Stewardship in the Time of Covid

  • Resurfaced MacFarlane Trail at Zenda Farms Preserve
  • Trailhead for the Sissy Danforth Rivergate Trail on East Line Road
  • Stewardship Staff replacing a bridge on the Macsherry Trail

As we sit and watch the colors slowly change along the River, it is hard to forget, even for just a moment, the stresses of everyday life. With the last ten months having created much uncertainty, it is important to stop and embrace the simplicity of nature, reminding ourselves that, like the changing of the leaves, we too, will continue to change, grow and overcome.

An argument could be made that now is our time to re-create our relationship with the natural world. When large social gatherings and long-distance travel come with certain restrictions, we have an opportunity to shift our focus to our own experiences in our own “backyards.”

As it was for all of us, this summer was different for TILT. We were unable to host the variety of different Treks and Events that we typically offer each year. However, through the unwavering support from our local communities along the River, TILT was able to carry out some wonderful stewardship projects on several of our Signature Preserves.

It was great to see a significant increase in the utilization of TILT’s Preserves and Trails. This summer, members and guests of our River communities had the opportunity to enjoy the newly resurfaced LoisJean and John MacFarlane Trail at Zenda Farms Preserve. These trail improvements provide safe and enjoyable outdoor recreation as we all look for new and fun ways to get outside. A new gazebo was installed at the Rivergate Trailhead located just outside of Clayton on East Line Road. With this new addition now in place, we invite everyone to check out the progress on the Rivergate Trail as we work towards connecting the downtown Riverwalk to the Clayton countryside. Even more exciting is the future revitalization of the historic trestle which spans McCarn Creek, connecting two historic sections of rail-trail while providing over seven miles of accessible hiking, biking, and cross country skiing.

Significant time was spent on Grindstone Island implementing several preserve enhancement projects. TILT’s Stewardship Staff worked hard to improve access across its island preserves while enhancing several of its properties for the benefit of both native flora and fauna. We are excited to have completed these projects and look forward to monitoring their impacts moving forward.

We hope these preserve improvements will encourage outdoor recreation as we work to strengthen the appreciation of time spent outdoors. Most importantly, these projects would not be possible without continued support from our passionate River communities. We would like to thank everyone who supports conservation in the Thousand Islands. We hope that you have a chance to get out on the land and embrace the natural world and this very special place.

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