PETERBOROUGH, ON – On Friday, MPP Dave Smith met with representatives of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) to get an update about the difference that two Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) grants that when combined amount to $350,700, are making in the OFAH’s ongoing conservation work. Both were awarded in 2020 and are helping OFAH with two key elements in their work with one helping to expand efforts to prevent the spread of invasive species in Ontario, with the second revolutionizing the delivery of OFAH member services and youth programs through new virtual meeting infrastructure and livestreamed conservation education.
“Today’s announcement of over $300,000 through two grants will strengthen the conservation efforts of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters in our community,” said MPP Dave Smith. “OFAH, and our community, are stronger because of these investments. Our lakes, rivers, and other delicate ecosystems are vital to our community and protecting them is our duty,” MPP Smith said.
To help with taking programs online, OFAH received a $63,300 Resilient Communities Fund grant at the end of 2020. The Resilient Communities Fund was developed by OTF to help non-profit organizations rebound and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. The one-year grant has been used to upgrade OFAH’s digital infrastructure and equipment, including the renovation of four locations to serve as virtual meeting rooms, along with enhanced wireless connectivity at the OFAH|Mario Cortellucci Hunting and Fishing Heritage Centre (HFHC). These upgrades now allow educators to move throughout the building while livestreaming curriculum-linked activities to classes across Ontario. The grant also funded “conservation crates” that are loaned to classes participating in grade-specific livestreaming sessions.
Earlier in 2020, OFAH received a three-year, $287,400 Grow grant to expand its Invading Species Awareness Program (ISAP). The grant is being used to help with the salary for an outreach liaison to work with citizens and promote aquatic ecosystem stewardship in the Durham, Haliburton, and Kawartha Pine Ridge regions. The grant is also helping OFAH to offer training workshops, develop and distribute volunteer handbooks, tool kits, and other resources that help turn citizens into trained stewards who assist ISAP with encouraging recreationalists, like boaters, to take actions to prevent the spread of invasive species.
“This re-imagining of how the OFAH delivers activities and conservation education made possible by the OTF Resilient Communities Fund is helping the OFAH navigate the challenges of COVID-19, while also positioning us to better serve our members and Ontario’s natural resources,” said Angelo Lombardo, Executive Director, OFAH. “Additionally, the OTF Grow grant is allowing ISAP to expand on past success with a new Water Steward Program, equipping volunteers with the knowledge and resources to engage with watercraft users in their own communities on aquatic invasive species prevention through the Clean, Drain, Dry message.
“We are so thankful of the support OTF gives community organizations like ourselves, and their adaptability to the needs of Ontario,” Lombardo added.
About OTF:The Ontario Trillium Foundation is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. Last year, nearly $112M was invested into 1,384 community projects and partnerships to build healthy and vibrant communities and strengthen the impact of Ontario’s non-profit sector. In 2020/21, OTF supported Ontario’s economic recovery by helping non-profit organizations rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Visit otf.ca to learn more.
ABOUT OFAH: With over 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters, and 740 member clubs, the OFAH is the province’s largest non-profit, fish and wildlife conservation-based organization and the VOICE of anglers and hunters.
Shawn Cayley, OFAH Director of Communications — 705-760-5537 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Robinson, OFAH Manager of Programs — 705-761-1276 / 705-748-6324 ext. 240 or email@example.com