2017 Annual Report

our Chair

CVC Chair Nando Iannicca

Nando Iannicca
Chair, Credit Valley Conservation

2017 was a year of extremes. Spring served up very heavy rainfall, Lake Ontario reached its highest recorded level and the hottest day of the year came on September 24, not in the middle of July when we’d expect it.

We know that our climate and environment are connected and that they impact the health of our communities and our economic well-being.

In 2017, we continued working with partners to address big environmental challenges – from helping relieve some effects of climate change by planting more trees, to tackling growing urbanization by naturally managing stormwater.

With our many partners, we’re boots on the ground, hands in the water and fingers in the soil helping Mother Nature in this important corner of the world.

You’re welcome to join us. Continue scrolling through these pages to learn more about CVC’s great work in 2017.

our CAO

CVC CAO Deb Martin-Downs

Deborah Martin-Downs
CAO, Credit Valley Conservation

We do incredible work in the Credit River Watershed. 2017 was no exception.

We launched a new brand strategy and new logo for CVC. We gathered the best information from community leaders, Indigenous elders and government partners to create the defining strategy for a 100-kilometre trail through the Credit River Valley.

We celebrated Canada’s 150th birthday on Canada Day under the canopy of our new amphitheatre at Island Lake. We welcomed record numbers of visitors to our parks.

From the headwaters to Lake Ontario, we connected people and nature, knowledge and action. We inspired communities to make choices and take action. We’re proud to share some of the best highlights with you.

our promise

At Credit Valley Conservation we create connections between people and nature, knowledge and action. We lead the protection, restoration and enhancement of our local natural environment, and we inspire a deep appreciation for the role of nature in keeping us healthy and happy.

inspired by nature

to lead

Leading with a new look

In 2017, we proudly revealed a new brand strategy and new look. Our brand is our story. It’s expressed in the way we champion conservation, the way we speak about our work and how others talk about us. It’s a strong, focused identity that ensures everyone understands who we are and what we do.

Our new logo contains a leaf that symbolizes nature and a feather that symbolizes wildlife. The leaf and feather form a water droplet that has veins symbolizing the river and trails. The blue wave represents movement and water. The orange wave represents land and vibrant communities. Our tagline, “inspired by nature”, captures our energy and passion for the natural environment.

Welcome to the new CVC.

CVC New Brand Unveiling

Leading under new legislation

In 2017, the Ontario government took a bold step to modernize the Conservation Authorities Act (CA Act) under which conservation authorities operate.

The renewed 1946 legislation now recognizes the fundamental value of managing natural resources and human activities together, on a watershed basis. It’s reaffirmed the importance of Ontario’s conservation authorities.

Watershed management is key to helping Ontarians adapt to the impacts of rapid growth and climate change.

Photo credit:  Alan English CPA, “Ontario Legislative Building – Toronto”  www.flickr.com/photos/alanenglish/8049112882

inspired by nature

to be healthy and happy

Inspired to be healthy in nature

CVC parks visitors enjoy personal well-being and happiness from our natural assets. We offer festivals like Maple Syrup and Fall Fest. We run outdoor yoga and yoga hikes, stand-up paddle boarding and fishing. You can get married outdoors, watch a film under the stars, snowshoe in the moonlight or practise mindful forest bathing.

2017 Park Inspirations

740,200

visitors at 10 conservation areas

104,000

gate admissions

225

picnics enjoyed
(up 8%)

240%

higher attendance at Fall Fest

6,400

taffy sticks at Maple Syrup Festival

3,200

watercraft rentals at Island Lake Conservation Area

7

couples married outdoors

Socially happy and healthy

Of the more than two million friends and neighbours who interacted with us on social media last year, most were tickled green with our photos and videos of birds, bugs and animals.

Our most popular campaign of the year had more than 42,000 views in March. People loved the Cheerios story of raising awareness about bees while learning that some of their free wildflower seeds might hurt local plants and animals.

Credit Valley Conservation Facebook post re: Cheerios campaign

inspired by nature

to learn and give back

2017 Volunteer Highlights

Thanks to our volunteers. 11,700 total volunteer hours. 1,665 adult volunteers. 2,625 youth volunteers. 7.2 hectares enhanced and restored. 11,440 trees and shrubs planted.

Inspired to volunteer

Our amazing volunteers help us make lasting impacts in neighbourhoods and communities. They inspire us with their dedication. They allow us to do more in shaping a resilient natural environment for a thriving, vibrant future.

