Gerry Clements, one of the founding members of Lambton Wildllife Inc. has shared the historical document 35th Anniversary of Lambton Wildlife Inc. LWI has an incredible history in Lambton County beginning with a commitment to participate, on an annual basis, in a national resident bird count. In 1970 LWI became a Land Trust and in 1972 purchased Mandaumin Woods Nature Reserve after two years of fundraising. In 1980 LWI identified the Wawanosh area as an important natural area to be preserved and in 1983 a donation of $10,000 was made to the St. Clair Conservation Authority toward its purchase.
In 1986 LWI once again recognized an area in need of protection and committed to fundraising for the Karner Blue Sanctuary. The Karner Blue Sanctuary was officially opened in 1988, housing the last viable population of the rare and beautiful Karner Blue Butterfly in Canada. 1988 was a busy year as fundraising continued and money was donated to pay for the management of The Howard Watson Nature Trail (spearheaded and managed by LWI at the time).
In 1991, LWI led a project to provide funds for a mollusk survey on the Sydenham River, providing important scientific data to researchers. In 1994, LWI’s Plan to support the Carolinian Canada organization was fulfilled with a donation of $23,000 towards the acquisition of two properties purchased by Nature Conservancy Canada; the Port Franks Forested Dunes Nature Reserve and the Van Valkenburg property.
In 2000, LWI entered into a long term agreement with Lambton County Library to establish a research and reference collection concerning all aspects of flora and fauna pertinent to Lambton County.
This is just a few of the highlights of the first 35 years of Lambton Wildlife. You can find the complete publication by clicking the following link (Lambton Wildlife 35 years PDF) or see below.
In 1973 the Honourable John T. Clement, Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations issued a Charter for the Incorporation of Lambton Wildlife. “Lambton Wildlife Incorporated … Subject to The Mortmain and Charitable Uses Act and The Charitable Gifts Act: (a) encourage and promote the conservation, preservation and protection of the natural environment, plants, animals, natural resources and wildlife; (b) collect moneys by way of donations, gifts, devises, bequests, dues or otherwise… (c) print, publish, sell and distribute literature of every nature and kind …. (d) purchase, acquire, take by gift, devise, bequest or donation property, both real and personal.”
In the winter of 1985, Lambton Wildlife had a snowshoe hike in the Ausable Valley to visit the Mystery Falls area. We had lots of snow and a beautiful sunny day. We carried in small camp burners and had hot apple cider, which went down VERY well. The trip was well attended by members of our club.
On April 26, 1975, a cool but sunny spring day, Dr. Peter Tasker, LWI’s first President, presided over the official opening of Mandaumin Woods. This was the first property purchased by Lambton Wildlife. It is a 25 acre Carolinian woodlot located just south of the village of Mandaumin.
This property was dedicated to the memory of LWI Conservationist Laura Knight.
Dr. Tasker addressed the group of members and friends.
There was an excellent turn out for this historic event in Lambton Wildlife’s history.Gail and Eric Knight untied the rope to open the woodlot. In the background is Elizabeth Tasker, one of the founding members.
Directions: Located about 1.5 km south of the village of Mandaumin (intersection of Mandaumin
Road and Confederation Street) on the west side of Mandaumin Road (highway 26).
Mandaumin is 5 km south of highway 402.
Birders tend to congregate in special places like Canatara Park and Point Pelee. This was the case with Dr. Peter Tasker and his wife Elizabeth. They kept meeting Gerry Clements, Dennis Rupert and Stephanie and Roy John on nature trails. They found they had many common interests and in 1966 they decided to form a club. Dr.Tasker was the first President, Gerry Clements was vice President and field trip leader, Elizabeth was Treasurer and Stephanie was entertainment. Also joining them were Dennis and Sue Rupert.
This lasted for about a year and a half. They worked very hard to bring in new members. Peter drew many doctors into the group. Membership was five dollars. They met at the Sarnia Library. Gerry describes Elizabeth as a human dynamo, holding teas to introduce the group and get new members to join, such as Isobel Greenop, Dennis and Sue Rupert and Joan Banks. They made displays, put on plays, had important speakers such as Robert Bateman and had fun! Dr.Tasker wrote a weekly column for the Observer called “Meadow Man.”
They became close as a group. One project they started was to save a sand dune in Port Franks. This dune, the highest point in Lambton County, was being destroyed by road builders who needed the sand. They won and thus began many campaigns to help save our environment.
In 1972-73 Lambton Wildlife and the Sarnia Hiking Club with Fern Noel, spearheaded the setting up an eight mile hiking trail from Hungry Hollow to #7 Highway. The trail was divided into five sections, with five section leaders. The leaders were John Tymar, Don Smith, Les Greenop, Ron Laflair and Gerry Clements.
In the spring of 1993 Laura Knight, in the centre section, was marking the trail by tying a red ribbon to trees.
At the same time and place, Irwin Knight, Laura Knight and Dr. John King-Price settled down for lunch after a morning of trail marking.
A view of the valley from the trail.
Directions: From Highway 402 exit onto Highway 79 and go north to Highway 22 (Egremont
Road), then east to the Arkona Road and travel north to Arkona. Make a right turn in the 11
village center and follow County Road 12 east to Sylvan Rd. Turn north on Sylvan Road into
Hungry Hollow and continue north. The valley and trail and be accessed from the west end of
either Elm Tree Dr. or MacDonald Dr. Also from the cairn located near the intersection of
Scout Rd. and Coldstream Rd. (See also Joany’s Woods). It is strongly recommended that
someone familiar with the trail provide direction.
The following speech was given by Larry Cornelis, Board Member and Head of the Outdoor Committee for Lambton Wildlife, at the recent 50th Anniversary event held at the Sarnia Public Library Theatre. Larry is also a past President.
It’s with great pleasure and pride that we share on overview of the accomplishments and achievements of Lambton Wildlife since the clubs inception in 1966. (more…)