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Conservation Halton releases 2013 Public Accountability Report

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Visitation at Conservation Halton’s seven conservation areas (which includes Glen Eden) exceeded 800,000 for the first time in the organization’s history as 800,677 people came to hike, ski, camp, picnic, bike, boat, and generally enjoy nature in 2012.

The number of people, from schools and community groups, who participated in education programs offered by Conservation Halton, increased 10,000 people from 58,305 in 2011, to 68,787 in 2012. Another positive sign of community involvement saw the number of trees planted on Conservation Halton land and on private property with Conservation Halton’s coordination, was up 50 per cent from 68,320 in 2011 to 102,000 in 2012.

Community involvement also was up from previous years as Conservation Halton was supported by 1,633 volunteers in 2012 (1,322 volunteers in 2011) who planted trees, worked in the parks doing tasks like trail maintenance and caring for the birds at Mountsberg’s Raptor Centre, as well as assisting staff doing ecological field work and monitoring. Net funds raised by the Conservation Halton Foundation also increased nearly ten per cent from $390,712 in 2011 to $428,968 in 2012.

Growth and development in the Conservation Halton watershed also resulted in the Watershed Planning and Services Division being much busier. The number of permit reviews, planning applications, general and solicitor inquiries, building and pool clearances as well as environmental assessments and reports rose 18 per cent from 1,254 in 2011 to 1,483 in 2012.

“Conservation Halton’s Public Accountability Report is just one way our organization is open with our stakeholders and the community, providing key financial information while measuring the scale and effectiveness of our services,” added Ken Phillips, Chief Administrative Officer. “We believe the services Conservation Halton provides to the community – flood protection, environmental planning, outdoor education, recreation, and the protection of the natural environment – are delivered in a cost-effective and innovative way.”

The Public Accountability Report shows how Conservation Halton spends the funds it receives to benefit residents, what conservation activities have been carried out, and how they compare to services offered over the previous three years. The report includes facts and information on how Conservation Halton has been protecting the natural environment – forests, water and land – within its watershed. Also included are the organization’s budget statistics showing the sources of revenue and expenditures.

The municipal funding received by Conservation Halton is used primarily to fund programs and operations for environmental planning, flood protection and conservation programs. Tax dollars (municipal or provincial) are not used to support recreation programs at CH’s Conservation Areas, which includes Glen Eden. Revenue from annual pass sales and other park user fees fund the operations and capital infrastructure needs of all Conservation Areas. The Accountability Report can be viewed on Conservation Halton’s website or call 905-336-1158 to receive a copy.