you are interested in joining our team, please submit a cover letter and your resume (single PDF) to admin@olta.ca, indicating Granting Coordinator in the subject line. Deadline for applications is August 31, 2023 at 5:00pm EDT.

Applications will not be accepted by fax and/or regular mail. No phone calls please.

OLTA thanks all applicants for their interest; however, only those being considered for an interview will be contacted.

 

Upcoming Webinar on Land Trust Governance & Operations

Join us on Sept 12th from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm OR Sept 14th from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm as OLTA hosts two sessions on Land Trust Governance & Operations tailored specifically for land trust staffs, volunteers, and Board Members of OLTA. 

Title: Where’s the line between governance and operations? 

Description: Nothing great can be accomplished without an effective partnership between the board and the staff (paid or unpaid, including board members performing operational work). But stepping on toes gets an Ouch reaction, not an Impact one – and usually muddles up accountability. During these informative sessions we’ll talk about:  

  • A board’s legal and usual role;  
  • Explicit delegation to the Executive Director (or operational committees if no senior staff person); and   
  • Clarifying that big grey area in-between in a way that works for your culture, history, life-cycle stage, and people.  

Whether you are a professional staff member or a passionate volunteer, these sessions will provide valuable knowledge and actionable tips to drive your mission forward successfully. Depending on your availability, you are welcome to attend either session. Don’t miss this opportunity to connect, learn, and share experiences with fellow professionals and volunteers in the land trust community.  

This event will be hosted by the talented Jane Garthson, President, Garthson Leadership Centre. 

Register:  

Session 1: Sept 12th 1:00pm – 3:00pm Register here  

Session 2: Sept 14th 5:00 – 7:00pm Register here 

Thank you for your unwavering commitment to preserving and protecting our precious landscapes. Let’s make sure we respect each other and our respective roles! 

OLTA is Hiring an Engagement and Communications Coordinator!

 

OLTA is seeking an experienced Engagement and Communication Coordinator to lead and grow community engagement and support.

Responsibilities:

Working under the supervision of the Executive Director, the Engagement and Communication Coordinator will:

Engagement Organizing

  • Lead our Engagement Organizing, supporting OLTA and member organizations.
  • Coordinate volunteer and member engagement planning and implementation; using engagement pyramids and other processes to assist in this process.
  • Support growth in OLTA’s community of volunteers, supporters and members.

Communications

  • Effectively communicate OLTA and OLTA’s members, associates and partners work with the land trust community and the general public
  • Develop and coordinate communications pieces such as impact statements, OLTA and community news, and program updates in collaboration with program staff.
  • Maintain and grow our social media and other media presence with support of other staff.

Development

  • Strengthen and grow our donor engagement through effective stewardship and development and implementation of new initiatives, including a legacy program.
  • Maintain our CRM database, input data from existing sources and integrate CRM in operations, websites and social media platforms.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Salary Range: $45,000 – $55,000 (annual)

Experience:

  • A post-secondary diploma in engagement, fundraising and/or communications or equivalent combination of education and experience, particularly in non-profit administration.
  • At least five years of experience in an office environment providing engagement and development expertise.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communications skills.
  • Strong relationship building experience.
  • Thorough knowledge of MS Office, experience with fundraising tools such as Sumac, Eventbrite, and Canada Helps and proficiency with Adobe software or similar design tools.
  • Entrepreneurial skills, ability to work independently with little supervision as well as collaboratively as part of a team.
  • Ability to prioritize and manage several different and varied tasks simultaneously, and meet tight and often competing deadlines.
  • Experience in social media outreach.
  • Ability to work outside regular business hours on some occasions.

Employment Type:

Both full and part-time positions may be available. The employment term is for a period of 12 months, with the possibility of extension. The position is based at the OLTA office in downtown Toronto (currently remote working). Hours are flexible around core hours, occasional travel within Ontario is anticipated.

The successful candidate is expected to have a suitable home workspace. The candidate may be asked to attend in-person staff meetings at an agreed upon location in the GTA in accordance with public health guidelines and advice.

To Apply:

Applications from BIPOC applicants are encouraged. We openly welcome and invite applications from persons with disabilities and those protected by the human rights code. We will provide accommodation during all stages of the recruitment and hiring process, upon request.

If you are interested in joining our team, please submit a cover letter and your resume (single PDF) to admin@olta.ca, indicating Engagement and Communication Coordinator in the subject line. Also indicate in your cover letter whether you would prefer a full-time or part-time position. Deadline for applications is Monday, July 31 at 5:00pm.

Interview dates will be August 3/4/8.

Applications will not be accepted by fax and/or regular mail. No phone calls please.

OLTA thanks all applicants for their interest; however, only those being considered for an interview will be contacted.

 

Ontario Land Trust Alliance celebrates provincial government’s additional $14 million commitment to land conservation across Ontario!

 

BANCROFT – On June 27, 2023, the Ontario Land Trust Alliance (OLTA) celebrates the provincial government’s additional $14 million commitment to support protection of natural spaces across Ontario. Ontario Land Trust Alliance (OLTA) joined Hon. David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks and Nature Conservancy of Canada for this announcement.

The province has provided $14M additional investment to the Greenlands Conservation Partnership (GCP) to conserve areas of significant ecological importance in Ontario, and promote the importance of healthy, natural spaces. Greenlands Conservation Partnership funds are matched by OLTA and OLTA’s partners through individual donations, foundation support, and by other levels of government. OLTA is pleased to see that the impact of community land conservation is being recognized and continues to grow.

“We’ve seen widespread success over the last three years by working in partnership with organizations like the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Ontario Land Trust Alliance to increase our impact and create opportunities to protect nature. That’s why we’re increasing our investment in the Greenlands Conservation Partnership program. Together, we’re protecting sensitive natural areas and ensuring a healthy environment Ontarians can enjoy, now and in the future.” – Hon. David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks

“In the first three years of the program, local and community land trusts created 44 new projects that conserve sensitive ecosystems and protect habitats for 85 species at risk, including 23 new properties that provide public access and increase the availability of green spaces for Ontarians to enjoy. Partners of this program, including OLTA, will build on the real measurable benefits already seen, preserving more natural areas of ecological importance and promoting community connection to these natural spaces.” – Alison Howson, Executive Director, Ontario Land Trust Alliance.

About

Ontario Land Trust Alliance (OLTA) focuses on providing community, knowledge sharing and support to land trusts across Ontario. It empowers and supports highly effective, well-governed land trusts that engage their communities to protect forests, wetlands, nature, water sources and provide natural climate solutions.

OLTA builds capacity through training and educational programs, connecting land trusts to each other, resources, and their communities, leading and supporting on-the-ground conservation work, sharing knowledge and best practices, reducing financial barriers to land conservation,

Quick Facts

  • Since 2020, Ontario has invested $38 million to leverage private contributions to the Greenlands Conservation Partnership with the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Ontario Land Trust Alliance.
  • This provincial funding supports the securement of privately owned protected areas and their restoration and management. For every dollar of provincial funding provided through the Greenlands Conservation program, NCC and OLTA and land trust partners have matched it with approximately $5 from other conservation partners, including individual donors, foundations, and other levels of government.
  • Through Ontario’s partnership with the Ontario Land Trust Alliance, the government has help protect properties with sixteen land trust organizations across the province.

 To access the full News Release, click here.

 

For more information:

Visit: OLTA.ca

Contact: Alison Howson – OLTA Executive Director, 416-588-6582, alison.howson@olta.ca

The Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust is Hiring a Conservation Coordinator- Application Closed

 

Job Overview

The Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust is seeking a full-time Conservation Coordinator to help with managing its properties and growing portfolio.

 

About the organization:

The Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust (MMLT) is a registered non-profit, charitable organization that was incorporated in 2003 to conserve wilderness properties in Eastern Ontario for the long term. MMLT’s region spans the drainage basin of the Mississippi River and the adjoining lands northward to the Madawaska River. Our mission is to legally protect and steward private lands that have ecological, biodiverse, aesthetic, and cultural value, while at the same time fostering community engagement with nature. MMLT currently has ten properties entrusted to its care, covering approximately 3,060 acres (1,238 hectares) of lands with significant ecological value. We work with volunteers, members, families, and friends to preserve the land and provide the best wilderness experience possible for thousands of visitors of all ages to MMLT’s properties each year.

Position Overview:
The Conservation Coordinator will be responsible for completing ecological and biological monitoring, managing volunteers, overseeing maintenance, and prioritizing improvements to MMLT properties to both enhance visitor experience and protect sensitive ecosystems. The development of reports on each property, including inventories, assessments, and stewardship plans is a key role. The Conservation Coordinator will also be involved in the process of acquiring new properties to manage, in close collaboration with MMLT’s Executive Director, property managers and committees, and with external stakeholders such as landowners, funders, appraisers, lawyers, and other professionals. A conservation-minded approach to property management and enthusiastic community engagement and promotion of MMLT’s vision and goals are important factors in this position. Please see the full, detailed job description below for more information.

This is a one-year term position starting mid to late-August 2023 (with the potential for extension). The Conservation Coordinator must have a reliable vehicle to access the properties in the MMLT portfolio. The successful candidate will have the option of working from home but will be based at the MMLT offices at 10970 Highway 7, Carleton Place, ON, K7C 3P1.

 

Job Description

Reporting to the Executive Director, the Conservation Coordinator is a full-time contract of employment position (MMLT will deduct CPP, EI, and income taxes).

Hourly Compensation: $ 25.00 per hour, no benefits.

Length of Contract: One-year, with possibility of extension.

