Land trust marks end of summer

·2 min read

As summer turns to fall, the Thousand Islands Watershed Land Trust is ending the season with an end of summer festival.

The local land trust is holding an annual general meeting (AGM) and Summer's End Festival in Athens this weekend.

Typically an AGM is a meeting for charities and non-profit organizations to report to their memberships and provide financial statements and updates. Planned around the short AGM, there will be tree planting, lawn games, book and yard sales and a lunch at the farm in Athens.

"What we like to do is have some sort of event go along with that, so we can make the most out of getting folks together," said Don Ross, the land trust president.

The festival will say goodbye to summer Saturday, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at one of the properties donated to the land trust, Glen Elbe Farm in Athens.

The donated property is ecologically rich, and is full of history, said Don Ross. Tours and hikes of the property will be led by the summer biologist, Maggie Stevensen, during the festival.

The Glen Elbe farm property was donated to the land trust permanently by Jane Topping upon her death, and it is filled with farmland, waterfalls, wetlands and forests spread among the more than 100 acres.

"We're honouring her as well on that day," said Ross.

"We’re doing a lot of visioning for the property and what people would like to see it be in the future."

The land trust is taking this festival as an opportunity to discuss with attendees what they want this piece of property to be like many years in the future.

"We want to know what the community wants," said Marnie Ross, a director of the land trust.

On the 111-acre property, the land trust will be planting the second round of climate-ready trees.

"People are invited to learn how to plant a tree and why these trees are important to this region in the future," said Don Ross.

After receiving the donated Glen Elbe property and estate, the land trust discovered a wide range of different kinds of books in the house. There will be a book sale and yard sale during the festival day.

"We were donated not just the property but the house and contents," said Don Ross, "so we're going to have a bit of a yard sale."

Marnie Ross added that some of the yard sale items are from the 1970s, and there are many different antiques, but also some newer items will be for sale during the festival.

Over 30 years, the land trust has conserved almost 6,000 acres of land, and has kept about 2,000 acres, which includes the Glen Elbe property.

"We have to make our organization vibrant so it will be here forever," said Marnie Ross.

Jessica Munro, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brockville Recorder and Times

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