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Wednesday June 21st, 2017

Posted at 7:34pm

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The Essex Region Conservation Foundation celebrated 40 years Wednesday with the launch of The Place for Life Campaign, with the goal to raise $1 million over three years to support both new and ongoing projects and programs.

Place for Life Co-Chairs Susan Stockwell-Andrews and John Omstead along with special guests shared exciting campaign announcements and encouraged guests and community members to join in the momentum to embrace this place to make it our home, for life.

“Forty years ago, there were no greenway trails in this region and natural areas coverage was merely 3.5 percent,” said Omstead. “Now, we have nearly 100 kilometers of connected greenways. Natural areas coverage has increased to 8.5% through planting 6 million trees. The John R. Park Homestead and Kingsville Train Station have been protected to ensure the stories of our ancestors are preserved. And more than 350,000 young people have experienced outdoor education.”

“Thanks to visionaries such as David and Paul Janisse, Jim and Kevin Reid, Clifford and Joan Hatch, Chrysler Canada, Caesars Windsor Cares, and the Rotary Club of Windsor Roseland, and so, so many others, we were able to embark on a journey that has provided a legacy that we can all be truly proud of,” said Stockwell-Andrews. “The Place for Life campaign is aiming to raise $1 million over 3 years to support four areas that will enrich and sustain the Place for Life through trail development, greening, outdoor education and heritage preservation.”

The campaign was off to a strong start with well over $300,000 in investments already committed, including the Rotary Club of Windsor (1918) Centennial Hub, which will connect the Town of Tecumseh, Town of LaSalle and Herb Gray Parkway trail systems to the Chrysler Canada Greenway. Omstead announced a $30,000 commitment as the Nature in Education Champion, the Dave and Margaret Reid Nature Fund announced $15,000, and and members of the Foundation Board contributed nearly $40,000.

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