SUMMERSTOWN, Ontario – The Cooper Marsh Conservation Area saw over 175 attendees at the annual Spring Fling fundraiser on Sunday, May 26, making for the event’s largest turnout to date.
“The word is out, people want to be here, want to support Cooper Marsh. It’s a nice event, nice food, nice wine — just a good combination,” said Mike Chegrinec, Vice Chair of Cooper Marsh Conservators.
Chegrinec explained that the Cooper Marsh Conservators hold a few annual fundraising events in support of initiatives pertaining to the Marsh and trails. He said that the Marsh has different government and business partnerships that continually show support, but a lot of support comes from members of the public. Tickets to the event were $30 and funds raised from silent auction items will be donated to the organization.
“We have put in quite a bit of time and money to update the infrastructure,” said Chegrinec. “Part of the ticket sales today go to refurbishing the Marsh…we have many initiatives going on all the time.”
In the last seven years, conservators have strived to update the Marsh, digging out frozen channels and refurbishing boardwalks to be wheelchair accessible according to Chegrinec.
“We have had many of our members and also our supporters who have donated pieces of art, other pieces of ceramic…we have a wide variety of items that are up for live auction here today. All of the funds will go to the projects that we put on,” said conservator Elaine Kennedy, who donated a wall hanging she brought home from Zimbabwe.
“There’s a couple of pieces from local artists…we also have a local potter who has donated some of her work…and there’s other prints,” added Kennedy, who bid on a handcrafted birdhouse.
Kennedy explained that the conservators are working to replace all the windows inside the Visitor’s Centre with UV protected panes, and also replace the cabinets with only native taxidermy and items that can be seen or found within the marsh. Chegrinec also said that soon families will have the opportunity to sponsor memorial benches and/or plaques along the trails.
To learn more about the Marsh and conservator’s efforts, visit Cooper Marsh Conservators on Facebook.