Chatham-Kent – The Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority (LTVCA) and the Municipality of Chatham-Kent have today announced a new partnership, with the generous financial support of the Ridge Landfill Community Trust and facilitated by Waste Connections of Canada. This partnership will enable the creation of significant forest cover, wetland and grassland habitat creation in South-Kent.
The Ridge Landfill Community Trust will provide $1,000,000.00 (One Million Dollars) of funding, to be utilized by the LTVCA and chosen partners over an estimated ten-year period. The trees planted along with new wetland and grassland habitat will help combat climate change, build much-needed wildlife corridors – reducing habitat fragmentation – control dangerous soil erosion and create a more productive, healthier eco-system.
This initiative and funding will help Chatham-Kent greatly increase its natural tree cover, which currently sits at less than 6%, the lowest of any upper tier municipality in Ontario. Only 4% of the municipality has forest cover in woodlands greater than two hectares, and 2% has forest cover in smaller woodlands or other habitats such as wetlands and grasslands.
The Ridge Landfill Community Trust has funded several million dollars for community, educational and charitable works over the last couple of decades in South Kent.
Cathy Smith, Project Manager with Waste Connections, said “We are incredibly proud that the Trust has elected to provide this money to be used to protect the local environment and create a healthier eco-system for future generations. This will be a legacy for this existing Community Trust which is made up of very dedicated and hard-working members, many of whom have been with the Trust for decades.”
In addition to facilitation of this partnership, Waste Connections of Canada is also committing about 25 acres of Waste Connections’ owned property on and around the existing Ridge Landfill site in South Kent to be rewilded, providing new habitats for local species and contributing to a healthier local ecosystem.
“Linda McKinlay Chair of the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority said, “These projects will have a huge impact on our water quality, lessen the effects of climate change on a local level, control soil erosion and provide much needed habitat for Species at Risk and other species that rely on these ecosystems.”
Darrin Canniff, Mayor of Chatham-Kent, said, “This investment will have significant benefits for the community of Chatham-Kent and our natural environment. Planting more trees can help us combat the effects of climate change, protect endangered species and restore wetlands. The project is a particularly heartening example of what can be achieved when community organizations, business and government work together to have a positive impact.”
South Kent Councillor Anthony Ceccacci, who inquired about the Trust and their interest in the project said he is very gratified to see such support.
“We know that greater tree cover means a healthier environment and I know from experience that the Community Trust has been an outstanding partner on many projects,” he said. “It is a great feeling to know that the actions we are taking today will benefit our children, their children and generations to come.”
The project will be concentrated in the area of South Kent, which includes the watersheds of Rondeau Bay, Jeannette’s Creek, Lake Erie and McGregor Creek. The $1,000,000.00 funding from The Ridge Landfill Community Trust will be matched where possible by other existing programs.
Suitable projects in South Kent will be considered for funding. For more information, please contact Randall Van Wagner, Manager of Conservation Lands and Services with the LTVCA.
Mark Peacock, CAO of the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority, said through its various partners, the LTVCA will be able to turn the $1 million into $3 million for green infrastructure.
He noted that climate change has brought about more localized flood emergencies and changing weather patterns but that initiatives such as this can help mitigate those issues. “You don’t plant a tree for yourself; you plant it for future generations.”
About Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority:
The Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority is one of the 36 Conservation Authorities in Ontario. It has jurisdiction over watersheds of all streams draining into the Thames River from Delaware to Lake St. Clair. The Southern boundary includes the watersheds of streams draining into Lake Erie, from the Talbot Creek watershed in the east, to the Two Creeks watershed in the west. Total area 3,275 square kilometres (1,264 square miles) and is home to 99,401 people. There are 10 member municipalities.
About Waste Connections of Canada:
Waste Connections of Canada is a Canadian-owned company and a provider of solid non-hazardous waste collection, transfer, recycling and disposal services in primary and secondary markets across Canada. Serving tens of millions of customers daily across Canada, whether it is single or multi-family residences, commercial institutions, industrial locations, construction sites, special events or providing natural disaster relief, Waste Connections of Canada is a premier waste services provider. Waste Connections is the sole funding source for the Ridge Landfill Community Trust.
For more information contact:
Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority
519-354-7310 x 224
Project Manager with Waste Connections
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
519-360-1998 x 3624