Public Wilderness Close to Home?
As we become more urbanized every year, the amount and quality of our nearby wilderness areas becomes more important. The Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation is proud to act as a steward of these close-to-home conservation areas and natural parks that provide an antidote to the daily grind and stresses of our city lifestyles. Whether it’s for fishing, birdwatching, dog walking, exercise, swimming, recreation, peace and quiet or quality family time, our local conservation lands in the Rideau Valley welcome you. They are safe, well-equipped and, above all, close to home…within a 30-minute drive from Ottawa, Perth, Smiths Falls or Westport.
Many of these public properties give access to natural shorelines, playing fields or walking trails. A number are on the beautiful Rideau River, a Canadian Heritage River and now, a World Heritage Site.
New Conservation Lands
We need a source of future conservation lands as the population of Eastern Ontario grows. Fortunately, more and more families are donating their beloved summer and rural properties to the Conservation Foundation to be kept in a natural state in perpetuity. The Foundation assumes responsibility for managing the newly-acquired lands in terms of public safety and general ownership needs.
Steve Simmering Fund
This is where the Steve Simmering Fund plays such a vital role…by providing an annual source of funds to take care of the properties as they become active public parks in our network of conservation lands. It is a crucial function that happens out of the public spotlight with little public fanfare.
The endowment helps pay for public safety features such as guardrails, mapping, basic signage, trail maintenance, fencing, monitoring (with field inspections and reports), perhaps a small parking lot for the safety of visitors.
Because it is an endowment, only the annual interest from the fund is taken for conservation work while the principal remains invested year after year producing a steady annual source of money. Our goal is to build the Steve Simmering Fund into the major Conservation Land Endowment fund in Eastern Ontario in order to provide the visiting public with the very best, most interesting and safest close-to-home wilderness areas around.
Stephen Simmering, professional civil engineer and true gentleman, was a successful and well-respected businessman in the Ottawa area for decades. Steve was the principal in his own engineering consulting firm, Simmering and Associates, before he joined Golder Associates as a senior partner in 2005. He believed in service to the community and was longtime Vice Chair of the Conservation Foundation during its transition to a modern conservation fundraising group. During his 13 years of service with the Foundation, and in his years of service with other charities such as WaterCan and the Grace Hospital Foundation, he was well-known for his calm voice of reason.
He was instrumental in the acquisition of some of our best-loved conservation areas such as Chapman Mills and opened some very generous doors for the Foundation. Steve was an active outdoorsman who loved walking and hiking in the open air. He enjoyed working with the Foundation because he believed in the goal of local, natural areas for all and the opportunity to reconnect with nature through inexpensive family recreation and exercise.
Steve passed away unexpectedly in September, 2009. The Simmering family, the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority and the Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation are honoured to have Steve’s name associated with this endowment.
The Steve Simm Fund is helping take care of 14 future conservation properties that have been donated to the Foundation including five family properties in Ottawa, three in Tay Valley Township, three in Rideau Lakes Township, and one each in South Frontenac, Central Frontenac and Merrickville-Wolford. These beautiful properties will provide over 750 acres of future wilderness experience for people of the Rideau Valley.
An investment in the Steve Simmering Fund really means an investment in the future health of your family and your community. Many studies show the direct benefit of a healthy, green environment on stress levels, mental attitude and physical health of individuals. Please consider a gift to the Steve Simmering Fund. All gifts receive a charitable tax receipt. Appropriate recognition of major gifts will be made.
To place a secure, online donation, click the "Donate Now through CanadaHelps.org" button below.