Our trails are well used at our conservation areas and we routinely plan, budget, and complete improvements to these trails and public use infrastructure. This is done through regular inspection and maintenance of trails as outlined in our Conservation Areas Inspection Policy (CLOCA 2016). Visitors and trail usage in our conservation areas continues to increase each year, and our staff are challenged to keep up with increased management needs such as litter cleanup, trail maintenance, education, awareness and enforcement. This is where our Conservation Area Trail Stewards (CATS) come in!
Volunteer Commitment & Responsibilities
Conservation Area Trail Stewards are trained volunteers whose responsibilities include basic trail maintenance, informal educational engagement with the public, reporting of user and infrastructure needs, and some invasive species management. After completion of their online (4.5 hours) and on-site (2 hours) training, CATS volunteers receive their own CATS kit. They visit their designated conservation area a minimum of once a month for two to three hours each visit, over a 12-month period. This goes a long way in helping us take better care of the trails, as well as maintain visitor access, safety, and enjoyment when we are not on site. For more information, you can view a video of our online training orientation presentation.
Becoming a CATS Volunteer
We launched our first graduating class of Conservation Area Trail Stewards (CATS) at Lynde Shores Conservation Area in January 2020 and are proud to share that in 2021, our CATS program has expanded across all of our Conservation Areas, thanks to some very dedicated volunteers! We continue to look for interested volunteers, minimum 18 years of age; high school students can participate, however, they must be supervised by a parent or guardian. Add your name to the CATS Contact List for our Spring 2023 intake.
For more information, contact:
Central Lake Ontario Conservation
100 Whiting Avenue, Oshawa ON L1H 3T3
905-579-0411, ext. 144