Written by: Norm Miller, Communications Advisor
Conservation Halton believes it is important to be fiscally accountable while providing value to the community through its programs and services. Each year, the organization produces a Public Accountability Report which provides a summary for the previous three years. You can find the 2014 Public Accountability Report on the Conservation Halton website by clicking here.
Some of the highlights of the 2014 Public Accountability Report are:
- the number of volunteers increasing over previous years from 1,633 people to 2,100 in 2013
- the Conservation Halton Foundation raising $505,345, up around $77,000 from 2012
- 66,021 children and adults participated in educational programs at Conservation Areas
- 1,320 permit reviews, planning applications, general and solicitor inquiries, building and pool clearances as well as environmental assessments and reports in 2013
Conservation Halton’s park visitation declined by approximately 40,000 people from the 2012 total after reaching an unprecedented level of more than 800,000 visitors. Park attendance in 2013 was 769,297. Conservation Halton’s parks received significant damage during the ice storm on the weekend of December 21-22, 2013 with hundreds of trees damaged and each of the parks losing power for varying lengths of time. All parks were closed December 22 as the trails were not safe because of downed trees and hanging branches. Most of the parks were able to re-open within a couple of weeks; however Hilton Falls was closed for nearly nine weeks.
The Public Accountability Report shows how Conservation Halton spends the funds it receives to benefit residents, what conservation activities have been carried out, and how they compare to services offered over the previous three years. The report includes facts and information on how Conservation Halton has been protecting the natural environment – forests, water and land – within its watershed. Also included are the organization’s budget statistics showing the sources of revenue and expenditures.
The funding structure for Conservation Halton is a blend of public money from tax dollars and revenue generated by the organization’s programs and services. In fact around 60 per cent of Conservation Halton’s revenue each year comes from User Fees and Chargebacks. Funding from municipal tax dollars from the four watershed municipalities is responsible for less than a third of Conservation Halton’s revenue. The watershed municipalities are the Regional Municipality of Halton, the City of Hamilton, the Regional Municipality of Peel and the Township of Puslinch.
The municipal funding received by Conservation Halton is used primarily to fund programs and operations for environmental planning, flood protection and conservation programs. Tax dollars (municipal or provincial) are not used to support recreation programs at CH’s seven Conservation Areas, which includes Glen Eden. Revenue from annual pass sales and other park user fees fund the operations and capital infrastructure needs of all Conservation Areas.
The Accountability Report can be viewed on Conservation Halton’s website www.conservationhalton.ca/accountability-finances or call 905-336-1158 to receive a copy.