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Foundation Projects

As a locally-based organization, donations are used to support local projects. 

Donations can be used right away or be designated for a future project or endowment fund. 

Funds raised by Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation (ABCF) support many efforts in our watershed, including:

Commemorative Woods

Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation (ABCF) has six commemorative woods across the watershed. 

These areas are a place for family and friends, as well as funeral homes, to sponsor trees as a living memorial and legacy. 

Planting a tree can also commemorate special occasions such as wedding anniversaries, birthdays or other events where a long-lasting natural tribute is fitting. 

Commemorative woods sites are open year-round for the public to visit. 

Learn more here:

Conservation Dinner

Each year, Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation is pleased to partner with Exeter Lions Club to hold the Conservation Dinner and Auction. 

The Conservation Dinner fundraiser supports needed projects in local communities. 

Learn more here:

Land Acquisition

Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation (ABCF) contributes funding to help purchase environmentally-important lands. 

The Foundation is also able to receive land donations and protect the land in perpetuity. 

Leave a local land legacy

Morrison Dam Fishing Derby

Each year Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation and Exeter Lions Club contribute financially towards stocking the Morrison Dam Reservoir with Rainbow Trout for the annual Fishing Derby in April or May. 

The event is well-attended and is fun for anglers of all ages.

Learn more:

South Huron Trail Fundraising

For many years, the South Huron Trail Golf Tournament was a charitable fundraiser hosted by the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation (ABCF). Since 2005, the golf tournament raised more than $67,000 towards trail improvements and maintenance. 

Thanks go to sponsors, donors and community volunteers who made it possible for the tournament to support the popular trail’s health, social, environmental, and recreational benefits. 

Although the golf activity is not continuing, we still need community support for the Foundation's programs and services and volunteers, working with local businesses and other community partners, are developing new ways to fundraise for the trail.

Learn more here:

To find out more, phone 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610, extension 221, or email Sharon Pavkeje at

Accessible Nature Trails and Facilities

Spending time in nature is important for physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. 

Since the 1980s, Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation, with support of a generous community, has helped fund accessible nature trails, boardwalks and bridges at several conservation areas. 

Recent projects include re-decking bridges and boardwalks at Bannockburn Conservation Area and Jones Bridge linking the Morrison Dam Conservation Area and MacNaughton-Morrison Sections of the South Huron Trail. 

Foundation funding is supported by service clubs, donations and other funding partners. 

Conservation Education

Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation is a strong supporter of conservation education for youth. 

Funds contribute to student nature programs, subsidize busing costs for field trips to conservation areas, and not-for-profit group presentations. 

These programs teach youth about water, soil, and habitat for living things, and the natural world around them. 

Learn more:

Student Environmental Grant

Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation (ABCF) offers a $1,000 Student Environment Grant (formerly Student Environmental Award) for a graduating secondary school student or a student enrolled in university or college.

For most recent submission criteria, please consult the most current application form and flyer poster (downloads below).

Past winners are: Ryan Finnie (2010); Raina Vingerhoeds (2011); Greg Urquhart (2012); Ryan Carlow (2013); Connor Devereaux (2014); Barb Alber (2015); Samantha Bycraft (2016); Marina Lather (2017); Ethan Quenneville (2018); Meghan Glavin (2019) and Kirsten McIntosh (2022).

Eligible students must be between the ages of 17-25, have a permanent address within a municipality of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA) watershed, be currently enrolled in university or college, or graduating secondary school and pursuing a post-secondary education in a conservation/environmental related course of study (e.g., biology; ecology; geography; forestry; fish and wildlife; agriculture; outdoor education). 

Only students who have a permanent address in the following municipalities are eligible to apply for the ABCF Student Environmental Award: 

Adelaide Metcalfe, Bluewater, Central Huron, Huron East, Lambton Shores, Lucan Biddulph, Perth South, Middlesex Centre, North Middlesex, South Huron, Warwick and West Perth. 

Submissions may be mailed, faxed or hand-delivered to: 

Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation
71108 Morrison Line,  RR 3 Exeter, ON  N0M 1S5
Telephone: 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610; Facsimile (Fax): Fax: 519-235-1963 

NOTE: The Selection Committee is the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation (ABCF) Board of Directors. It is at their discretion to award the successful student up to $1,000 based upon the quality of applications and essays received. The ABCF reserves the right to not present the award in any given year. Only successful applicants will be contacted by the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation. 

American Friends of Canadian Conservation

Are you an American citizen living in Canada? Or a resident of the United States? 

Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation (ABCF) is a partner of American Friends of Canadian Conservation that enables charitable donations to be directed to our local projects. 

The American Friends organization can provide charitable gift receipts for income tax purposes. 

Please click below to find out more:

Junior Conservationist

The Junior Conservationist is an eight-week summer job with Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA).

This program is funded by Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation.

The student interested in pursuing a career in the environmental field works with each ABCA department to gain a greater understanding of the knowledge, skills and opportunities working in conservation.