Number of Work Hours per Week: 35.00

Work Days: Generally, Monday through Friday. Flexible, with some weekends.

Office Location: 10970 Hwy 7, Carleton Place, ON.  Some work may be done from another remote location, and at various MMLT property locations, to be agreed by MMLT.

 

Position Summary:

The Conservation Coordinator is a member and key resource of the Property Stewardship Committee (PSC) and reports on all properties, either directly to the PSC or through a Property Manager on the PSC. The Conservation Coordinator assists in the coordination, development and implementation of all PSC-approved stewardship plans for each MMLT property and all stewardship-related tasks, which involves working with the PSC Chair and the Property Managers of all MMLT properties. The Conservation Coordination possesses a variety of skills and abilities and can independently prioritize and carry out tasks with exceptional quality, efficiency, and attention to detail. This position is a mix of in-office (or remote work, if eligible) and in-field days. This position reports to the Executive Director.

Start date: mid to late-August, 2023

End date: November 2024

 

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Coordinate, monitor, prioritize and oversee the maintenance of MMLT properties to both protect the land and enhance visitor experience including collection and management of data related to stewardship and outreach activities;
  • Prepare property reports, including inventories (property information, site description, ecosystems, habitats, land uses, potential threats, conservation goals, etc.), property assessments and stewardship plans in conjunction with Property Managers and professional consultants, as applicable;
  • Annually review Property Stewardship Plans and budget requirements for each property;
  • Assist with Annual Monitoring Reports of each MMLT property by collecting data pertaining to invasive/alien species, species-at-risk, and overall ecosystem health of MMLT properties;
  • Work closely with the Property Stewardship Committee (PSC) and Property Managers, organizing and scheduling monthly committee meetings, compiling agenda items, sending out the meeting package in a timely manner, and completing meeting minutes;
  • Coordinate and work with Property Managers to:
    • ensure Baseline Documentation Reports and Annual Monitoring Reports are completed as scheduled;
    • ensure that property needs are accounted for in the corporate budget;
    • ensure that public trails are maintained, closed when unsafe, and that directional and or informational signage is maintained and up to date to ensure the safety of visitors;
    • receive monthly updates from Property Managers;
  • Make recommendations to the PSC regarding property maintenance, property acquisition, and consideration of new or additional Property Managers;
  • Arrange for purchase, rental, and/or contracting of equipment necessary to meet property stewardship and maintenance needs;
  • Work collaboratively with other MMLT staff, volunteers, and committees in MMLT’s nature interpretation workshops and events designed to foster an appreciation of nature and a culture of conservation;
  • Participate in preparation of communications materials to enhance visitors’ experiences as needed, such as maps, signs, and promotional materials;
  • Assist in the development and implementation of Board recommendations for safe work practices by volunteers and staff conducting work or other business at MMLT properties;
  • Participate in the development or re-development of public trails on properties where
  • needed;
  • Contribute to newsletters, social media platforms, website, and other MMLT outreach as
  • requested by the Executive Director;
  • Maintain property files including reports, correspondence, and conservation priorities;
  • Coordinate the submission of Conservation Land Tax Incentive Program (CLTIP) and Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program (MFTIP) applications and reporting, when applicable;
  • In consultation with the Executive Director, actively participate in preparation of grant proposals pertaining to the MMLT properties and related reporting;
  • Coordinate volunteers and contractors to complete identified property-related projects and other tasks, keeping in regular contact at all times;
  • Coordinate and assist in program delivery for nature-related workshops and MMLT events;
  • Consult with relevant committees (e.g., Fundraising, Communications, and Membership and Volunteer Engagement Committee) as required;
  • Other duties as assigned by the Executive Director.

 

Qualifications/Skills/Experience:

  • Successful completion of a College Diploma or Undergraduate Degree in Environmental Studies, Resource Conservation, Ecosystem Management or, an equivalent and demonstrated experience in the field;
  • Knowledge of wildlife and plant species to Eastern Ontario is an asset;
  • Research and information analysis, reporting on results;
  • Proficiency in Google Workspace, Microsoft Office Suite products (e.g., Word and Excel), and Zoom/MS TEAMS. Knowledge of Canva and GIS is considered an asset;
  • Experience coordinating and working with volunteers;
  • Strong communications and people skills, including verbal and written communication skills in English (fluency in French is considered an asset);
  • Valid Ontario driver’s license and access to a reliable vehicle;
  • Willingness and physically capable of participating in outdoor activities in all weather conditions;
  • Experience operating power tools and chainsaws is an asset;
  • Willingness to work from home, an in-office environment, and in the field.

For more information and to submit your resume with a letter of interest detailing your relevant qualifications and experience, please contact the Executive Director by emailing stacie.lloyd@mmlt.ca or calling 613-253-2722.

Applications are requested by no later than Monday, July 17, 2023 at 12:00 PM (noon). Please note that eligible applications will be considered for immediate interview upon receipt. Interviews will be held in-person at the MMLT offices by July 28, 2023.

We thank all who apply, but only candidates chosen for interviews will be contacted.

 

 

National Indigenous History Month in Canada

June is National Indigenous History Month in Canada, and provides an opportunity to learn about the unique cultures, traditions, and experiences of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. This month marks a time of honouring the stories, achievements, and resilience of Indigenous Peoples, who have lived on this land since time immemorial and whose presence continues to impact the evolving lands we call Canada.Within National Indigenous History Month is the National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21). In 1982, the National Indian Brotherhood (now known as the Assembly of First Nations) called for the creation of a day that would recognize the rich culture of Canada’s Indigenous peoples, as well as the contributions they’ve made to the nation’s prosperity. The Government of Canada chose June 21, the summer solstice, to mark such a day, eleven years later.This year, each week of National Indigenous History Month is dedicated to a different theme:

  • June 1 to 6: Women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people
  • June 5 to 11: Environment, traditional knowledge, and territory
  • June 10 to 18: Children and youth
  • June 19 to 25: Languages, cultures, and arts
  • June 26 to 30: Reconciliation

Click here for more information about National Indigenous History month (www.rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca/eng/1683124800202/1683124846095).

 

Suggestions to participate in Indigenous Peoples Month

Yesterday, June 1, 2023, the Deputy Mayor of Toronto, Jennifer McKelvie proclaimed June as Indigenous Peoples Month. The City of Toronto shares some ways to participate in Indigenous Peoples Month. This includes:

Attend events:

Other things that may be of interest:

June is the month of the Great Canadian Giving Challenge! Help us win $20,000!

Can you believe it is June already? This is the month of the Great Canadian Giving Challenge! It is a National public contest to benefit any registered Canadian charity, like OLTA!

This year we have been very successful, providing significant funds for land trusts to help us all meet our local, provincial, and national biodiversity and climate change goals.

Please give today to help OLTA sustain and match these efforts. OLTA works tirelessly to strengthen our land trust members and partners for the protection of Ontario land, and for the connection between people and wild spaces. In 2023, we are continuing to conserve and restore lands contributing to natural climate solutions, enhance species at risk programming, provide funding support to conserve ecologically important natural areas across Ontario, and develop a comprehensive Land Trust Learning Centre.

Through this work, we help protect healthy natural ecosystems and human communities, clean air and water, beautiful vistas, recreation areas, and important agricultural lands. But we need your help to make this happen!

For the entire month of June, every $1 donated will enter OLTA into a chance to win a $20,000 donation, and help you increase your impact within the land trust community. We greatly appreciate your continued dedication to care for the land you love by participating in the #GivingChallengeCA. Donate by following the link!

(https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/ontario-land-trust-alliance-inc/campaign/great-canadian-giving-challenge/)      

Thanks for everything you do,

OLTA Team

OLTA in-person learning at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto

At the beginning of May, OLTA staff met for in-person learning at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto. The afternoon started off with a fabulous tour by our guide, Kyle.The tour included features of the Centre itself, such as the totem pole (carved on-site in 1980) and very large Indigenous art collection (one of the largest in Canada!), the history of the Centre, as well as an overview of their programs and offerings, with Indigenous wisdom and teachings woven throughout. In addition to Indigenous-focused programming, many of their programs are open to all, such as their daily lunches, business development services, and weekly drumming circles with the sacred fire.The afternoon concluded in the beautiful Talking Room, where OLTA staff were able to discuss our learnings from the tour, future plans for continuing our equity, diversity, and inclusion training, and enjoy some snacks/refreshments.All in all, it was a wonderful day connecting in person, building knowledge of and experiential connections to Indigenous teachings, and getting to learn more about this valuable community hub.We highly encourage members of the land trust community to participate in their offerings if you get the chance! If you’d like to learn more about the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto or check out their programming, please visit their website at ncct.on.ca

OLTA is Hiring - Application Closed

The Ontario Land Trust Alliance (OLTA) is currently hiring for two different positions. Consider applying, or send this information to anyone you think would be a good fit. See details for each position below:

 

Nature-based Climate Solutions Program Manager

OLTA’s Nature-based Climate Solutions Program aims to protect and restore conservation land to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This program will have real, measurable, and positive results for forests, grassland, wetland and riparian habitats, as well as working agricultural landscapes across southern Ontario. Projects are being delivered in partnership with land trusts and other environmental agencies, landowners, Indigenous communities, and community stewardship groups.

