It is important to preserve areas of natural significance for residents and visitors to enjoy. Mississippi Valley Conservation (MVC) owns and manages 410 ha. of conservation area lands within the watershed.
For more information about Conservation Areas owned and operated by Mississippi Valley Conservation click on the area name.
Ontario’s 36 Conservation Authorities collectively own and operate over 400 Conservation Areas with a total area of 58,400 hectares, making Conservation Authorities one of the largest property owners in the province.
These Conservation Areas play an important environmental, educational and recreational role in Ontario and contribute to the physical and mental wellbeing of the more than 4.5 million Ontarians who visit them each year.
The Environmental Role of Conservation Areas
Conservation Areas play an important role in Ontario by protecting our environment, our lands and our ecosystems. They do this through soil conservation, as well as flood plain,forest and wildlife management.
Conservation Areas protect forests, wetlands, plant life and wildlife and improve the overall health of our watersheds, including the quality and supply of our water resources such as recharge areas.
The Educational Role of Conservation Areas
Conservation Areas act as living classrooms bringing people and nature together. They help teach the public about the importance of our environment and how it is impacted by our activities and lifestyles. Conservation Authorities operate a total of 32 permanent Interpretive Centres, 26 Seasonal Centres, and include many interpretive trails and heritage features.Each year, 2,900 schools and over 400,000 students participate in environmental education programs run by Conservation Authorities at their Conservation Areas, which included programming for more than half of the province’s 105 school boards.
The Recreational Role of Conservation Areas
Ontario’s Conservation Areas include more than 7,900 campsites and 1,900 km of trails. Almost five million campers and day users (4.9 million) visited a Conservation Area in 2006 alone. Conservation Areas encourage people to get outdoors and be active, as well as enjoy and appreciate nature. They provide year round facilities and outdoor recreational opportunities for people of all ages and a range of abilities, including picnicking, boating, camping, swimming, hiking, fishing, cycling, snow-shoeing, downhill skiing, cross country skiing and even more extreme recreational opportunities such as snowboarding, rock climbing and ice climbing. Although some Conservation Areas have limited access in order to protect sensitive lands and/or wildlife, many provide important public recreational opportunities at low or no cost.
How and when did Conservation Areas first get established?
The first Conservation Authorities were formed when the Conservation Authorities Act was established in 1946. Conservation Area land use hasn’t changed much since the beginning – they are used for specific resource management purposes such as flood control, floodplain management, forestry, natural area preservation and to provide recreational and educational opportunities. Outdoor recreation and environmental education has been an important component of Conservation Authority operation since the 1950s.