A $4,000 grant awarded by the RTOERO (Retired Teachers of Ontario) will help the Kensington Conservancy with improvement initiatives in the area. These include new signage, benches, wetland bridges and trail upgrades at the Gravel Point Preserve Hiking Trails on St. Joseph Island.
"A member of the Ontario Land Trust Alliance, the Kensington Conservancy aims to promote the protection and preservation of natural ecosystems for all generations," says a news release. "The improvements will indicate trail details, as well as safety and educational information regarding nature, conservation and stewardship."
Full text of the release follows:
The Kensington Conservancy in Desbarats will receive benches, wetland bridges, new signage and trail improvements thanks to a $4,000 grant from District 3 Algoma of RTOERO (Retired Teachers of Ontario).
The District 3 funding is part of RTOERO’s annual community grants program. Since 1968, RTOERO has been a voice for teachers, school and board administrators, educational support staff and college and university faculty in their retirement.
Our mission is to improve the lives of our members and seniors. RTOERO members also share a desire to give back. Each year, districts apply for grants to support community projects. For 2023, RTOERO funded 22 projects for a total of $85,270.
A member of the Ontario Land Trust Alliance, the Kensington Conservancy aims to promote the protection and preservation of natural ecosystems for all generations. The improvements will indicate trail details, as well as safety and educational information regarding nature, conservation and stewardship.
“We want to highlight this excellent venue, and provide improvements for hikers, bird watchers, naturalists, artists and photographers and everyone else who enjoys nature. Hopefully, this will inspire all members of the St. Joseph Channel community to embrace positive conservation values,” says Christopher Rous, president, District 3 Algoma, RTOERO.
Since the inception of the community grants program 23 years ago, RTOERO has donated almost $2 million to 550 programs and projects. A committee of RTOERO members assesses the merits of each grant submission.
“We encourage all RTOERO districts to support and partner with local organizations that are making a real difference on key issues,” says Martha Foster, chair of the board at RTOERO. “The projects we back advance things like environmental sustainability, healthy and active living, equity and community connections. In their careers and in retirement, RTOERO members have been dedicated to service, and the community grants program is another way to put that into action.”
District 3 Algoma includes more than 1,200 members, and stretches east from Sault Ste. Marie to Spanish and Elliot Lake, and north to Wawa, Hornepayne and Chapleau. The district plays a key role in helping members stay engaged and connected, with each other and the community.
RTOERO is a bilingual trusted voice on healthy, active living in the retirement journey for the broader education community. With 84,000+ members in 51 districts across Canada, we are the largest national provider of non-profit group health benefits for education retirees. We welcome members who work in or are retired from the early years, schools and school boards, post-secondary and any other capacity in education. We believe in a better future, together!
EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this story suggested the improvements would be applied to trails in the Desbarats area. In fact, while the Kensington Conservancy operates trails in the Desbarats area, this funding is for the Gravel Point Preserve Hiking Trails on St. Joseph Island