Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Paul Egginton has been involved in climate change research throughout his career until retirement in 2005 from the federal Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Program. Perhaps more significant to MVFN and the local area is Paul’s efforts as a volunteer to raise awareness of the effects of future climate change ‘in his own backyard’ in the Mississippi Watershed.

Paul’s efforts to encourage MVFN and local communities to start thinking seriously about the issue have been awe inspiring. As an MVFN board member Paul was the key force behind MVFN’s Climate Change Outreach program which initiated climate change awareness campaigns such as Spring Flower Watch, Frost Watch, and Albert’s Gardens –a Tulip Emergence Date project in collaboration with the National Capital Commission and horticultural societies. Paul also spearheaded MVFN’s cross-watershed 2006 August long-weekend Water Temperature Survey of the Mississippi Watershed (in collaboration with Mississippi Valley Conservation) as part of an Open Doors project for the 75th Anniversary of Ontario Nature. While creating and guiding these awareness programs, Paul was also embarked on a busy schedule delivering lectures on climate change to groups in the local area, including the introductory talk for MVFN’s 2005-2006: Change in our Natural World lecture series.

One of the most important contributions Paul made was his pivotal role in the weekend long “Weathering Climate Change” workshop held in Almonte in 2007 which brought together world class expert speakers and local stakeholders to talk about the issue of climate change for two days. Paul later went on to coauthor (with Beth Lavender) the workshop report and results: From Impacts to Adaptation: The Mississippi Watershed in a Changing Climate, 2008.

Paul Egginton (left) and Jim Bendell at awards ceremony. photo:Pauline Donaldson

Champions Egginton & Bendell
















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Dr. Jim Bendell, retired Biology Professor from the University of Toronto and co- author of the award-winning book Blue Grouse: Their Biology and Natural History, is respectfully named ‘Professor Partridge’ for his abiding passion for the grouse tribe.

Jim’s contributions as an MVFN BOD member have overwhelmed our record keeping. He has been a long standing MVFN nature outing guide and leader of show & tells whose fascination with nature is simply contagious!

bioblitz 2009 Bendell (1024x768)

Jim (centre) at Bioblitz in 2009

Jim is also a long standing member of the Lanark Highlands Environmental Advisory Committee. For Jim, conservation is all about the setting aside of natural areas, the preservation of wilderness areas to include preservation of biodiversity, and the active protection of wildlife for their inherent value as much as for any value they may have for humans.

Jim Bendell has influenced more people than he could ever realize. Let me share a key learning that I contribute to hanging around Dr. Jim Bendell: ‘Home is where there’s habitat’. And what can be done to make sure that ‘home’ is here for the next generation? Jim walks the talk, and as a fledgling MVFN BOD member I seldom ever attended a public meeting in Lanark Highlands where a matter impacting nature was involved that I did not find Jim in attendance. . . Jim you are right it is worth preserving!” ~ Mike McPhail.


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