Case for Support

Children playing along the waters edge

The more you know of what we are doing, the more you are going to want to participate.

–  John Omstead, President – Essex Region Conservation Foundation

Many Ways to Give

The simplest method of giving is through a single gift to the Essex Region Conservation Foundation. This will be used to protect and restore lands where the need is greatest. Please make checks payable to the Essex Region Conservation Foundation or to donate online go to

Become a Champion of the Environment. For a gift of $1,000 to protect and restore the region’s natural environment, you will receive a beautiful certificate and a special gift available only to members.

The Gift that Honours allows you to make a difference by buying a tree for any occasion: birth of a child, wedding, or a memorial gift. You personalize the card and choose the keepsake which is then sent to the recipient of your gift, while you receive the tax receipt.

A Deed to the Greenway can be purchased for a donation of just $49. All funds raised stay in the community for trail maintenance and development.

Planned gifts can be tailored to your personal and financial circumstances. A planned gift can be a gift made through a will and can be set up as an endowment gift, so that the original gift remains intact as a lasting legacy. Gifts of life insurance, publicly traded securities, and donations of RRSPs/RRIFs are also types of planned gifts. We would be pleased to work with your advisors should you wish to make a planned gift.

Donations of Land or Conservation Easements ensure a legacy of a cleaner and healthier environment that is protected for generations to come. A gift may also be certified as an cological gift by Environment Canada, allowing for enhanced income tax benefits. An ecological gift of a conservation easement allows landowners to protect the ecologcally sensitive features of their property in perpetuity, retain title, and be eligible for enhanced income tax benefits. The value of the donation is based on the appraised value as determined by an independent AACI-certified appraisal.
Volunteers. We as a community are the stewards of our own environment and the Essex Region Conservation Foundation need volunteers to assist with several committees and events. For more information on volunteering please visit

This is where we live, this is our home

Our region is special in many ways. As Canada’s South Coast, we enjoy more than 150 km of Great Lakes shoreline, an excellent network of trails and recreational opportunities, and places where we can experience the world’s best fall and spring bird migrations. Our region is fully within the Carolinian zone, which supports a higher diversity of plant and animal species than any other region in Canada, including the highest concentration of globally rare species in Ontario and one third of Canada’s rare plant and animal species. Yet, 350 years of growth has diminished the region’s natural area cover and habitat to 7.5%, among the lowest in Ontario and a long way from our goal of 12% by 2020. 

To ensure our children can share the same experiences we have in our region, we need to create a region that is sustainable – wet-lands and forests that remain diverse and productive over time, communities and residents who are healthy, and conservation areas and natural areas that are recognized as an important part of an economically strong region.

We cannot do this in alone. To achieve our goal, we need to continue to protect and restore important natural areas, we need to continue to educate our community on the role of onservation efforts, we need to respect our cultural heritage, and we need to connect people with our trails and natural spaces.

There has never been a more exciting time to be involved in this work because of the positive and lasting impact it has on our community as a whole; and the enormous difference it has for many.

Changing our region, one tree at a time

Over the past three decades, much has been accomplished thanks to the contributions of many. Cedar Creek and LaSalle Woods – two environmentally significant areas – have been protected for generations to come. Funds were raised to acquire and develop the fifty kilometre Chrysler Canada Greenway into one of the region’s premier trail systems. The John R. Park Homestead and Kingsville Train Station have been restored to preserve our human heritage, and private families have donated 370 acres of property to the Foundation to ensure the community can enjoy environmental benefits in perpetuity.

It’s in our best interest to care about the environment that we live in and to make sure we’re doing everything that we can to make that environment better.

– Sheila Wisdom, Community Leader

A future of sustainability – together, we will succeed

The United Nations has stated that at a minimum, 12% of any region should consist of natural areas in order to be healthy and sustainable. In the Essex region, merely 7.5% of our landscape consists of natural areas – one of the lowest percentages in the province. It is imperative that the few natural areas that remain in this area be protected, especially as there is a clear connection between a healthy environment and the human health of residents, and economic health of the region. Action must be taken to ensure a cleaner and healthier future for the next generations. We know that you share our belief that the environment is one of the critical pillars of sustainability.

Building a better future

When you give to the Essex Region Conservation Foundation, you create a healthy and sustainable future for our community:

  • Trails link healthy people and healthy environments; increase tourism and local economic development opportunities; and are a key part of a sustainable community that recognizes the linkages between environmental health, human health, and economic health. Your donation supports connecting the region through trail acquisition and development.
  • Heritage conservation encourages heritage tourism and fosters community revitalization and a stronger sense of place. Heritage sites bring together people of all ages, become focal points for community events, and celebrations and provide an opportunity for volunteering. Your donation preserves our human heritage by raising the funds to protect and restore the John R. Park Homestead and Kingsville Train Station.
  • The great challenge of our time is to reconnect ourselves with the world around us. Your donation supports outdoor education and provides a unique, alternative learning environment to allow children to reconnect and interact with nature.
  • Residents of Essex region have identified a goal of 12% for natural area coverage of our region. However, at our current rate, we won’t reach our target until the end of this century. Your donation accelerates this rate of change by restoring an additional 20,750 acres of the region’s 415,000 acres