Inspired to learn

50,350

residents, students and conservation area visitors attended education programs to learn about climate change, animals, insects or trees, to experience nature first-hand and so much more.

Health and Wellness Program participants during Canada 150 celebrations

Inspiring appreciation for nature

Our Health and Wellness program drew nearly 1,400 people from different cultures, ages and abilities to Terra Cotta Conservation Area. It was the first time many of them had ever been in nature. This program builds an important foundation for their confidence in Canadian outdoor spaces. It sparks a true love and appreciation for our beautiful natural environment.

inspired by nature

to innovate

Naturally managing stormwater

CVC is a leader in researching how stormwater managed locally helps nature manage pollution and runoff. We see it with green infrastructure and low impact development (LID), new ways of managing stormwater as our climate changes and infrastructure ages.

We’re partnering with Toronto and Region Conservation and Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority through the Sustainable Technologies Evaluation Program (STEP) to share knowledge and science, and train industry professionals to design and build LID practises.

View real-time monitoring from mobile devices on CVC's website

Sharing information in real time

CVC operates 57 environmental monitoring stations across the watershed. They send vital information in real time about current environmental conditions. This helps us better understand and advise about flooding, threats to water quality and low water levels.

At Cooksville Creek in Mississauga, for instance, we can see that in hours after a heavy snowfall, chloride (salt) levels reach the same concentration as the ocean. This is what happens from applying road salt on winter roads.

Our science helps inform management decisions about alternatives, smart investments, risks and liabilities.

inspired by nature

to protect

Protecting land for the future

In 2017 we acquired

70

hectares
(176 acres)
of land.

CVC now protects

61

different properties,

and more than

2,800

hectares
(7,000 acres)
of land.

Protecting people

CVC’s team of planners, engineers and ecologists continued to work with municipalities, the development community and landowners to help support a healthy watershed.

CVC has a regulatory role in issuing permits to protect development from flooding and erosion hazards. We’re a commenting agency for building applications under the Planning Act. We also provide technical advice to our local municipalities, including reviewing applications under the Environmental Assessment Act.

Our goal always is to keep people and buildings out of flood-prone areas and to best protect life, property and nature.

373

permits issued

171

plan applications reviewed

15

Environmental Assessments submitted for review

Protecting drinking water

We lead in protecting drinking water supplies through the Drinking Water Protection Program, developed to implement Ontario’s Clean Water Act, 2006 to protect sources of drinking water like lakes, rivers, and groundwater aquifers.

In the Credit Valley Source Protection Area (CVSPA) we partner with municipalities, neighbouring conservation authorities, businesses and communities to analyze and develop plans that manage risks from drinking water issues in vulnerable areas of our watershed.

The Credit Valley – Toronto & Region – Central Lake Ontario (CTC) Source Protection Plan is progressing well and is on target to full implementation. In the CVSPA, implementation includes:

  • 44 of 77 existing significant drinking water threats have been managed
  • 14 existing significant drinking water threats have been prohibited
  • Municipalities have implemented land use planning and education & outreach policies to address significant drinking water threats.
young boy drinking tap water
Return Rainware to the Ground marketing
How Does Road Salt Impact our Drinking Water marketing
How Does Fertilizer Impact our Drinking Water Sources marketing

Photo credit: Town of Orangeville

inspired by nature

to restore

Restoring to improve nature

In the Headwaters, we reached out to 50 landowners about taking action on their properties. We picked these landowners because our science showed their properties had high potential for building more resilient natural systems.

More than half the landowners wanted more information about features on their properties. They each got individual property maps showing where restoration actions would improve nature’s functions.

Restoring for health

At the Clarkson family property in Caledon, our aquatic restoration team finished a “daylighting” restoration project. “Daylighting” means they recreated a natural watercourse and wetland where a creek was previously buried. By fall 2017, hundreds of fish from nine different species returned to the new creek.

It’s absolutely true – and truly amazing – how the actions of one person or one family can make a significant difference.

inspired by nature

to enhance

Enhancing park features

We received approval for the preferred alternative for the Belfountain dam and headpond (that’s the pond above the dam) project. We’ve been conducting this environmental assessment (EA) at the same time as a management plan for Belfountain Conservation Area (CA).

Our ultimate goal is to improve nature, public safety, cultural heritage and how visitors enjoy Belfountain CA, one of our oldest conservation areas.

Belfountain Natural Channel, rendering

Enhancing with bird-friendly hay

2017 marked the fourth year of CVC’s Bird-Friendly Certified Hay program (BFCH).

