by Mississippi Valley Field NAturalists
The “Save Our Alvar” campaign continued to gain momentum, thanks to a well-attended pub night held by the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) on Friday, February 6 at the Barley Mow in Almonte. Donations on the night exceeded $1500, to the delight of the organizing team. “What a fantastic success our pub night was! Everyone was happy to be there, had a great time, and gave very generously. There can’t be too many communities as terrific as ours,” said Burnt Lands Alvar Campaign co-chair Theresa Peluso.
Funds were raised by direct donation, a 50/50 draw, and the silent auction of several framed prints featuring Burnt Lands flora and fauna. The room was packed to capacity the whole time. Overall, organizers estimate that approximately 100 people came and went throughout the evening, with many staying for the duration.
The funds raised will be used to hire a planner and lawyer to guide the MVFN through the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) challenge, expected to take place this summer. They hope to persuade the OMB to overturn a recent decision to allow a housing cluster lot development within the Burnt Lands alvar area east of Almonte. The campaign has now raised more than half the money required for the first phase of this effort. Other fundraising activities are proceeding in parallel. A second pub night is also planned for early March. “We still have some way to go, but are very optimistic that our funding goals will be achieved,” said Peluso.