Headwater Hikes at Pigeon River and Fleetwood Creek May 23-24

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Media Release: Give your health a boost this weekend- Step into Nature! Join Kawartha Conservation and partners for two local ‘Healthy Hikes’

This weekend, the Ontario Headwaters Institute, along with Kawartha Conservation and other local partners will host two hikes along the Oak Ridge’s Moraine in The City of Kawartha Lakes to encourage local residents to get active, spend time in nature, and engage in the recent coordinated review of the province’s Greenbelt Plan, Oak Ridge’s Moraine Conservation Plan, and two other land use plans. The hikes will take place at Pigeon River Headwaters Conservation Area on Saturday, May 23 and Fleetwood Creek Natural Area on Sunday, May 24 and are part of a 10-hike series called Headwater Hikes run by the Headwaters Institute. Each hike will highlight a variety of environmental features and participants should arrive by 9:45 a.m. For more information on the hikes visit: http://ontarioheadwaters.ca/hikes/. Hike partners include the Kawartha Conservation, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, The City of Kawartha Lakes, Save the Oak Ridges Moraine Coalition, and the Ontario Heritage Trust. Heather Stauble, City of Kawartha Lakes councillor and the Chair of Kawartha Conservation, will be in attendance at both hikes, where a group of leaders will point out ecological points of interest. These hikes also qualify as events under Conservation Ontario’s Healthy Hikes program which challenges Ontarians to spend time hiking in our province’s nearly 300 conservation areas and track their progress for a chance to win great prizes. Attending events boosts the chances of winning, since participants will earn 200 bonus points towards their challenge goal for taking part. The goal of the Healthy Hikes program is to teach people about the ways the natural environment boosts our health and how we can all energize our bodies and minds simply by stepping into nature. You can learn more about Healthy Hikes, and register to participate at www.healthyhikes.ca. “Natural areas along the Oak Ridge’s Moraine are perfect locations to host Healthy Hikes events, since there is such a strong connection between the Moraine and our health”, says Heather Stauble, Chair of Kawartha Conservation. “The moraine plays a key role in providing us with clean and abundant drinking water, and as we all know, water availability and supply is a foundation for human life and a pillar of healthy sustainable communities.” Hike participants will also be updated on the Ontario government’s coordinated review of four land use plans- the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, Greenbelt Plan, Niagara Escarpment Plan, and the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe- and encouraged to participate in the process by submitting comments through the Province’s Environmental Bill of Rights website. Kawartha Conservation is one of nine Conservation Authorities across the province located along the Oak 2 Ridges Moraine who over 15 years ago joined together to create the Conservation Authorities Moraine Coalition (CAMC). The group was formed to advocate for and protect the moraine along its 160-kilometre length, and in response to the need for a comprehensive policy, planning and management approach geared to sustaining the health of the entire Oak Ridges Moraine. Along with the other members of the CAMC, Kawartha Conservation has been actively engaged in the coordinated plan review, and supports the key recommendations to inform the review laid out by the Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation in their document Sustaining our Environment, Planning for our Future, which include: – Recognizing and growing the Greenbelt – Investing in stewardship, restoration, and land securement – Promoting safe and sustainable agriculture – Protecting the environment- ensuring clean water, air and land – Encouraging land conservation and preservation To learn more about Kawartha Conservation’s role in the coordinated plan review, visit their website www.kawarthaconservation.com/watershed/report-cards. Another great way to learn about the plan review, and about Kawartha Conservation’s role, is to join one of the great hike events planned for this weekend! -30- Media Contact: Jayme Crittenden, Marketing & Communications Specialist, Kawartha Conservation, 705.328.2271 ext. 220, jcrittenden@kawarthaconservation.com Kawartha Conservation is a watershed-based, non-profit environmental organization that helps ensure the conservation, restoration, and responsible management of water, land and natural habitats through programs and services that balance human, environmental and economic needs. The organization is governed by the municipalities within the Kawartha Conservation watershed, including the City of Kawartha Lakes; Region of Durham; Township of Scugog; Township of Brock; Municipality of Clarington; Municipality of Trent Lakes; and Township of Cavan Monaghan. www.kawarthaconservation.com

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