Friends of Laurier Woods
The Friends of Laurier Woods gathered on site Saturday, September 15th to pay tribute to those who donated to the very successful “Laurier Woods is Growing” Fundraising Campaign.
Over 50 supporters turned out to share in the event.
Friends of Laurier Woods President, Fred Pinto welcomed the public and introduced the Board of Directors. Chris Mayne, who chaired the fundraising campaign, spoke to the success of the campaign and acknowledged the volunteers who had worked on the campaign and the donors who had responded so readily.
Special recognition was made of the Truong-Riley family (pictured) who contributed $10,000.00. A bench on the new trail will bear a plaque acknowledging their contribution. Also speaking to the success of the whole initiative were Past
President, Dick Tafel; Brian Tayler, CAO of the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority; Vic Fedeli, MPP; and North By Mayor, Al Macdonald.
The Donor Appreciaton Plaque was unveiled with the 125 names of individuals and groups that stewarded the purchase of 1/10th of an acre or more. Fiftytwo donors sponsored 1 or more acres at $1,000.00/acre. Additionally, Vic Fedeli, MPP, presented Dick Tafel with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal for his long-term exemplary work with Laurier Woods.
The “Laurier Woods is Growing” Fundraising Campaign raised over $85,000.00 toward the purchase of an addition 100 acres. Approximately 12 acres are still available for stewardship.
The new 100-acre parcel abuts the southeastern portion of the Laurier Woods Conservation Area.
Located centrally in the city, with the main entrance and parking at the end of Brule Street off Franklin Street, the Laurier Woods Conservation Area is now a 240-acre site encompassing a provincially significant wetland, rocky outcrops and upland forests. It is a sanctuary to a broad range of wetland and woodland creatures, including over 120 species of birds. Situated on the watershed divide between Trout Lake and Lake Nipissing it is a significant travel corridor for wildlife. The existing 6.5 kilometre trail network provides year-round opportunities for hiking and nature appreciation. While Laurier Woods Conservation Area is an important asset to local citizens it also represents a significant tourist attraction.
The Friends of Laurier Woods was established as a volunteer body to manage the area as a nature preserve; to establish an interpretive trail system, boardwalks, viewing platforms, and rest areas; and to promote the area for low-impact, day-use recreation. In 2006 the Friends of Laurier Woods and the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority became joint owners of the original 100 acre property.