The Essex Region Conservation Foundation (ERCF) was established in 1977 to receive and maintain funds for charitable, educational, conservation and heritage purposes related directly or indirectly to the conservation, restoration, development and management of natural and heritage resources in the Essex Region.  The funds we raise are critical to ensuring that the Windsor-Essex County-Pelee Island region remains the Place for Life.

Become a Partner in Sustainability!

Gifts of Conservation

Plant a tree

To honour a loved one and create a greener community, have a tree planted. The gift recipient will receive a tree-shaped ornament.

Adopt a trail metre

The gift recipient will receive a deed to their very own metre of Greenway trail with GPS coordinates. Your gift will help connect our community by trails.

Our Mission

To create awareness and raise funds to enhance our natural environment for healthy living and economic vibrancy in the Essex region.

Our Vision

To achieve a sustainable environment with healthy watersheds highlighted by clean creeks, rivers and Great Lakes, thriving natural areas, productive agricultural lands and vibrant places.

Our Goals

  • Protect and restore our environment
  • Support education in the environment
  • Connect the region through trails
  • Preserve our heritage
  • Build a strong Foundation

Our charitable registration number is 118902162RR0001.

The Place for Life

The Place for Life is a region with connected natural areas. A place with healthy rivers and streams, beaches you can swim in, and lakes you can fish in. Greenways and trails that connect you to each other and to the landscapes around you. A place with productive agricultural lands. A sustainable place that is resilient and can adapt to change. The Place for Life reinforces that all elements of a place are interconnected – our community, its environmental health, healthy lifestyles for our citizens and our economy.
There are many ways you can get involved in enriching and sustaining the Place for Life! Share your photos, participate in one of our many events, visit a conservation area, plant a tree as a gift that honours or help us achieve our most pressing fundraising needs. Visit the Place for Life to learn more.

Community Priorities

Essex Region Conservation Foundation is presently raising $1 million dollars to support four pillars which make our region the Place for Life:

  • Connecting our community by trails
  • Greening our region
  • Inspiring future generations through outdoor education
  • Preserving our heritage.

Learn more about how you can become more involved in the Place for Life.

Our Assurance

In 2015, the Foundation achieved prestigious accreditation from Imagine Canada’s Standards Program for Charitable and Non-Profit Organizations.  Meeting these highest standards will inspire confidence among our donors and partners.  Imagine Canada is a national umbrella organization that establishes operating and governance guidelines for charities and non-profits that demonstrate excellence in board governance; financial accountability and transparency; fundraising; staff management; and volunteer management.

The Foundation is also a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and adheres to the AFP Code of Conduct.


The Essex Region Conservation Foundation Board of Directors is comprised of volunteer dedicated to enriching our region as the Place for Life. President – Susan Stockwell Andrew Vice President – Claire Wales Past President – Ken Schmidt See our full list of Board Members.

Full STEAM Ahead!

Thanks to many generous supporters like you, the roof that protects the 1885 steam engine-powered sawmill has now been replaced to protect these important artifacts. Now that these urgent repairs have been completed, you have the chance to help bring history to life! A gift to support the Full STEAM Ahead Education Fund will support the creation of the Sawmill Education Program, an exciting new interactive historical experience for students at the sawmill, including a working model steam engine!
YES – I want to help to help create a new interactive educational experience to ensure stories of our past are protected for the future!

CSG Greenway Entrance

The beautiful Cypher Systems Group Greenway connects Essex to Amherstburg and intersects with the existing Chrysler Canada Greenway, allowing our entire community to be connected by trails.

Now that this wonderful trail system is open for public use, we need your help to create parking locations for trail users to access the Cypher Systems Group Greenway.

This multi-use trail cannot be opened for equestrian use until an entrance that can accommodate horse trailers is built. Your donation can help get us one step closer to creating this community entrance.

Yes, I want to help create a new Community Entrance for the Cypher Systems Group Greenway!

Holiday Beach Conservation Area - Trail Project

Holiday Beach Conservation Area – Trail Project

mounting biking imageThe Essex Region Conservation Authority is grateful to the Amherstburg Community Foundation for their commitment to supporting the creation of a new single track cycling/walking trail adjacent to Holiday Beach Conservation Area.  The first step in this proposal included bringing together members the single-track/off road biking community in to engage them discussions on creating, planning, designing and ultimately helping to construct and maintain the facility. The trail and site features are expected to evolve and change over time with the ongoing support from trail users. The new cycling facility provides an additional tourist attraction in Amherstburg, enhancing Holiday Beach as a destination along County Road 50, which is part of the County Wide Active Transportation System (CWATS). Many of these cyclists would likely continue along the CWATS trails to Explore the Shore, enjoy local wineries, bed and breakfasts, and other attractions en route.

A constructed wetland will provide significant habitat values, improve water quality and help to combat climate change, and the excavated materials used to create topography along the trail, which traverses through diverse landscapes and interesting features.

 Project goals and objectives:

Public interest in cycling as a form of recreation and healthy living is continuing to grow. Investments in cycling infrastructure in the Essex Region have exploded in the past few years. The Holiday Beach Trail proposal has a value-added proposition which includes environmental restorations and enhancements. In a region where merely 8.5% of our land base is in a natural state, while 12% is declared the minimum standard for sustainability, the importance of wetland creation and greening efforts included in this proposal are important to improve habitat values in our region, expand natural areas coverage, improve air and water quality and combat climate change by meeting the following goals and objectives:

  • Create an off-road, single track cycling facility adjacent to Holiday Beach Conservation Area in Amherstburg.
  • Create a restored wetland to enhance water quality, combat flooding and climate change, and improve water quality.
  • Undertake greening and restoration along the trail.

The first outreach meeting for this trail took place on September 19, with great interest and excitement from cyclists. Preliminary siting of the route indicates that up to 10 km of cycling trail could be creating with interesting turns and topography.  The Amherstburg Community Foundation continues to raise funds for this exciting project.  To donate to this project, please visit: