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April 2020 Newsletter

In This Issue:

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. 

Current Members:  Please watch your email on May 5th for your invitation to join the meeting via Zoom.  Instructions will be included.
 
All memberships renewed January 1, 2020. 
Renew your membership to participate and vote in the AGM.
Renew Online or Download a Membership Form to pay by cheque.

Remarks from President, Bob Betcher

 


When I first became President of MMLT one year ago, I never expected the turbulence and disruption that we are now facing.  On many days it has been for me, and I know for many of you, psychologically, emotionally and intellectually difficult to accept and adapt to the level of change that has happened in such a short time and the uncertainty of what the future may bring, not just in terms of the Land Trust but in our everyday lives.  We are all in this together, though and in the coming months we will have to support each other and the organizations that are so important to us so that we can emerge on the other side, no doubt changed, but still intact.

 
As you know, we have had to cancel our planned events for the foreseeable future and last week we closed our sites to visitors, including the trails.  Closure of the trails was a particularly difficult decision as a walk in Nature had been a daily salvation to many of us, and not all have options other than trails on the Land Trust sites or those offered by other similar organizations.  Nonetheless, our closures were considered essential to meet the legal and “stay at home” advice to limit the spread of the virus.
 
The cancellation of our events restricts direct involvement with our members and puts a pinch on our sources of income.  However, our Board and volunteers are actively engaged in developing alternate ways for our members to interact with Nature, potentially through holding “virtual” field workshops and tours and perhaps a “virtual” silent auction as well.  More ideas will be forthcoming I’m sure-not just from our Board and volunteers but from our membership.  Carolyn Piche, our Administrator (cpiche@mmlt.ca) will be happy to receive any ideas you may have for group activities that can be carried out online rather than in the field.
 
Finally, in talking to many people over the past few weeks and reading discussions on the internet, I’m hopeful that after we come through the worst of the pandemic, more people will have seen the value of Nature in their lives and the need for a better balance between human activities and the natural world.  Perhaps this will be the start of a renaissance on a global scale where the natural world is protected and preserved, not just for humanity’s benefit but because all living things are part of the global balance.  I see MMLT as being a part of this movement, and each day I feel more committed to our goals and philosophy.  I hope you do as well.

Love of Nature in Trying Times

 
By: Howard Clifford
 
I have a lifelong love affair with nature.  As a psychiatric social worker in the sixties the words of Canadian Dr. Gibson rang true.  He declared nature a psychiatric necessity to be shouted from the rooftops.  I had already devoted myself to the land trust movement but still welcomed the words of Dr. Franklin, a leading public health authority, affirming that people benefit so much from nature that land conservation should be viewed as a public health strategy.  Nature heals us physically, emotionally, psychologically and touches us at our spiritual core. 
 
During spring break I noticed a couple with three children playing on the snowbank in our parking lot upon their return from Blueberry.  I wish I could have captured the joy on their faces.  The father told me he was making it a must to take his family into wilderness solitude.  I felt an overwhelming feeling of gratitude that cliffLAND could offer this to them. [Read More]
Land Trust Properties Provide Many Ecological Services
 
By: Dr. Paul Keddy

Why do we need to protect land? Why do we need land trusts? Here I would like to take the opportunity to review some reasons why we need wild places. This article will take us into a field of science called ‘ecological services’, that is, the measurement of services that wild places provide. It turns out that there are a great many reasons to protect wild places.  Sometimes we may erroneously imply that we need wild places just so people have space for recreation. This vastly understates the case for protecting wild land. Wild places provide far more benefits to humans. [Read More I will review some of them briefly here, with particular emphasis on wetlands.

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Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust
10970 Hwy 7
Carleton Place, Ontario K7C 3P1
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