The program improves living conditions for grassland birds like Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark. These native birds often breed in active hay fields in our watershed because their native grasslands are scarce.

Our program connects hay growers, hay purchasers and landowners with land for growing bird-friendly hay. Fields registered as Bird-Friendly Certified aren’t cut until July 15. By that time, the young birds have safely left their nests.

2017 Highlights

Bird Friendly Certified Hay Program. 35 program participants, 12 farmers, 16 properties, 295 acres certified as bird-friendly, 133 bobolink sightings, 21 eastern meadowlark sightings, 8 pairs of nesting grassland birds.

inspired by nature

to connect communities

Connecting for the
Credit Valley Trail

The defining strategy for our Credit Valley Trail (CVT) legacy project was approved by the CVC Board of Directors in December 2017.

We’ve developed a strategy that defines shared goals and priorities for a continous 100-kilometre pathway through the Credit River Valley – from the Headwaters in Orangeville to the shores of Lake Ontario in Mississauga.

How we got here:

2

years of planning and consultation

100

-plus steering committee members

30

provincial and municipal representatives

12

public presentations

5

information booths

3

review documents

2

public surveys

all for

1

shared river

Lakeview Waterfront Connection

Partners CVC, Region of Peel and Toronto and Region Conservation made significant progress at the Lakeview Waterfront Connection, the future site of a 26-hectare naturalized conservation area along Mississauga’s eastern waterfront.

Lakeview Waterfront Connection is the inspiration of the late Councillor Jim Tovey of Ward 1, Mississauga. Councillor Tovey passed away suddenly on January 15, 2018.

This project will add:

Lakeview Waterfront Connection. 12 hectares of meadow. 5 hectares of forest. 8 hectares of wetland. 1 hectare of cobble beach. 26 hectares of new conservation land with 3,500 metres of new trail and 1,600 metres of new healthy shoreline. Reusing 1.7 million cubic metres of fill, reusing 320,000 cubic metres of construction rubble, and taking 26,330 trucks off the road each year. After one year of construction, reused 178,000 cubic metres of fill, 75,000 cubic metres of construction rubble, and planted 905 trees.

inspired by nature

to connect neighbours

Connecting for sustainable neighbourhoods

In 2017 we began connecting neighbours to the natural environment in south Georgetown, Halton Region. Located in one of our Centres for Biodiversity in the Credit River Watershed, we highlighted important natural features in their own backyard. It was the beginning of bringing a Sustainable Neighbourhood Action Plan (SNAP) to their community.

We continued work at our first SNAP site in the Fletcher’s Creek neighbourhood of Brampton. In 2017 we shared our knowledge of Fletchers Creek and the local environment. We focused on getting opinions about actions can take together with our neighbours and partners to reach environmental goals.

group at Terra Cotta Conservation Area
group at Terra Cotta Conservation Area
group at Terra Cotta Conservation Area
woman at a flip chart

Connecting in the headwaters

We celebrated Canada’s 150th birthday in outdoor style on Canada Day at the official opening of the new canopy-covered stage at Island Lake Conservation Area.

We connected under one roof with local service clubs, business partners, government officials and community neighbours to cheer our joint efforts in creating another place of pride in the Headwaters.

New canopy-covered stage at Island Lake Conservation Area

inspired by nature

to be open and transparent

2017 Financial Highlights

Total contributions from municipal levy

BUDGET: $24,168,203
ACTUAL: $22,763,920

Total raised through other sources (grants, etc.)

BUDGET: $1,380,054
ACTUAL: $3,385,164

Total revenue generated by CVC (parks, planning fees, etc.)

BUDGET: $3,341,629
ACTUAL: $4,375,945

Total budget to actual

BUDGET: $28,889,886
ACTUAL: $29,041,575

inspired by nature

to give

Credit Valley Conservation Foundation

Thanks to the incredible generosity of donors, funders and sponsors, Credit Valley Conservation Foundation (CVCF) raised $1,330,719 for CVC in 2017.

In the first two years of our PROTECT, CONNECT, SUSTAIN campaign (2016-2020), we’re proud to have raised $2.6 million of our $5 million goal.

