In March, at Credit Valley Conservation’s (CVC) ‘Friends of the Credit’ Awards ceremony, two of OFT’s easement donors, Deirdre Wright and Lorna Bethell, were honoured with ‘Watershed Legacy’ awards. The awards were given to recognize Deirdre and Lorna’s long-standing dedication to conservation – for their stewardship work with CVC over the years to plant trees and improve water quality on their properties, and for making the additional commitment to protect their land through a Farmland Trust easement.

Both farms are located in Caledon, a countryside landscape that faces growing rural residential development and aggregate mining pressures. The OFT ‘forever’ easement agreements allow the land to remain in private ownership, but guarantee that non-agricultural development will not be permitted in the future and that the land will be protected in perpetuity.

These farmland easements in Caledon are some of the first in Ontario. They serve as prime examples of landowner-led conservation, and demonstrate the long-lasting impact and legacy a single person can have on preserving and enhancing Ontario’s farming communities.