Job Description

OLTA is seeking an experienced Program Manager who will take a lead role in coordinating our Nature-based Climate Solutions Program. Working under the supervision of the Executive Director and in close collaboration with the Director of Conservation Science, the Program Manager will be responsible for monitoring, tracking, record keeping and timely reporting on the progress of deliverables of approved projects under the OLTA Nature-based Climate Solutions Program.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Developing and coordinating the delivery of the program work plan
  • Administering funds to OLTA members to implement a diverse suite of activities
  • Liaising with funders and partners to ensure our program targets are met, or exceeded
  • Liaising with OLTA members on their project deliverables
  • Undertaking record keeping, budgeting and tracking progress on project deliverables
  • Writing reports according to the requirement of the program agreement
  • Delivering presentations to various audiences about the initiative
  • Undertaking daily monitoring and management of issues and adjustments related to program delivery to ensure progress is on track
  • Assisting in the development of communications materials, including social media platforms
  • Other duties as required.

This position requires you to be an effective communicator and able to build positive working relationships. You are a self-starter who can work with anyone and capable of seeing the bigger picture.

You possess strong leadership, organizational and interpersonal skills. You are also a creative problem solver with a positive attitude and demonstrated ability to work both independently and as part of a dynamic team.

Qualifications and Experience:

  • Post-secondary degree in a related field
  • Minimum five years experience in a similar position
  • Knowledge about climate change mitigation and adaption solutions
  • Significant experience leading program/project coordination and delivery, including financial management
  • Strong leadership, organizational, and problem-solving skills
  • Understanding of the development and implementation of restoration, agricultural management practices, environmental management practices, land securement strategies and plans
  • Experience working in multi-stakeholder teams
  • Excellent interpersonal and communications skills (written and oral) including presentation skills
  • Self-starter; ability to work independently with little supervision as well as collaboratively as part of a team
  • Knowledge of land trusts and land stewardship preferred
  • Data management skills and working knowledge of Microsoft Office applications (Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access) virtual collaboration software (Zoom, Teams, Google Meets, etc.) and project management tools
  • Ability to prioritize and manage several different and varied tasks simultaneously, and meet tight and often competing deadlines
  • Ability to work outside regular business hours on some occasions
  • Valid Ontario Class “G” driver’s license and use of a personal vehicle.

Employment Type:

This is a full-time position 37.5 hours per week until March 31, 2027. The position is based at the OLTA office in downtown Toronto (currently remote working). Hours are flexible around core hours, occasional travel within Ontario will be expected. Deadline for applications is May 15, 2023 at 9:00am EDT.

Interviews will be held May 18 to May 26, 2023.

 

Communications Specialist – Summer Position

The Communications Specialist will report to the Engagement Coordinator and will assist with matters related to marketing, communications, and media relations activities for OLTA members, partners, and stakeholders.

Tasks and Responsibilities

The Communications Specialist would undertake the following activities:

  • Collaborate with our Engagement and Communications staff to write communications content, compile articles and features, write emails, as well as assist with the production and editing of the monthly e-newsletter
  • Work with Engagement and Communications staff to develop a comprehensive social media 6-month plan and schedule
  • Research conservation and land trust specific topics and create communications content based on this information
  • Assist with showcasing OLTA and OLTA’s land trust members’ programs, events and impacts through emails, newsletters, and social media
  • Design graphics for OLTA’s social media, website, and newsletter
  • Support the work of other OLTA staff on proposals, communications, and community outreach projects
  • Other duties as assigned

Qualifications

  • Proven experience/training in marketing and communications.
  • Excellent verbal and written skills; excellent editing skills.
  • Demonstrated organizational and time management skills, ability to multi-task and meet overlapping deadlines.
  • Demonstrated computer skills, including working knowledge (ideally) of Adobe Design Suite including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, WordPress, Canva, and social media pages including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter.
  • Experience (and/or passion!) working in conservation, environment, or sustainability-related fields is an asset.
  • Some experience working with the charitable sector is preferable.
  • Personal use of computer is preferable.

Other Requirements:

  • Access to a home office workspace.
  • Must have access to high-speed internet and adequate bandwidth, as working from home will be required most of the time.

Employment Type:

This is a full-time position, 35 hours per week for 8 weeks. The position will be remote with some potential travel around the GTA. Hours are flexible with core working hours of 10am to 3pm. Deadline for applications is 9:00am, May 23, 2023, EDT

Interviews will likely be May 30 or 31st.

 

To Apply:

If you are interested in joining our team, please submit a cover letter and your resume (PDF) to admin@olta.ca, indicating Nature-based Climate Solutions Program Manager or Communications Specialist in the subject line.Applications from BIPOC applicants are encouraged. We openly welcome and invite applications from persons with disabilities and those protected by the human rights code and will provide accommodation during all stages of the recruitment and hiring process, upon request.

Applications will not be accepted by fax and/or regular mail. No phone calls please.

OLTA thanks all applicants for their interest; however, only those being considered for an interview will be contacted.

OLTA's Website Re-Design Survey

The Ontario Land Trust Alliance (OLTA) is in the process of re-designing our website! We would appreciate hearing your perspectives about your use of OLTA’s website (olta.ca), what features you like and what you’d like to see added or improved. To help with this process, we have created a short Website Re-design Survey.In addition, we are interested in hearing your perspectives and/or suggestions on OLTA’s communications. We would appreciate hearing any feedback you have about the website and/or general communications.

Feel free to answer only the questions that are most relevant to you.

Please complete the Survey by May 26, 2023. Thanks in advance for your participation!

2023 Gathering – Call for Presentations Deadline May 8, 2023

The Gathering Committee has started planning for this year’s land trust Gathering, which will be held on November 1-3, 2023 at the Bayview Wildwood Resort (1500 Port Stanton Pkwy, Severn Bridge, ON). OLTA’s Annual Gathering is an annual conference for Ontario land trusts and other like-minded conservationists. It is a time for sharing experiences and learning from others.We are looking for your presentation ideas and proposals. We are especially interested in your successes and learnings to share with your land trust colleagues. Did you complete a significant land securement; undertake a new stewardship, outreach or research project; have you furthered your equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) goals as an organization?Please submit your topic suggestions or proposals for presentations to admin@olta.ca by 9:00am on May 8th. The proposal form is here.Sessions are generally 1 hour with 15 minutes for questions. Sessions can be presentation, panel or interactive format. Suggested areas of interest:

    • Land stewardship
    • Land securement
    • Diversity, equity & inclusion
    • Board governance
    • Funding & fundraising
    • Communications
    • Engagement organizing
    • Standards & Practices

We strongly encourage content from Indigenous communities and other under-represented groups within the conservation sector.We are looking forward to hearing your ideas!

Engaging New Canadians with Nature - Successes and Learnings Webinar

When: April 12 @ 2:30pm – 3:30pm (ET)Cost: FreeDescription: Are you interested in developing a program to engage newcomers to Canada? Join OLTA staff, and our partner organizations in this online webinar to learn about our Engaging New Canadians with Nature program as well as collaboration opportunities. We will share an overview of the program, events we’ve developed, our learnings, and opportunities for you to develop similar programs. Register for this webinar here.

This webinar is based on the Experiential Learning Guide that OLTA staff developed in 2022 (the second year of the program) to share successes and opportunities for this program, with additional learnings from this third year of the program.

We will also hear from a few speakers about their personal experiences and collaboration opportunities to develop similar programs.

Register here.

Spatial Tools for Conservation Planning Webinar

When: Wednesday, March 22, 2023 @ 1:00pm – 3:00pm (EST)Location: Zoom WebinarCost: Free to Canadian Land Trusts; $45 for others.Description: Nature Conservancy Canada (NCC) develops science-based conservation technology tools for the prioritization of natural areas which leads to better strategic planning and more efficient resource allocation. NCC produces Natural Area Conservation Plans (NACPs) in several regions across Canada to evaluate the conservation value of natural habitats, ecological services and anthropogenic pressures.

Currently, NCC is working on modernizing their conservation technologies with online prioritization tools that help answer questions like Where to work and What to do? They have also developed innovative field data collection, property mapping, and monitoring tools. These tools are beneficial to land conservation.

As part of OLTA’s ongoing commitment to Land Trust members, join us as Jason Beaulieu and Richard Schuster from NCC present the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s geomatics tools at different scales (national, provincial, regional, local) and provide guidance on how to use them. This session is suitable for all staff and volunteers involved in conservation planning at your organization. It will be particularly useful for GIS staff and volunteers.Register here.

Toronto Zoo Webinar Series!

 

Join the Ontario Land Trust Alliance and CultureLink for two exciting online webinars presented by the Toronto Zoo to learn more about the wildlife of Ontario. Everyone is welcome.

Session 1 of the Toronto Zoo Webinar Series: Reptiles, Amphibians, and Fishes!

When: February 27 @ 5:30pm – 6:30pm (ET)
Location: Zoom Webinar
Description: This session will be all about fishes, turtles, and other reptiles and amphibians that you can find throughout Ontario!
Register here.

Session 2 of the Toronto Zoo Webinar Series: The Nocturnal World of Bats!

When: March 8 @ 5:30pm – 6:30pm (ET)
Location: Zoom Webinar
Description:This second session will explore the super neat nocturnal world of bats!
Register here.
OLTA events and sessions in the upcoming months!

OLTA has many workshops and webinars coming up in the next few months! Below is a list of sessions we have planned so far. Not all details of these sessions have been finalized yet; keep an eye out for bulletins in the coming weeks with updated details and more information (subscribe to our newsletter for details and reminders). See details below:

 

Ecological Gifts Program Appraisal Webinar for EGP Recipients

When: Tuesday, February 21, 2023 @ 1:00pm – 2:30pm ESTLocation: Zoom WebinarDescription: This webinar will provide a brief overview of the following topics:

  • Ecological Gifts Program, Income Tax Act, Ministerial requirements: appraisal review and determination
  • Appraisal submission process
  • Engaging an appraiser
  • Appraisal requirements
  • Responding to appraisal questions within a memo
  • Questions from participants

Pre-requisite reading:

Presenters are David Babineau, Chair of the Ecological Gifts Program Appraisal Review Panel, AACI, de Stecher Appraisals Ltd., and Laura Kucey, Ontario Ecological Gifts Program Coordinator, Environment and Climate Change Canada. Register here.