CVCF supporters who made significant contributions in 2017 included:

87

corporate supporters

274

individuals and families

24

community organizations and foundations

11

government partners

133

in-kind donors

875

fundraising event attendees

Credit Valley Conservation Foundation Gala 2017
Island Lake Bass Fishing Derby 2017
Cheque transfer Credit Valley Conservation Foundation to Credit Valley Conservation
Canoe the Credit 2017 Winners - Peel Police

During the year our supporters helped CVC get some incredible work done, including:

  • Creating the Credit Valley Trail (CVT) Strategy, a CVT Indigenous Experience Plan and a CVT Tourism Development Plan for this legacy 100-kilometre trail.
  • Improving Island Lake Conservation Area by constructing the on-water amphitheatre, maintaining the Vicky Barron Lakeside Trail and more.
  • Engaging more than 250 high school students in the Conservation Youth Corps environmental summer program.

inspired by nature

in the Credit River Watershed

The Credit River Watershed is the area of land that drains run off from rain and snow into the tributaries of the Credit River.

The Credit River is almost 90 km long, meandering southeast from the headwaters in Orangeville, Erin and Mono, through Caledon, Halton Hills and Brampton, eventually draining into Lake Ontario at Port Credit in Mississauga. The area of jurisdiction for Credit Valley Conservation also includes other local watersheds that drain directly into Lake Ontario and a section of the Lake Ontario shoreline.

A map of the Credit River watershed

Board of Directors

Region of Peel

All City of Mississauga councillors are also Region of Peel councillors.

Nando Iannica

Nando Iannicca
CVC Chair

Councillor Ward 7,
City of Mississauga
Ph: 905-896-5700

City of Mississauga
300 City Centre Dr.
Mississauga ON
L5B 3C1

Karen Ras

Karen Ras
Councillor Ward 2,
City of Mississauga
Ph: 905-896-5200

City of Mississauga
300 City Centre Dr.
Mississauga, ON
L5B 3C1

Ron Starr

Ron Starr
Councillor Ward 6,
City of Mississauga
Ph: 905-896-5600

City of Mississauga
300 City Centre Dr.
Mississauga ON
L5B 3C1

Jim Tovey

In fond memory
Jim Tovey

Councillor Ward 1,
City of Mississauga
Ph: 905-896-5100

City of Mississauga
300 City Centre Dr.
Mississauga ON
L5B 3C1

Martin Medeiros

Martin Medeiros 
Regional Councillor
Wards 3 & 4,
City of Brampton
Ph: 905- 874-2634

City of Brampton
2 Wellington St. W.
Brampton, ON
L6Y 4R2

Michael Palleschi

Michael Palleschi
Regional Councillor
Wards 2 & 6,
City of Brampton
Ph: 905-874-2602

City of Brampton
2 Wellington St. W.
Brampton ON
L6Y 4R2

Johanna Downey

Johanna Downey
Regional Councillor Ward 2,
Town of Caledon
Ph: 905-584-2272

Town of Caledon
6311 Old Church Rd.
Caledon, ON
L7C 1J6

Region of Halton

Tom Adams

Tom Adams
Regional Councillor Ward 6,
Town of Oakville

Town of Oakville
1225 Trafalgar Rd.
Oakville ON
L6J 5A6

Bob Inglis

Bob Inglis
Councillor Ward 4,
Town of Halton Hills
Ph: 905-873-9124

Town of Halton Hills
1 Halton Hills Drive
Halton Hills, ON
L7G 5G2

John Brennan

John Brennan
Town Councillor,
Town of Erin
Ph: 519-833-7309

Corp. of the Town of Erin
5684 Trafalgar Rd.
Hillsburgh,
ON N0B 1Z0

Gail Campbell

Gail Campbell
Town Councillor,
Town of Orangeville
Ph: 519-941-0439

Town of Orangeville
87 Broadway
Orangeville ON
L9W 1K1

Don MacIver

Don MacIver
CVC Vice Chair
Mayor, Township of Amaranth
(representing Town of Mono, Townships of Amaranth and East Garafraxa)

Ph: (519) 941-1007
Township of Amaranth RR #7
Orangeville, ON
L9W 2Z3

Thank you to our member municipalities for their strong support and financial contributions.

Senior Management Team

Mike Puddister

Mike Puddister
Deputy CAO and Director, Watershed Transformation

Tim Mereu

Tim Mereu
Director, Watershed Management

Gary Murphy

Gary Murphy
Director, Planning and Development Services

Jeff Payne

Jeff Payne
Director, Corporate Services

Gayle Soo-Chan

Gayle Soo-Chan
Director, Watershed Knowledge

Connect with us

Credit Valley Conservation
1255 Old Derry Road
Mississauga, ON
L5N 6R4

905-670-1615
1-800-668-5557