Ridgetown – The Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority (LTVCA) held its Annual General Meeting on February 18 at the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus in the Municipality of Chatham-Kent. John Kavelaars was elected as Chair and Linda McKinlay Vice-chair. Mr. Kavelaars is a Municipal Councillor for Southwest Middlesex and Mrs. McKinlay is a Municipal Councillor for the Town of Lakeshore.
The 2016 budget of $3,026,022 received approval at the meeting. The budget responds to several significant capacity and risk management challenges facing the Conservation Authority in terms of its flood control and conservation area operations; and in its ability to offer watershed wide stewardship services to landowners. It effectively increases the total levy by approximately $215,000 or 16.25%, with the impact affecting municipalities other than Chatham-Kent due to its historic contribution to a municipally focused stewardship program (Greening Partnership).
The 10 member municipalities of the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority include Chatham-Kent, Dutton/Dunwich, Lakeshore, Leamington, London, Middlesex Centre, Southwest Middlesex, Southwold, Strathroy-Caradoc and West Elgin. Each municipality appoints a Director as their representative to the LTVCA Board for up to a three year term.
Guest Speaker Gabrielle Ferguson – Environmental Program Specialist with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs spoke on the topic “Phosphorus, the Great Lakes, and Agriculture”. Then the Greening Partnership Environmental Award for Landowner Stewardship was presented to Jack Koopman and Delaware Nation Moravian of the Thames. And LTVCA staff presented the 2015 Annual Report which emphasized the benefits of the investment in the flood control structures of the lower Thames watershed and the monitoring of watershed conditions over the year. Over 243 acres (98 ha) were naturally restored: 92 acres (37 ha) reforested, 28 acres (11 ha) of tallgrass prairie planted and over 72 acres (29 ha) of wetlands created. Across the entire watershed, 96,816 trees were planted. Invasive species control was tackled and 52 acres (21 ha) of Phragmites Australis were eradicated. Local stewardship initiatives were highlighted, along with the various education and outreach programs offered by the Conservation Authority.
Reports were all well received by the Directors who provided constructive comments on behalf of their respective municipalities.
For further information please contact:
Don Pearson, General-Manager/Secretary-Treasurer
Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority
Tel: 519-354-7310 (Administration Office)