Toronto Zoo Webinar Series!

Join the Ontario Land Trust Alliance and CultureLink for two exciting online webinars presented by the Toronto Zoo to learn more about the wildlife of Ontario. Everyone is welcome.

Session 1 of the Toronto Zoo Webinar Series: Reptiles, Amphibians, and Fishes!

When: February 27 @ 5:30pm – 6:30pm (ET)
Location: Zoom Webinar
Description: This session will be all about fishes, turtles, and other reptiles and amphibians that you can find throughout Ontario!
Register here.

Session 2 of the Toronto Zoo Webinar Series: The Nocturnal World of Bats!

When: March 8 @ 5:30pm – 6:30pm (ET)
Location: Zoom Webinar
Description:This second session will explore the super neat nocturnal world of bats!
Register here.

 

Protected Areas Reporting Webinar

When: Wednesday, March 8, 2023 @ 1:00 – 2:00 pm ESTLocation: Zoom WebinarCost: Free to OLTA Members and Associates; $45 for non-members.Description: Canada’s Target 1 Initiative works towards achieving Target 1 of the 2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets for Canada. Since the passing of the original timeline for Target 1 in 2020, the federal government has reaffirmed its commitment to Canada Target 1 committing to protect 25% of oceans and coastlines and 25% of land areas by 2025.

Through OLTA’s Protected Areas Reporting Program, OLTA has worked with several of our member land trusts to screen and report land trust properties as either Protected Areas or OECM’s to the Canadian Protected and Conserved Areas Database (CPCAD), the authoritative national database used to account for progress towards Canada Target 1.

Join us to learn more about the reporting process for both fee-simple and conservation easement agreement properties, things to consider when reporting your properties, and learn more about resources OLTA has developed to assist land trusts with screening and reporting properties to CPCAD.

Click here to register.

 

Ecological Sensitivity Reports – Overview and Tips

When: Wednesday, March 15, 2023 @ 12:30 – 1:30 pm ESTLocation: Zoom WebinarCost: Free to OLTA Members and Associates; $45 for non-members.Description: Join Morgan Roblin as we review the Ecological Sensitivity Report Template and highlight essential components of the report. A well written report will speed up the submission process as it should reduce the need for revisions requested by EGP. We will also be joined by Laura Kucey, Ontario’s EGP Coordinator who can answer any questions you have about Ecological Sensitivity Report requirements.Register here.

 

Spatial Tools for Conservation Planning

When: Wednesday, March 22, 2023 @ 1:00pm – 3:00pm (EST)Location: Zoom WebinarCost: Free to Canadian Land Trusts; $45 for others.Description: Nature Conservancy Canada (NCC) develops science-based conservation technology tools for the prioritization of natural areas which leads to better strategic planning and more efficient resource allocation. NCC produces Natural Area Conservation Plans (NACPs) in several regions across Canada to evaluate the conservation value of natural habitats, ecological services and anthropogenic pressures.

Currently, NCC is working on modernizing their conservation technologies with online prioritization tools that help answer questions like Where to work and What to do? They have also developed innovative field data collection, property mapping, and monitoring tools. These tools are beneficial to land conservation.

As part of OLTA’s ongoing commitment to Land Trust members, join us as Jason Beaulieu and Richard Schuster from NCC present the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s geomatics tools at different scales (national, provincial, regional, local) and provide guidance on how to use them. This session is suitable for all staff and volunteers involved in conservation planning at your organization. It will be particularly useful for GIS staff and volunteers.Register here.

 

Engaging New Canadians with Nature – Successes and Learnings Webinar

When: Early April, 2023 (exact date/time TBD)Location: Zoom WebinarCost: Free to OLTA Members and Associates; $45 for non-membersDescription: Are you interested in developing a program to engage new Canadians? Join OLTA staff, and our partner organizations, in this online webinar to learn about our Engaging New Canadians with Nature program! We will share an overview of the program, exciting events we’ve developed, our learnings, and future opportunities for similar programs. This webinar is based on the Experiential Learning Guide that OLTA staff developed to share successes and opportunities for this program.Registration details to be shared once they become available.

Ontario's budget consultation – Have your say! Complete our action alert today

Ontario Budget 2023 Consultations are now open

 

Participate and Take Action for Ontario Land Trusts and Nature!

The province is seeking input from everyone on what they want to see in the 2023 budget. Budget consultations are a critical time to provide recommendations about community and sector priorities. It’s a time to highlight that land trusts are key players in supporting the province’s priorities.

OLTA is asking the Government of Ontario to support community land protection efforts by increasing its investment of the successful Greenlands Conservation Partnership Program (GCPP). This program was developed by the province in 2020 in partnership with OLTA and Nature Conservancy of Canada to conserve ecologically important nature areas and contribute to the governments climate change objectives.

We are asking the Ontario government to do more by investing $100 million over 4 years to support a renewal and growth of the Greenlands Conservation Partnership Program. A renewal of this program would support community based land protection and stewardship, increase our impact, and conserve more connected natural spaces.

Visit our action alert page to learn more about the impact GCPP has made in the past 3 years and to join us in this ask. This page contains some context for our ask and a draft message for you to personalize and send directly through our platform – it is easy to take part!How else you can take action:

  • Share the campaign page (https://olta.good.do/budgetfornature/) with your network, and encourage them to support this request.
  • Take the budget consultation survey on the Government of Ontario website.
  • Use our messaging to create your own budget consultation response or letter to your MPP.
  • Let us know if you are willing to give some time to coordinate these efforts – we need your help to identify key ridings and/or help us coordinate meetings with key MPPs and dept. staff.

The budget consultation process ends on February 10, 2023, so please join our action alert and share with others as soon as you can!While the consultation response deadline is February 10, OLTA’s efforts will continue, to encourage more support for nature conservation in Ontario.

Thank you for supporting land trusts and the conservation of nature in Ontario!

Indigenous Perspectives on Conservation: Moving Beyond Species at Risk Conservation

 

When: Thursday, February 16, 2023 @ 9:00am – 3:30pm EST
Location: John L. Jose Environmental Learning Centre & Tiffin Conservation Area; 8195 8th Line of Essa, Utopia, ON, L0M 1T0
Cost: Free for OLTA Members and Associates, $95 for non-members.
Description: Join OLTA for this full day in-person workshop delivered by 4 Directions Conservation Consulting Services.

This workshop will introduce participants to Indigenous worldviews on species at risk and examine how land trusts in Ontario can create meaningful conservation efforts with a fulsome approach to the inclusion of Indigenous values and rights.

Click here to register.

Travel stipends are available. Please contact mikayla.johnston-clayton@olta.ca with your request.

Upcoming Land Acknowledgement Webinar!

Register hereJoin us on January 25th, 2023 from 1:00 – 3:00 PM (EST) for a webinar on Land Acknowledgements. This session is free for OLTA members and associates and $45 for others. The Canadian Land Trust Standard & Practices (2019) explicitly acknowledges the importance for all Canadian land trusts to actively reach out to and engage with Indigenous partners when engaging in their land conservation activities.Through OLTA’s Indigenous Learning Program, OLTA has collaborated with a number of our member land trusts that place a strong emphasis on actively involving Indigenous communities in land trust operations, providing support in increasing Indigenous understanding and engagement with Indigenous communities.As part of this initiative OLTA is hosting a webinar on Indigenous Land Acknowledgment. Why is Indigenous Land Acknowledgment important? “When we talk about land, land is part of who we are. It’s a mixture of our blood, our past, our current, and our future. We carry our ancestors in us, and they’re around us. As you all do.” – Mary Lyons (Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe)Join us on January 25th to learn more about the importance of land acknowledgment and tips for developing a meaningful land acknowledgement as part of your organization’s journey and responsibility to “Reconciliation”. Also learn more about resources OLTA has developed to assist land trusts on Indigenous engagement.The event will feature the following talented panelists who will share their perspectives and experiences: Kerry-Ann Charles (Member of the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation) and Tiffany Taylor (Member of the Curve Lake First Nation).

 

Register Here

 

About the Speakers 

Kerry-Ann Charles is a member of the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation, a proud mom of 2 boys and has been a Team member of Cambium Indigenous Professional Services (CIPS) since 2017 as the Environment Partnership Co-ordinator. Kerry-Ann has over 17 years’ experience working within her Community and over a decade of experience working with other Indigenous Communities and Peoples. She was proud to serve her Community as Councilor for a term and has worked in areas such as education, by-law development and implementation, waste management, housing and environmental project co-ordination and management. For her last eight years with her Community she was responsible for researching and developing funding proposals which helped build and sustain her First Nations Environment Department and included learning about who she is as a First Nations person as well as the “Truths” in which Canada has been established. With this knowledge and lived experience Kerry-Ann has a unique perspective that can be very valuable in assisting organizations who are seeking to create a meaningful Land Acknowledgement as part of their journey and responsibility to “Reconciliation”.

 

Tiffany Taylor is a proud member of the Curve Lake First Nation. As a past elected councillor, Executive Assistant and Indian Registration Administrator for her community, Tiffany has acquired over 25 years’ experience directly pertaining to First Nations operations, membership and governance.

