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How it All Began…

KLT founding members: Ian Attridge, Mieke Schipper, Barbara Heidenreich and Terry Rees

(Left to right) Ian Attridge, Mieke Schipper, Barbara Heidenreich and Terry Rees with the just-signed Conservation Agreement for the Gamiing Nature Sanctuary in June 2002.

By KLT Volunteer Marnie Clement, as part of KLT’s 20th Anniversary Series

It was a moment worthy of a Hollywood movie.  When Ian met Mieke a land trust was born!

It all began after lawyer Ian Attridge moved to the Kawarthas and met Mieke Schipper of the Gamiing Centre.  Mieke wanted to do something to protect her 100 acres of land.

When the idea of creating a land trust in the Kawarthas was first considered, the Peterborough County Stewardship Council awarded the group its first grant that covered the incorporation expenses. 

The land trust became reality when federal letters patent were issued on November 23, 2001. Ian did the legal work for both the incorporation and getting charitable status, which took effect on January 1, 2002.

Originally called the Kawartha Heritage Conservancy (KHC), the first directors were Mieke, Terry Rees of the Federation of Ontario Cottager’s Association, Phred Collins and Barbara Heidenreich, who also served as the first president.

Run as a working board at the beginning, the first staff person ever hired was a summer employee in 2003.  At that time the organization’s office was in Ian’s house, but they were able to move into its own office in February 2006.  At that time they shared a space with Green Communities Canada.  The office later moved to 116 Hunter Street West (2010), 156 McDonnel Street (2012) and to it’s current location at The Mount Community Centre on Monaghan Road.

These first two decades have been remarkable in terms of what the KLT has achieved and protected.

Posted January 12, 2022.

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