Award Winning Landowner Protects the Watershed

We believe that when people feel connected to nature, they will do more to protect it. We also believe in celebrating people who are dedicated to protecting and sustaining the local environment through our annual Friends of the Credit Conservation Awards.

Meet Sarah Mailhot. She was the recipient of our Landowner Stewardship Award. She’s a landowner dedicated to caring for nature on her 60-acre property. In 2010, she created a 10-year action plan with CVC. Through that process, she discovered that the Credit River Watershed Natural Heritage System runs through her property and that her land has a provincially significant wetland. She also has two ponds and plantation forests.

Over the past 10 years, Sarah and her family developed a forest management plan and have planted over 1,500 trees. They also created and maintain trails to create opportunities to enjoy their land and took steps to improve the health of their ponds. In 2015, the Mailhot family began a large-scale project to remove dog-strangling vine from the property. This invasive plant affects a forest’s ability to regenerate, prevents access to areas of land for humans and wildlife and can threaten the monarch butterfly population, which is a species at risk in Ontario.

Sarah worked with our staff to find and treat the invasive plant over five years. Consistent treatment has resulted in a significant reduction of the density of dog-strangling vine. As a result, native plants are coming back including trout lily, Canada anemone, milkweed, sedges, dogwoods and maple seedlings.

Dog-strangling vine
Dog-strangling vine forms a dense blanket of spindly vines which can harm young trees and prevent recreational enjoyment of your property.

Sarah has a deep connection to her land. She strives to protect the Credit River Watershed through on-the-ground action. She also has been sharing her knowledge with her neighbours and encouraging them to take action on their properties.

The Friends of the Credit Conservation Awards celebrate meaningful restoration work that improves the health of lands and water in the watershed. If you know someone who is deserving of recognition for their leadership and positive environment work in the Credit River Watershed, nominate them for a Conservation Award. To learn more about the program and the eight nomination categories, visit

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