As an Executive Assistant, Tiffany was responsible for ensuring directives from Chief and Council were effectively incorporated into the day to day activities of the community. As an elected official, Tiffany led key portfolios within the community including Lands and Environment, Education, Economic Development and the Curve Lake Gaming Revenue Fund. Tiffany has also supported the development of other First Nation communities sitting as a Board member of Kagita Mikam Employment and Training as well as the Aboriginal Labour Force Development Circle. Tiffany’s role as the Project Administrative Coordinator ensures that Project leads have a human resource capable of providing key administrative functions required to effectively complete projects on time and on budget. Tiffany will provide the required support to project leads in the areas of workplan development and management, project administration, event coordination, meeting coordination and scribe support as well as any other assigned duties detailed in project assignments.

You are Invited to OLTA's Annual General Meeting & 20th Anniversary Virtual Celebration

 

Ontario Land Trust Alliance is hosting our Annual General Meeting (AGM) via Zoom on Tuesday, November 15, 2022 starting at 5:00 PM, which will be followed by a virtual celebration of OLTA’s 20th Anniversary. And you are invited!

 

OLTA’s Annual General Meeting Details

Join us to hear about OLTA’s past year (2021/22) of key activities, programs, and learnings! The AGM will take place at 5:00 PM for approximately one hour.

AGM Materials:

The 2021/22 Annual Report will be distributed separately.

20th Anniversary Celebration Details

Please join us after the AGM to celebrate 20 years of OLTA with a short presentation on OLTA’s history, pictures, and a story map created for OLTA’s 20th Anniversary!

Participants will have an opportunity to share stories and memories about OLTA over the years.

Note: You do not need to attend both the AGM and the 20th Anniversary celebration – there will be a short transition period between the AGM and the Anniversary Celebration; feel free to join when you are able and leave the Zoom call when you need to.

Registration is not needed to join these events. Zoom details to join the AGM and/or the 20th Anniversary Celebration:

We look forward to seeing you there!

Engaging New Canadians with Nature Program - Successes and Learnings Webinar

Unfortunately the online webinar to learn about our Engaging New Canadians with Nature program has been postponed! We don’t have a date in mind for a reschedule but we will send out another bulletin with the new date once it has been confirmed. We apologize for any inconvenience.If you’d still like to register to stay updated on the webinar details, please click here.

Cost: Free to Land Trust Members and Associates; $45 for non-membersDescription: Are you interested in developing a program to engage new Canadians? Join OLTA staff, and our partner organizations, in this online webinar to learn about our Engaging New Canadians with Nature program! We will share an overview of the program, exciting events we’ve developed, our learnings, and future opportunities for similar programs. This webinar is based on the Experiential Learning Guide that OLTA staff developed earlier this year to share successes and opportunities for this program.About this program… Engaging New Canadians with Nature is a program in partnership with CultureLink and supported by TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, to empower newcomers to Canada to connect with and learn about nature and conservation in Ontario. In the first two years of this program, OLTA conducted 12 interactive nature events, collaborated with 8 nature organizations and engaged over 200 newcomers. Continuing the success of this program, we have secured funding for a third year!Join us to learn about this program and how you can develop a similar program for New Canadians near you! For webinar details and to register, click here.

OLTA turned 20th years old July 2, 2022!

Ontario Land Trust Alliance turned 20 years old this July!! We are incredibly grateful for the 20 exceptional years we’ve worked with the land conservation community in Ontario and our land trust members.

It is amazing to think how much the land conservation movement in Ontario has changed over the years and how land trusts, and our land trust heroes, have contributed to these positive changes.

A short history…
Some impactful groups in Ontario that influenced the land trust landscape (pun intended!) date back to the early 1980s with the formation of the National Heritage League. This group was active until around the 1990s and once this dissolved, several active members created a committee of the Federation of Ontario Naturalists (now known as Ontario Nature) to continue furthering the conservation work of Ontario land trusts and non-profit conservation groups. In 1997, this became the Ontario Nature Trust Alliance (ONTA), with 14 founding members.

By mid-2001, with a membership of 23 land trusts, it was decided to fully incorporate as the Ontario Land Trust Alliance (OLTA Inc.); the letters patent for OLTA were approved on July 2, 2002, and OLTA became the official provincial association for the Ontario land trust movement!

Now, OLTA has a strong network of 36 land trust members, 5 associates and many partnering organizations, with an impact of protecting more than 110,000 acres of significant natural lands across Ontario!

When incorporated in 2002, OLTA was a small group of incredible and dedicated volunteers, including Stew Hilts, Dave Walker, Paul Peterson, Ron Reid, Ian Attridge, and Andrea Kettle, to name a few. Where would OLTA be without all your enthusiasm and commitment to the land trust community?

Now in 2022 we have a staff team of nine (see picture below, on the left), including our lovely and long-serving bookkeeper Jean. We coordinate research, initiatives, and programs covering the full range of land conservation topics for land trusts. Our team is thankful for the support of hundreds of volunteers and supporters, and an amazing, diverse, knowledgeable, and utterly committed board of Governors (below, on the right).


During our anniversary preparations, we heard wonderful stories of how OLTA has impacted the journey for Ontario’s land trust community. From providing government relations support, fieldwork expertise, learning and training resources, increased funding opportunities, and informative and connection-building annual gatherings, OLTA has had a far reaching impact on our land trust members and partner organizations. In turn, all our land trust members, partner organizations, volunteers, and supporters have impacted us immensely and make the land conservation community tremendously influential and far-reaching. We want to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone that has been, and continues to be, part of the land trust community and OLTA’s journey over the past 20 years. We couldn’t do this work without you!

In the coming months, we plan to share stories and pictures from our land trust members, interesting insights into our collective impact and an interactive story map! In addition, stay tuned for an anniversary celebration event this fall!

This July, we are filled with joy and appreciation for the strong community we have, and how far we have come in the past 20 years. HAPPY BIRTHDAY OLTA, and here is to another 20!!

Thank you for your continued support,

 

Alison Howson, Executive Director

Upcoming Conserving Species at Risk (CSAR) webinars and first aid training

Eastern Whip-poor-will Monitoring Training

Date: Friday, June 3, 2022 @ 11:00 AM – 12:00 PMCost: Free for members and associates; $40 for non-membersDescription: The Eastern whip-poor-will is a species at risk bird that is currently listed as Threatened in Ontario and federally. Join us for a virtual webinar on Friday, June 3rd to learn more about the Eastern Whip-poor-will and how to monitor for the species on your properties and help guide on the ground actions to protect the species. Register here.

Bat Monitoring Training

Date: Friday, June 10, 2022 @ 1:00 PM – 2:00 PMCost: Free for members and associates; $40 for non-membersDescription: Join us on Friday, May 27th, 2022 for a virtual session to learn more about Ontario’s bat species and the acoustic monitoring techniques that can be implemented to collect bat biodiversity data to help guide stewardship actions to benefit Ontario’s species at risk bat populations. Register here.

Wilderness First Aid Training

Date: TBDCost: $210/person + HST (only available to members and associates)Description: Interested in taking a Wilderness First Aid training course? OLTA is organizing Wilderness First Aid Training in person, in the Greater Toronto Area (location and date TBD). If you are interested in participating in this training, please reach out to OLTA’s Conservation Science Manager, Morgan Roblin (morgan.roblin@olta.ca).

Ontario's Upcoming Election is the Opportunity to Protect Nature Across the Province

A recent news release on Ontario Land Trust Alliance shares:

Over 110,000 acres of significant natural lands and sensitive wildlife habitat having been protected through the actions of Ontario’s land trusts. Ontario has a strong track record of protecting land that has critical biodiversity, natural heritage, and agricultural benefits. Over the last 50 years Ontario governments have played a vital role in protecting important parcels of land, including the Greenbelt, the Oak Ridges Moraine, the Niagara Escarpment, new provincial parks and parts of the far North.

The protection and restoration of the green spaces in our communities can mitigate the effects of climate change, provide cleaner air, and water and significantly improve the overall well-being of Ontarians. The protection of land will also improve important linkages between trails or natural heritage systems in all areas of the province and help Canada reach its goal of 30 per cent protected land by 2030. Climate mitigation and biodiversity are vital to maintaining a healthy planet.

This upcoming provincial election, we’re calling on the government to build on its commitment and work with the Ontario Land Trust Alliance to protect an average of 3,000 acres in every region and county in the province. This will double the amount of land protected by land trusts in Ontario. To support this effort, we are asking the province to invest $80 million over the next 10 years. This could be matched with $160 million from land donations and individual donors, foundations and other public funding – matching federal support.

“There’s no better time to empower Ontarians to protect the delicate ecosystems in our communities that cannot be replaced,” said Alison Howson, Executive Director, Ontario Land Trust Alliance. “Protecting green spaces is important for every candidate in every riding across the province.”

With provincial support we can protect over 100 endangered species, enhance recreational and hiking connections, support carbon sequestration and provide Indigenous peoples with opportunities to protect land that benefits their communities and interests.

“Thames Talbot Land Trust has ambitious plans for land conservation in the Carolinian Zone, one of Canada’s biodiversity hotspots. We need nature now more than ever – for wildlife to thrive, for climate change mitigation and for healthy communities,” said Daria Koscinski, Executive Director, Thames Talbot Land Trust. “The Ontario Land Trust Alliance is a strong voice advocating for and supporting our work through training, services, and collaborative projects that make a big impact across Ontario.”

