Special guests and dignitaries gathered to celebrate 50 years of conservation at the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority’s Anniversary Celebration on November 30. Surrounded by watershed representatives, politicians, past and present staff along with numerous friends and partners, RVCA Board of Director Members looked to acknowledge the many people, projects and partnerships behind a conservation movement that started in the early 1940s.
“This was our opportunity to thank those who have helped us towards our goal of a thriving and sustainable watershed,” said Lyle Pederson, RVCA Chair and Elizabethtown-Kiltey representative. “Conservation of our land and water is not something you can do alone. It takes a great deal of municipal support along with many staff, partners and volunteers to get the job done.”
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson was in attendance and spoke to the crowd of over 70. He reflected on Ottawa Mayor Don Reid’s drive to bring the then 41 watershed municipalities together to form a local Conservation Authority in March 1966. Mayor Watson praised the Board Members, staff and partners for their past and ongoing work.
Also in attendance was Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation Chair Jason Kelly who spoke of the continued support the Foundation has for the Authority’s on-the-ground efforts throughout the watershed. He took a moment to thank BMO for their support of the anniversary event and brought greetings and congratulations from Nepean-Carleton MPP Lisa MacLeod.
“Tonight was a wonderful opportunity to reconnect, reminisce and reflect on our many shared accomplishments,” said Master of Ceremonies and RVCA Vice Chair Ed Hand. “Now it is time to look forward to another 50 years of conservation — it’s time to get back to work so we have clean abundant water, natural shorelines, rich forests and wetlands, diverse habitat and sustainable land use.”