“All three generations of us Goemans boys enjoyed exploring this wonderful hidden gem that’s right in our backyard” says Jason Goemans, eldest son of his late father Tony. “Growing up as kids we played, hiked, made forts & fires around the Devil’s Punchbowl area and Bruce trail… as we got older and had our own kids we re-experienced the same fun and added great memories all over again. My dad and I would walk our dogs every morning for nearly 15 years, rain or shine, discussing every topic of life. Precious time I now cherish even more. My late son, Hunter too loved to go up with his papa and throw sticks in the creek and look out over the city spotting landmarks he recognized. We have a deep connection with that place and hope that other families get to appreciate what we’ve known our whole lives. It’s truly a remarkable green space that offers breathtaking views of the city. It is also in our opinion underutilized and hopefully our donation will spark some more interest.”
Jason Goemans on behalf of the Goemans Family, November, 2013
One of our longstanding family traditions is drawing names for Christmas presents. This past year, I wanted to get a non-traditional gift for my brother-in-law and I knew he would appreciate something that connected with the local community, something that others could share in. As a lifelong Dundas resident, my gift of a donation in his name to the EcoPark Campaign proved to be the perfect idea. Connecting with our community in this way is something close to us. The Foundation followed up this donation with a letter of acknowledgment and advised the donation was being directed to the gateway work. His gift letter arrived just before Christmas and was proudly posted. Needless to say he was proud knowing he was helping out his local community. My sincere appreciation to staff and volunteers of the Hamilton Conservation Authority and the Foundation for the professional manner in which my personal request was handled and for the fine work they do for the citizens of Hamilton.
Terry O’Sullivan, February 2012
Through bursary funding provided by the Hamilton Conservation Foundation, we were privileged to have attended the 18th Annual A.D. Latornell Conservation Symposium. We found ourselves uniquely positioned as the only student attendees from HCA and the fact the Foundation made it possible for us to attend demonstrates their contribution to awareness and capacity for conservation programs. Participating in the symposium created new connections, led to learning opportunities and provided the forum for us to participate in dialogue with like-minded environmental leaders. It has validated our work as well as future career aspirations; delivering inspirational ideas and reinforcing our passion. The desire to contribute further in helping to improve the natural environment has certainly been strengthened. So much more needs to be done and we are now better equipped to help educate and guide others to make positive environmental change in our daily lives.
Nicholas Schwetz, Maegen Wardell & Juliana Lopez – November 2011
The access we have to outdoor space and natural lands is one of the most amazing things about Hamilton. We often forget how close we are to trail systems, parks and unique sites. Hiking has become an important family activity for us; on a weekly basis we explore trails, visit parks and make the most of our natural surroundings. Being a Nature Rewards pass holder for the past seven years, we have found it to be an ideal way to support conservation lands and receive tremendous value. In raising awareness, providing venues for education and protecting these resources for young people and future generations, the Nature’s Rewards pass has given us a ticket to explore our great city. Our active lifestyle is well suited to the trails, conservation areas and parks that are so brilliantly linked throughout the community. As a pass holder it helps build greater access for everyone in the community.
Dr. Carolyn Rogers, December 2011
My husband Derek, and I, began volunteering at Westfield Heritage Village in Summer 1994 helping in several areas but mainly on the Train Station and in the Dry Goods store, collectively amassing more than 12,000 volunteer hours since 2000.
History has always been an important part of our lives and Westfield provides an opportunity to share our love of Hamilton and the surrounding area’s interesting past.
Regularly meeting people from across Canada, the United States and around the world is a special ingredient in our volunteer experience. The friendship and camaraderie among staff and volunteers is an important part of being a Westfield volunteer, and passing on our enthusiasm for the Village is an enriching experience. Derek passed away in August 2010, leaving a bequest for a commemorative bench to be made and installed on the Train Station. Donations, in his memory, will be put towards the restoration of the Westbrook House. Life is forever a learning experience and introducing many generations to our cultural heritage is an important component of education for everyone. I continue to support Westfield as an active volunteer and as Past President of the Friends of Westfield Board of Directors.
Margaret Firth, September 2011
The notion of conservation replicates the ideals that I believe in today and have believed in for most of my life. My family always believed stewardship of the land was something that was engrained in you, something you did because it was what had to be done. My passion for natural lands spans more than 60 years and continues today with active involvement in maintaining conservation lands surrounding our farm and with the Dundas Tree Keepers.
Natural evolution of the land must still be supported by careful thought, planning and love. Our natural landscape is a finite precious resource and each of us has a responsibility to protect it. The Bruce Trail Conservancy has been granted permission to cross our property in perpetuity with the agreement to maintain the trail. We have donated lands through the Foundation in hopes of ensuring others who come after us will have the same opportunity to appreciate, utilize and celebrate our natural environment.
Mr. Bill Kennedy, August 2011
For more than 40 years my family lived on a 25 acre parcel of land in the heart of the Dundas Valley. Living here always took us away, providing the feeling that we were 1000 miles away from any urban city.
It’s very rare to have the gem that Hamilton enjoys with the Valley, we’re not making any more land and the priceless resource that is our natural space must be protected. Future generations rely on the efforts of volunteers and expert staff to maintain and improve the natural landscape.
Each of us has a responsibility to leave the land better than when we found it. My family and I contribute to the well being of conservation lands as part of my belief in giving back. We’ve aided in the planting of several thousand trees on the property in hopes that our legacy will be one of stewardship. We’ve been fortunate to spend much of our lives getting pleasure from the natural environment that has surrounded us and now we give to share the Valley with others.
Mr. Bill Filer, August 2011