Supporting land trusts is key to protecting the nature we all love and value in our communities. OLTA is committed to working with the next Ontario Government to continue Ontario’s legacy of protecting our forests, wetlands, lakes and rivers for our future generation.

Visit NewsWire for the official media release!

OLTA is Hiring! Canada Summer Jobs Edition

OLTA is hiring a Conservation and Restoration Technician and a Communications Specialist.

Conservation and Restoration Technician

Job Description:

Support OLTA’s Conserving Species at Risk and Fee for Service programs. The employee will work directly with OLTA staff and land trust partners to assess properties, undertake targeted species at risk inventories, develop action plans and undertake stewardship activities to support species at risk recovery. Activities may include ecological field surveys, stewardship activities and outreach activities. In addition, the employee will help with general tasks to support the organization including event planning and communications.

Tasks and Responsibilities:

  • Conduct biological surveys for Species at Risk
  • Communicate and organize site visits with OLTA member organizations
  • Help organize and run outreach events for the public
  • Undertake other activities to support OLTA such as, attend events, develop communications, and assist with other programs

Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of biology/ecology and Ontario species at risk
  • Experience undertaking fieldwork under a range of adverse environmental conditions
  • Good health and fitness, we will be accessing some sites with no trails
  • Valid Class G driver’s license and access to a car is necessary
  • Good communication skills, both written and oral
  • Excellent organizational and problem–solving skills
  • Eligible for funding from Canada Summer Jobs
  • Knowledge of Ontario reptiles, bats and birds in particular is preferred, but not necessary. It is preferred if the employee is willing to obtain rabies vaccinations before the job starts if they are not already vaccinated.
  • Ability to swim is preferred as some fieldwork may involve wading in deep water and accessing sites by boat

Employment Type:

This is a full-time position initially for a period of 8 weeks, with the possibility of extension. The position is based at the OLTA office in downtown Toronto (currently remote working). Hours are flexible with core working hours of 10:00am to 3:00pm for full-time staff. Regular travel within Ontario is anticipated. Volunteers are also welcome to apply for this position.

 

Communications Specialist

Job Description:

The Communications Specialist will report to the Executive Director and will assist with all matters related to marketing, marketing plans, event coordination, communications and media relations activities for OLTA members, stakeholders and training programs.

Tasks and Responsibilities:

  • Collaborate with our Engagement and Communications staff to write communications content, compile articles and features, write emails, as well as edit and assist with the production of the monthly e-newsletter
  • Conduct research of our land trust members, compile data as needed and develop communications content based on this data
  • Assist with showcasing OLTA and OLTA’s land trust members’ programs, events and impacts through emails, newsletters and social media
  • Update and maintain OLTA’s website and data management system as needed
  • Design graphics for social media, website and OLTA’s newsletter
  • Support the work of other OLTA staff on proposals, communications and community outreach projects
  • Help build OLTA’s presence within the GTA
  • Other duties as assigned

Qualifications:

  • Experience/training in marketing and communications
  • Excellent verbal and written skills; excellent editing skills
  • Demonstrated organizational and time management skills, ability to multi-task and meet overlapping deadlines
  • Computer skills, including working knowledge (ideally) of Adobe Design Suite including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, website Content Management System (CMS), WordPress and social media pages including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
  • Ability to make the most of limited budgets; some experience working with the charitable sector is an asset
  • Personal use of computer is preferable

Employment Type:

This is a full-time position initially for a period of 8 weeks, with the possibility of extension. The position is based at the OLTA office in downtown Toronto (currently remote working). Hours are flexible with core working hours of 10:00am to 3:00pm for full-time staff. Volunteers are also welcome to apply for this position.

 

Other Requirements:

  • Must have access to a home office workspace, as well as high-speed internet and adequate bandwidth, as working from home will likely be required
  • Should you be a successful candidate for a position, you will receive a conditional offer of employment contingent on your providing us with proof of full vaccination. If you are seeking an exemption from vaccination due to the application of the Ontario Human Rights Code, you will be required to provide satisfactory evidence of the reason for such an exemption upon receipt of the conditional offer

To Apply:

BIPOC applicants are encouraged to apply. We openly welcome and invite applications from persons with disabilities and those protected by the human rights code and will provide accommodation during all stages of the recruitment and hiring process, upon request.

If you are interested in joining our team, please submit a cover letter and your resume (PDF) to admin@olta.ca, indicating Conservation and Restoration Technician or Communications Specialist in the subject line. Deadline for both applications is May 29, 2022 at 5:00pm.

Applications will not be accepted by fax and/or regular mail. No phone calls please.

OLTA thanks all applicants for their interest; however, only those being considered for an interview will be contacted.

Meetings for Volunteer-led Land Trusts and Land Trust Board Members - Meeting #2

Calling volunteer-led land trusts and land trust board members! Join us for Meeting Number #2

OLTA is continuing our regular Meetings for Volunteer-led Land Trusts and Land Trust Board Members. These virtual sessions will be an opportunity to come together with other volunteers working across Ontario who are leading land trusts. They are an opportunity to discuss, brainstorm, collaborate and learn about Land Trust topics of interest. Please reach out to our Educational Services Coordinator, Lauren Draaistra at lauren.draaistra@olta.ca with any questions or if you are interested in sharing your financial statements as examples for discussion.Meeting #2: Thursday, May 19th @ 5:00pm – 6:00pm (ET)

Description: The meeting will be a continuation of the forum for treasurers, board members and volunteers interested in learning more about land trust finance. An agenda will be provided, to those registered, prior to the meeting.

Register: here

Virtual Learning Series on Board Education

We are also developing a virtual learning series focused on board education. Each webinar will be an opportunity to come together with other land trusts and learn with and from other volunteers.   During the sessions, we will be joined by experienced facilitators who will provide an introductory presentation on each webinar topic. There will be time for questions and answers to clarify and optimize learning. Please find information on each webinar below, you must register separately for each event using the provided links. After registration, you will receive additional event information, including Zoom details.  ​Note that these webinars are free to OLTA members.  Webinar #1: Land Trust Board and Donor Development Webinar When: Monday, April 25th @ 12:30pm – 1:30pm (ET) Description:  Join us for a peer-to-peer-led webinar focused on fundraising for Land Trust Board Members. This lunch-time chatsession will be led by Peter Welles, who is an OLTA Vision Award recipient. Peter was the founding President of The Kensington Conservancy, where he served in that capacity for 10 years. He will be leading this conversation in a volunteer-to-volunteer learning style, bringing his over 50 years of “board years” of experience. Peter has worked with conservation organizations in both the US and Canada, where he has picked up many fundraising best practices. Peter’s passion is demystifying fundraising for volunteers like himself to help land trusts secure the resources necessary for their success. By the end of the webinar, you will be able to understand the difference between gifts that help, gifts that impact, and gifts that transform. With this knowledge, you will be able to better develop strategies within your organization. This session will have time for engagement and questions.

Register Here 

Webinar #2: Land Trust Governance Refresher Webinar  When: Tuesday, April 26th @ 1:30pm – 3:00pm (ET) Description: Join us to learn more about board governance for a land trust. This session is designed to engage everyone involved with land trust board governance. It provides a quick update on the latest wise governance thinking for experienced board members AND introductory training, or a refresher, on the roles and responsibilities within governance. Experienced board members are encouraged to attend to enhance their ability to mentor and support newer directors. Both board and staff members will gain a deeper appreciation of how intentional, effective governance can serve to advance your important missions. And Jane Garthson has courageously volunteered to answer as many of your governance questions as time allows!

Register Here

 

Please share this message with any board members and volunteers you think might be interested in joining these sessions.

Breeding Bird Atlas-3 Information Session

When: March 10 @ 1:00pm – 2:00pm ETDescription: This session, presented by Mike Cadman, will include a description of the Ontario Breeding Bird Atlas project, which is a huge new volunteer-based inventory of the province’s birds, taking place from 2021 to 2025. The results of the project will update our knowledge of the distribution, abundance and status of the 300 or so bird species that nest in the province. If you are interested, there may be a role for you in providing data to the project or in having atlas participants do surveys on your property. Register Here.About the Presenter:Mike Cadman has been a Songbird Biologist for Canadian Wildlife Service, Ontario Region, since 1992. Much of his professional life has been devoted to breeding bird atlases. He coordinated Ontario’s previous two atlas projects (1981-1985 and 2001-2005) and co-edited the resulting books, and is coordinating Atlas-3. He currently chairs the Canadian Breeding Bird Atlas Committee.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

The intent of the day is to reflect upon and commemorate the legacy of residential schools, murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls, and to become more aware of our collective responsibilities to Truth and Reconciliation with First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities.

In recent years, Canadians have begun working towards Truth and Reconciliation with First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities. While there is much left to do, all Canadians must be committed to working towards resolving the harm and traumas of Indigenous peoples and communities by listening, learning and working together to take meaningful action.

No matter who you are or where you’re from, you can take peaceful and respectful actions to help make a better Canada for Inuit and First Nations and Métis people.

Learn more about Canada’s colonial history and the injustices faced by Indigenous communities. We must learn and educate ourselves.

We encourage everyone in the land trust community to learn more about how you can actively take steps towards Truth and Reconciliation. Find resources to help you on your journey under Indigenous Learning Resources

Climate Change Adaptation Series

OLTA’s Climate Action Working Group is hosting three free online sessions to discuss and share perspectives about land conservation and climate change. These sessions will include speakers from diverse backgrounds from Ontario, the USA and Australia. The webinar series focuses on building climate resilience and adaptation with an emphasis on the role of land stewardship and conservation practices.

