Another ecologically sensitive parcel of land is now under public protection thanks to a donation to the Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation. The new conservation area is a 50-acre parcel located just outside the village of Richmond. It boasts 650 meters of sensitive shoreline area along the Jock River and portions of the provincially significant Richmond Fen.
“We are delighted to add this unique and environmentally valuable property to the Conservation Foundation’s land holdings,” said RVCF Chair Jason Kelly. “The McKay waterfront is now one of the Foundation’s 26 unique parcels made possible thanks to community-minded families that include the Alexanders, Bouchers, DePencies, Kaczkowskis and Meisels. These properties are to be kept in a natural state in perpetuity and are located across the entire Rideau watershed.”
The Conservation Foundation raises funds for local conservation work and is also a land trust that accepts gifts of land from families who wish their beloved rural property to remain in a natural state forever. On average, the RVCF accepts one or two properties each year to add to the stock of future conservation lands in the Rideau Valley.
More and more families and individuals are considering giving their land to the Conservation Foundation. Some donors want to keep it undeveloped and in a natural state forever — others welcome the tax benefits of their donations. Regardless of the motivation, the RVCF reviews and evaluates the environmental benefits of the property prior to acceptance. The RVCF is interested in land that is ecologically sensitive or has unique water-related features such as wetlands, shorelines and aquifer recharge areas.
The McKay property fit the Foundation’s review process. It’s natural shorelines and wetland areas are valuable areas that help maintain clean water, prevent soil erosion, reduce the impacts of flooding and provide wildlife with food and habitat. They are incredibly productive ecosystems — comparable to rainforests and coral reefs.
Although donated, gifted lands are not free. Each land donation could have a cost of up to $10,000 in terms of legal, surveying and appraisal fees plus the ongoing taxes and maintenance costs in addition to the land itself. Some trust and conservation groups may only accept new lands if such fees are forthcoming. The RVCF does its best to raise these funds so to benefit the watershed. The local community can help RVCF continue to accept important land donations by donating to the Steve Simmering Endowment Fund. This fund supports the perpetual costs of maintenance and ownership.
Thank you to the McKay family for their community-minded gift and the Nichols Foundation for their donation to support the costs associated with transferring the land into public ownership (surveys, appraisals, legal fees, etc.).
If you are interested in learning more about the RVCF land donation program or how to protect these lands through a donation to the Simmering Land Endowment Fund, visit www.rvcf.ca.