Rainy Lake Conservancy lands grant

After much work, the Rainy Lake Conservancy has received a $48,900 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to help fund its “bog walk” in Alberton as well as finance the operation of its new office here.
The news came from out-going president Phyllis Callaghan during the RLC’s annual general meeting Sunday at Sunny Cove Camp, which was open to the public for the first time.
The RLC decided to make the meeting open to increase public awareness of what it is trying to accomplish as a non-profit, Canadian charity which seeks to “preserve and protect the natural beauty, historic features, and ecological and recreational values for present and future generations” in Rainy Lake and surrounding areas, as stated in its mission statement.
Callaghan also used Sunday’s meeting to officially announce the receipt of the Trillium grant and the opening of the new office here, as well as to introduce the RLC’s new program manager, local biologist Ilka Milne.
“[The decision] came down to the wire, and she was telling us what she could do—she’s a bagpiper. So that really clinched it,” Callaghan joked as to why Milne was hired.
“She’s also a piano teacher and has a wonderful background in science, and is a fast learner.”
The RLC successfully lobbied to have its new office here—a collective effort of the Rainy Lake Conservancy and the Nature Conservancies of Canada and Minnesota.
And it is making history as this is the first time the Nature Conservancy of Canada has opened two offices in the same province.
Meanwhile, the Environmental Research Committee reported Sunday that the monthly water testing it has been doing for the last few years indicates the north arm of Rainy Lake tests better than the south arm.
This committee also has been involved with helping Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota with its water testing and in tracking the health of loons.
Dale Callaghan, representing the government relations and networking committee, said yesterday the RLC’s work locally has been successful, communicating with such groups as the Kiwanis Club, Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce, and Ministry of Natural Resources, to name a few.
This year’s guest speaker was Leland H. Grimm, a resources biologist at Voyageurs National Park, who gave a talk on the bald eagle research he and his team have been conducting in the park since 1973.
Also Sunday, Doug Logeland was re-appointed auditor for the 2004-05 fiscal year while Don Dickson, Trish Hogan, Ginny Sweatt, and Kay Larson were appointed to the RLC’s board of directors.
And with Callaghan’s term as president now up, her husband, Dale, has stepped into that position.
Membership in the RLC currently stands at 167, but the group always is looking for more volunteers to help out. If you’re interested, contact info@rainylakeconservancy.org
(Fort Frances Daily Bulletin)