Ontario Turtle Tally
Urban Turtle Initiative
Healthy Water - Wildlife
Turtle Island Conservation
"Healthy Water - Healthy Wildlife" offers opportunities for individuals and community groups on Ontario's lakes to learn about threats to local wetland species and get involved in stewardship projects that can build community spirit and preserve the natural heritage values that exist within their region.
Over the next few years the Zoo's "Healthy Water - Healthy Wildlife" programme will roll out a campaign to have community leaders in three lake communities' lead pilot lake and wildlife conservation projects. These "pilot" lakes will help us to shape the future of the program and learn more about how we can help lake communities protect what matters most to them.
We look for a few specific things when considering what lakes to partner with. These things include individuals committed to lake stewardship who are willing to get involved themselves, but also recruit other community members to help out with stewardship projects. Each lake needs to have a finished Lake Management Plan with objectives related to water quality and wildlife communities that align with the goals of the Adopt-A-Pond Wetland Conservation Programme. We also try to target regions with Species at Risk turtles and communities specifically interested in learning more about their local wildlife.
Our partner lakes benefit in many ways from working with this programme. They gain support from the Zoo to develop an action plan and carry out stewardship initiatives that help local wildlife and their habitats. We provide resources and deliver workshops to assist lake communities with species monitoring. Through our network of partners we can also help with rapid wetland assessments and shoreline assessments to map out important ecological areas on the lake and ways to improve shoreline habitat.
If you think this might be something your lake would be interested in, here are some things to keep in mind. What do you hope to achieve for the lake, and when? What actions is the lake community interested in taking? Are they small personal actions or large-scale community projects? What resources are required to carry out these actions? Do you need funding, expert advice, or maybe a bit of both? How can you best manage your lifestyle with your lake values for the long-term, and are other lake residents on board with the ideas you have in mind? These questions can help you determine if your lake community is ready to get involved with "Healthy Water- Healthy Wildlife."
If you are looking to ease your lake into the ideas of wildlife stewardship, try getting the community involved with Ontario Turtle Tally or FrogWatch Ontario and help them understand that even a small action like reporting their wildlife sightings can make a difference for species conservation. More information can be found by following the link to Ontario Turtle Tally or FrogWatch Ontario on the side bar or clicking here: Ontario Turtle Tally or FrogWatch Ontario.