Tree, grass, clouds. View from Tobaggan Hill

Town Hall

The rare Charitable Research Reserve’s Town Hall meeting

Over the first 13 years of rare’s development our community has participated in its programs, supported the cause, and been a part of the strategy. On May 13, 2015, rare hosted its first Town Hall meeting to share a summary of our progress as a unique environmental organisation and charity, and our vision for the future. Thank you to all who attended – we were so pleased to have had the opportunity to have an open discussion with you. And thank you to everyone who has been a part of the journey thus far.

Topics covered included our developing international reputation and what that can mean for the region, our commitment to grassroots, our Chain of Learning that brings together conservation, research and education with its vision to help get Every Child Outdoors while we train the next generation of conservationists, and our accountability — to you.

If you were not able to make it out, but are still curious about what was discussed, you can watch the entire presentation below.

We have also made available a copy of the Town Hall handout here.

Want a quick version of what rare is all about? Click here to read our “elevator speech.”

Strategy & Planning

We have always had big plans for rare, and the following report is the work of many people over many years. It began with the development of an extensive Environmental Management Plan for the property, first undertaken in rare’s early years and recently updated. The latest step in this report’s development took place during 2014 when a number of community stakeholder groups met to provide input and advice on plans presented by the staff at rare.

By explaining rare’s mission, vision, values and goals, we are fulfilling a commitment that we take very seriously — a commitment to be transparent and accountable to the public we serve. As a land trust, rare protects, intact and in perpetuity, over 900 acres of environmentally significant lands for public benefit. We steward those lands, not only by furthering the science that will result in best practices, but also by training the next generation of conservationists and creating an entire community of support for them and for conservation goals.

You are invited to read the rare Charitable Research Reserve’s Conservation & Connectivity Strategy and Plans: 2015-2019, as it is now in the final stages of development.



What’s rare to you?

2008-05-05_Michael Mullen_Grand River2Undoubtedly, rare is many things to many people. As Bill Wilson, one of the advisors responsible for the first Environmental Management Plan, the guiding document for all actions on the property, said in rare’s early years, “rare is a place, a model and an attitude.”

As a Place, it’s larger than New York’s Central Park but it has a completely different natural and cultural heritage: its old growth forests, heritage river, historic buildings and human heritage as traced by artefacts going back at least 10,500 years are preserved within one of the fastest growing urban areas in Canada which, in turn, is part of the Great Lakes Region, home to over 34,000,000 people.

In fact, rare is a Model of biodiversity conservation, one that protects and researches ecosystem at a landscape level, and presents the opportunity for a thriving economy based on a sustainable way of life. From the active participation of a broad local community, to the work of researchers from around the world, rare demonstrates the inter-dependent nature of all aspects of our world.

It’s also an Attitude, fostering an understanding of our place in the ecosystem, and demonstrating our individual human dependence – and the entire planetary dependence – on a healthy environment that ensures our human and economic health and well-being by providing clean air, water and soil.

Below are other examples of what rare means to members of our various communities. We want to know more about what rare means to you. Tell us what comes to mind for you as the most important aspects of rare. Send in your stories and pictures to erika.kastner at, or upload your thoughts to social media using #raretome.


rare Charitable Research Reserve
1679 Blair Road
Cambridge, ON N3H 4R8
(519) 650-9336
Charitable Registration:
#8776 15914 RR0001