This series is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s Connection Grant.

Keynote Presentation – Thursday, September 23, 2021 @ 1:00 PM (EDT)

  • Megan Leslie, President & CEO, World Wildlife Fund Canada

International Panel – Wednesday, October 13, 2021 @ 8:30 AM (EDT)

Panelists:

  • Hugh Possingham, Chief Scientist, Queensland Australia
  • Kelly Watkinson, Land and Climate Program Manager, Land Trust Alliance
  • Adena Rissman, Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Register here.

Ontario Panel – As part of the OLTA Gathering on Tuesday, October 19th, 2021 @ 1:00 PM (EDT)

Panelists:

  • Gary Pritchard, 4 Directions of Conservation Consulting Services
  • Kerry-Ann Charles, Environment Partnership Coordinator, Cambium Indigenous Professional Services
  • Dan Kraus, Director of National Conservation, Wildlife Conservation Society of Canada
  • Janet Sumner, Executive Director, Wildlands League

Register here.

National Land Trust Organization - Presentation to Land Trusts

September 9, 2021

With renewed interest from the land trust community, a working group with representation from all regions of Canada where land trusts work, and strong Alliance collaboration, now is the time to create an organization that provides a national voice for the Canadian land trust community.

The Land Trust Alliance of British Columbia, Ontario Land Trust Alliance, and Réseau de milieux naturels protégés, along with the Canadian Land Trust Working Group and other stakeholders, have been working towards establishing a Canadian National Land Trust Organization – the Alliance of Canadian Land Trusts (ACLT).

Representatives from land trust across Canada were invited to learn about our progress, next steps, and to provide feedback at presentations hosted by the alliances on July 7th and July 8th, 2021.

Interested in learning more about our plans to form a national organization to serve land trusts across Canada? Check out the recording below of the English presentation led by Alison Howson (OLTA’s Executive Director). Presentation slides are available here.

 

Southern Ontario Nature Coalition Calls for Protecting Nature in Canada’s Near-Urban Areas

Southern Ontario Nature Coalition Calls for Protecting Nature in Canada’s Near-Urban Areas

Final Reports Released with Key Recommendations and Calls-to-Action that Will Help All Levels of Government Protect Biodiversity

 

Toronto, July 22, 2021: With support from the Government of Canada and Government of Ontario, the Southern Ontario Nature Coalition (SONC) has released its Final and Technical reports, sharing important insights and opportunities generated through its ground-breaking Near-Urban Nature Network project. A Solution to Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss: The Final Report provides key recommendations for federal and provincial governments and community-oriented calls-to-action, which will help all levels of government to protect near-urban nature across the country.

 

The dual crises of climate change and rapidly accelerating biodiversity loss have spurred international action, including investments from the Government of Canada to conserve 25 per cent of Canada’s lands, freshwater, and oceans by 2025, working toward 30 per cent by 2030. These commitments are important steps in the right direction and will help us advance meaningful protection of Canada’s biodiversity, including in near-urban areas, which are critical to environmental sustainability and contain some of the country’s highest levels of species biodiversity.

 

“Southern Ontario urgently needs policies that allow nature to thrive alongside people,” says Geoffrey Burt, CEO, Consecon Foundation. “Progress will require across-the-board collaboration from governments, conservation groups, Indigenous Communities, and private landowners. The SONC report makes an important contribution in this respect, by providing a timely framework for protecting nature where Ontarians live. Its findings are relevant to the protection of near-urban environments across the country.”

 

The Final Report uncovers timely opportunities to incorporate the protection of near-urban nature into federal, provincial, and municipal biodiversity, climate change, and agricultural policies and programs. Recommendations also include a call for consistent funding to establish and maintain near-urban nature networks across the country. Importantly, capacity funding is also recommended to support Indigenous Communities and Peoples in participating in protection efforts and exercising their responsibility to care for the land and waters, and continue cultural traditions and ways of life.

 

“The global pandemic has highlighted the importance of our connection to natural areas,” says Peter Kendall, Executive Director, Schad Foundation. “Unlike ever before, Ontarians are looking to local natural areas for recreation and sustenance, for connection with family, and for a place to reset.

Starting with the creation of Algonquin Park in 1893, Living Legacy in 1999, and more recently the Greenlands Conservation Partnership, Ontario has a long history of conservation leadership,” explains Kendall. “However, we urgently need more action from governments and conservation partners to ensure that our natural spaces remain intact for future generations. We commend the SONC report for bringing greater focus to this critical work.”

 

These reports are the result of an unprecedented examination of options for protecting nature in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH)—Canada’s most rapidly urbanizing region. As regions like the GGH grow in population (the GGH is expected to be home to as many as 15 million people by 2051), so does the need for enhanced protection of greenspace, a critical factor in the mental and physical health of residents.

 

“Protecting nature near Canada’s urban centres is critically important but there are unique challenges and a need for innovative solutions in regions such as the Greater Golden Horseshoe,” says Edward McDonnell, CEO, Greenbelt Foundation. “Ensuring near-urban areas are part of the larger federal effort to protect natural spaces across the country was the focus of analysis and recommendations being released in SONC’s Final Report. We hope that the results of this collaborative process will inform coordinated approaches to the protection of near-urban nature across Canada—in manner that balances urban growth with the urgent need to improve climate resilience and conserve biodiversity.”

 

To read A Solution to Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss — the Full and Technical reports — please click HERE. To read a Backgrounder with key recommendations and calls-to-action please click HERE.

Ontario Coalition Identifies Opportunities for Protecting Nature in Canada's Most Developed Areas

May 05, 2021

Toronto, May 05, 2021, the Southern Ontario Nature Coalition (SONC) has released A Solution to Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss, a short summary report of solutions for protecting near-urban nature across Canada. These solutions will help Canada meet federal biodiversity and climate targets while conserving important near-urban areas as part of larger federal efforts to protect 25 per cent of Canada’s lands and waters by 2025 and to set the stage for 30 per cent by 2030. Federal, provincial, and local initiatives will all benefit from new solutions that help conserve near-urban biodiversity and improve climate resilience close to densely populated regions.

Key strategies uncovered by the SONC report include building on Ontario’s Greenbelt—a world-leading example of near-urban natural systems protection, which sits at the centre of important ecological zones in southern Ontario. Protection of near-urban nature requires multi-jurisdictional approaches given fragmented ownership and diverse interests. To be successful, dedicated funding will be required for innovative projects, as well as to support capacity for Indigenous Peoples and Communities to engage meaningfully.

While protection of near-urban nature is challenging, the governments of Canada and Ontario have supported SONC in completing an unprecedented examination of options for protecting nature in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH)—Canada’s most rapidly urbanizing region. SONC is establishing a Near-Urban Nature Network that uses an ecological (“cores and corridors”) systems approach and Indigenous perspectives. These efforts will be critical to the success of conserving biodiversity and creating climate resilience in southern Ontario, while also providing social and economic benefits for a region that is home to one in four Canadians.

“The COVID-19 pandemic reminded us of the importance of connecting with nature – for our health, well-being, and for our communities,” says the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change. “Having access to green spaces is a significant part of our plan to create a healthier future and today’s summary report is a critical step in protecting more nature in Southern Ontario and across the country.”

Near-urban nature is comprised of the forests, river valleys, wetlands, farmland, and other ecological features that surround and intersect urban communities. In the GGH, near-urban nature contains some of the highest levels of biodiversity in Canada, with more species-at-risk than anywhere else in Ontario. It also provides important ecosystem services, including flood control and water filtration. In this region alone, near-urban nature provides $3.2 billion worth of such services. These areas face unique risks and could be lost within decades if coordinated action is not taken.

“Our government is proud to support and invest in the work of the Greenbelt Foundation and its partners to create a Near-Urban Nature Network,” says Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “We share the goal of protecting and enhancing the Greenbelt, as outlined in our Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan, and practical solutions like these to protect and enhance the resilience of important natural areas in near-urban areas will mean more sustainable greenspaces for future generations to use and enjoy.”

SONC is a coalition of experienced provincial, regional, and community-based conservation organizations, land-based policy experts, and Indigenous engagement specialists. Lessons learned to date are outlined in the summary report, A Solution to Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss, and will be expanded upon in a full technical report to be published in June.

“In rapidly urbanizing regions, like the Greater Golden Horseshoe, near-urban nature is at imminent risk from pollution, habitat fragmentation, invasive species, and climate change,” says Edward McDonnell, CEO of the Greenbelt Foundation. “Building on Greenbelt Foundation knowledge and expertise, SONC is poised to support all levels of government in balancing growth needs with protection of near-urban natural areas in order to sustain a healthy population and environment. Solutions we develop in southern Ontario will support work being done all across the country.”

Immediate next steps SONC would like to take:

  1. Provide capacity support to Indigenous Communities and Peoples so that they may participate in near-urban nature protection.
  2. Map wildlife movement corridors.
  3. Provide input to Ontario’s Working Group on Protected Areas, including opportunities to use new designations called “Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures” and “Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas.”
  4. Build awareness of new federal protection measures.
  5. Partner with the Government of Canada to implement the Two Billion Trees Commitment in southern Ontario.
  6. Engage public and private landowners to take action in their own communities.

To read the summary report, A Solution to Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss, including key findings, click HERE.

For the full project backgrounder, click HERE.

Ontario Expanding the Protection and Preservation of Green Spaces

March 15, 2021

TORONTO — The Ontario government is investing $20 million over the next four years in the Greenlands Conservation Partnership to help secure land of ecological importance and promote healthy, natural spaces. The funding will enable the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Ontario Land Trust Alliance to conserve, restore and manage natural areas such as wetlands, grasslands and forests. This initiative will help mitigate the effects of climate change, a key commitment in the province’s Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan and increase the number of conserved natural spaces for the public to enjoy.

“We are expanding the amount of conserved green space across the province, not only to help preserve the environment, but to promote physical activity such as hiking and improving our mental health,” said Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “By taking this approach, our government will be leaving a magnificent legacy for the benefit of future generations. It has been wonderful to be working with outstanding conservation leaders like the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Ontario Land Trust Alliance to achieve our shared goals.”

The Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Ontario Land Trust Alliance are doing important work in Ontario to protect the environment and safeguard our lands and water. With this new partnership, they will be able to use private donations and funds from other non-provincial sources to match the $20 million provincial investment to secure new privately-owned natural areas across the province and restore and manage these properties.

The following projects are among those that will directly benefit from the Greenlands’ funding:

  • Rice Lake Plains Natural Area, to foster the return of native grasses and wildflowers, along with native species including grassland birds and insects,
  • Alfred Bog in the Ottawa Valley, to protect wetlands in the largest high-quality bog in Southern Ontario,
  • Saugeen Bruce Peninsula Natural Area, to conserve some of the richest biodiversity in the Great Lakes area,and
  • Frontenac Arch, to protect one of the most important forest corridors in North America.

“With the Greenlands Conservation Partnership, the Nature Conservancy of Canada is pleased to work with the Government of Ontario as well as our partners and donors to ensure that Ontario’s special places are protected and conserved for future generations,” said Mike Hendren, Regional Vice President Ontario, Nature Conservancy of Canada. “Through this partnership, we are helping to ensure the province’s natural areas remain a home for wildlife, a haven for recreation and a vital resource that cleans the air we breathe and the water we drink.”

“The Ontario Land Trust Alliance is very grateful for the leadership shown by the Government of Ontario in supporting community land conservation,” said Alison Howson, Executive Director, Ontario Land Trust Alliance. “This support will provide real measurable benefits to highly sensitive, highly biodiverse, threatened habitats and ecosystems such as those found in Southern Ontario. The support shown by the province will help to provide big wins for nature, and community connection to nature across Ontario.”

See the full news release here.

Articles from 2020

Global Heroes Magazine Feature

December 15, 2020 

Check out OLTA’s feature in the December issue of Global Heroes, North America’s premiere positive news magazine. The article highlights the amazing work of our community of land trust heroes across Ontario to protect the land we all love and depend on. You can read the full article online here.


Greenlands Conservation Partnership – Announcement

November 6, 2020

Ontario Land Trust Alliance (OLTA) welcomes yesterday’s announcement that the Government of Ontario will make a significant investment to “preserve more areas of significant ecological importance, protect natural areas and promote the importance of healthy, natural spaces.”

The investment $20M over 4 years to support land conservation and stewardship, will be matched by OLTA and our partner organisations, Nature Conservancy of Canada and community land trusts at a ratio of at least 1:1.5. OLTA is pleased to see the importance of community land conservation supported in the budget. This initiative will establish areas of newly protected land and freshwater, especially in southern Canada where nature and wildlife faces the greatest pressures and where the majority of land is privately owned.

“The Ontario Land Trust Alliance is very grateful for the leadership shown by the Government of Ontario in supporting community land conservation. This support will provide real measurable benefits to ecosystem protection. Support for community land conservation provides significant positive impacts to highly sensitive, highly biodiverse, threatened habitats and ecosystems such as those found in Southern Ontario. The support shown by the Ontario government will help to provide big wins for nature and community connection to nature across Ontario.” – Alison Howson, Executive Director, Ontario Land Trust Alliance. 

Ontario Land Trust Alliance (OLTA) empowers and supports highly effective, well-governed land trusts that engage their communities. OLTA builds capacity through training and educational programs; connecting land trusts to each other, resources and their communities; leading and supporting on-the-ground conservation work; sharing knowledge and best practices, reducing financial barriers to land conservation and promoting organizational excellence. Our impact is Ontario-wide through 50 connected charities and communities.

OLTA’s local land trust members currently collectively own and steward over 108, 000 acres across Ontario, with the support of thousands of volunteers annually.

More information will be coming in early 2021 as this new partnership develops.


OLTA Newsletter

July 27, 2020

Our monthly newsletter is filled with information to keep you engaged in protecting Ontario’s land, water, and wildlife. We cover topics on recent conservation news, OLTA news, OLTA member land trust news, upcoming events & opportunities. Find our most recent July newsletter here.


 

Articles from 2019

OLTA celebrates the Natural Heritage Conservation Program

April 24, 2019

OLTA celebrates the federal government’s commitment to protecting land conservation across Canada. Today the Government of Canada has confirmed its commitment to land conservation as it announced $100M of funding over 4 years to support the establishment of new protected and conserved areas by land trusts in southern Canada.

The new program will establish at least 200,000 hectares of newly protected land and freshwater, especially in southern Canada where nature and wildlife faces the greatest pressures and where the majority of land is privately owned. Full Story.


Location Announcement for this years Annual Gathering!

April 4, 2019

Save the date! This year’s Annual Gathering will be October 6-8 2019 at the Isaiah Tubbs Resort in Prince Edward County. Gatherings in the past were at this resort and we are delighted to be going back there. Watch for more details in the months to come.


“From Private to Protected: Thunder Bay Field Naturalists Club Acquires Michipicoten Properties” – TBFN

March 4, 2019

Thunder Bay Field Naturalists (TBFN) purchased two properties on Michipicoten Island (Bonner Head and North East Property) boasting 538 acres (217 hectares) of undisturbed wilderness.  Funding was provided from private donors and the Canada Nature Fund. Michipicoten First Nation volunteers will be helping TBFN volunteers to monitor and care for the Michipicoten Nature Reserve starting by assessing the current plants and wildlife. (Photo: TBFN). Full Story.


“Protecting the Farm as a Cultural Heritage Landscape: The Story of Innisfree Farm” – University of Waterloo

February 27, 2019

Barbara Heidenreich shares her own experience in preserving an Ontario farm with important associative and physical values, and deep personal meaning. Barbara worked with Ontario Heritage Trust to preserve Innisfree Farm, a farm built in 1913-14 by her great-grandfather Byron Edmund Walker in the Town of Innisfil. With the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust, a Conservation Easement Agreement was designed that recognized and protected in perpetuity the elements of the farm that make it a “cultural heritage landscape.” Full Story.


Two new S&P workshops are being offered on February 19th & 26th, 2019!

February 7, 2019

On February 19th & 26th we learned from you how you use and implement the updated Canadian Land Trust Standards and Practices.

These two Standards and Practices workshops cover an overview of S&P changes and a focus on specific Standards identified as a priority during our recent survey. These include: Ensuring Sound Transactions; Conservation Easement Defense and Endowments. Presenters are experts from ECCC, NCC and the land trust community. Attendees will be encouraged to share their experiences and resources.

February 19th at the Orillia Library

  • Importance of S&Ps for land trusts specifically for Ecogifts
  • Standard 11 Conservation Agreement Stewardship and Considerations for CEA defense
  • Ensuring Sound Transactions for Fee simple transactions

February 26th at the Arboretum in Guelph

  • Standard 12 Land Stewardship
  • Susan Walmer – Standard 11 & 12 Funding Land Stewardship and Endowments
  • Standard 9 Ensuring Sound Transactions for Fee simple transactions

DIY species at risk workshop to be held at rare Charitable Research Reserve on February 14th, 2019!

February 4, 2019

Land conservation plays an essential role in the protection and recovery of species at risk in Ontario. On February 14, we had our Species at Risk Workshop at rare Charitable Research Reserve in Cambridge. Monitoring, management and outreach programs are an important way to ensure conservation lands continue to protect species at risk and engage the community in species at risk recovery. This workshop included a series of presentations on native bumblebee and Monarch monitoring and outreach, planning prescribed burns, and other programs you can implement on your conservation lands. Speaker organizations included conservation groups and fellow land trusts.  Click here to view a draft agenda.


 

Articles from 2018

October 20, 2018

The OLTA Land Trust Gathering happened on October 18 & 19 in Alliston, ON. The OLTA Land Trust Gathering is the annual training, skills development and networking conference bringing together land trust, conservation professionals and those in the broader environmental industry and the charitable sector from across Ontario. Conference participants benefited from workshops and plenary sessions. There was also plenty of time for informal networking and celebrating accomplishments with your colleagues! Find out more.

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September 5, 2018

The Bobolink birds which are considered Threatened in Ontario are preparing for their long migration to Pampas grasslands in South America. They started this journey on the Couchiching Conservancy properties! The land trust produced a booklet to assist farmers in managing their hay and pastures for grassland birds which you can read here.

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August 10, 2018

Haliburton Highland Land Trust raised funds through their first annual Rock Our World event with a jazz band, silent and live auction and a buffet table of delectable appetizers. Thanks to their sponsors for an incredible event to raise funds for more land conservation in the region.
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In an outstanding achievement, the Bruce Trail Conservancy and Parks Canada have acquired the Driftwood Cove Property contributing to the overall size of the Bruce Peninsula National Park bringing it to 90% completion. The 3,272-acre parcel that will represent 9% of the National Park’s land and 22% of its shoreline. Read More online…

 

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February 27, 2018

The Ontario Land Trust Alliance (OLTA) was impressed with the 2018 budget announcement, which affirms Canada’s commitment to the international goal of protecting 17 per cent of its land and fresh water by 2020.

Read more.

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