NDCF supports the Laurentian Univesity green space. 

Posted on July 15 2021

Sharon Hamilton, CPA, CA, CIRP, LIT

CCAA Monitor for Laurentian University of Sudbury

Ernst and Young Inc.

100 Adelaide Street West,

Toronto, ON M5H 0B3

Dear Ms. Hamilton.

I’m writing to you today to illustrate the importance of the Laurentian University greenspace to the community, to those visiting Greater Sudbury and indeed to the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area (LLCA). The LLCA is owned by the Nickel District Conservation Authority (o/a Conservation Sudbury), one of 36 conservation authorities in the province. The authority’s lands abut Laurentian University property currently being evaluated through the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) proceedings.

The Nickel District Conservation Foundation is a registered charity that supports public access to programming, recreational trails and natural spaces at the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area. During a typical year, the conservation area welcomes over 4,000 school-aged children and educators to low-barrier programming. Here they receive curriculum-relevant content and participate in outdoor activities through the Lake Laurentian School Program.

The Foundation also supports the maintenance of over 60 km of free-to-enjoy trails that attract over 10,000 people annually during all seasons. Visitors come to experience nature and to improve their overall well-being. Activities include hiking, trail-running, cycling, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, fishing, bird watching, and paddling on two motor-free lakes. Users of this greenspace certainly include students, faculty and staff of Laurentian University and in some ways this natural area defines the Laurentian experience. Not only is this undeveloped part of the city a draw for the Laurentian community, it is one that is part and parcel of the city’s identity. A draw for tourists from near and far, the area consistently ranks in the top five places to visit.

Our longstanding relationship with Laurentian University ensures a place for the community to be active and enjoy nature. Multiple trails intertwine, crossing the boundary between these properties where thousands of hours of volunteer time have been invested. These lands have been supported by Laurentian University students broadly but especially those involved in the Outdoor Leadership and Nordic Skiing programs.

Responsible stewardship of these publicly-held lands is central to the collaborative maintenance undertaken for the benefit of all who visit. As part of this collaboration, we invested in an elaborate signage plan to ensure the trail system is safe and easy to navigate. Nearly $250,000 was raised by the Foundation to realize the project. In the last several years over 100 signs and kiosks were installed along the trails that run through the conservation area and the university’s abutting greenspace.

In addition to the recreation and programming that take place at the LLCA, the greenspace is of course host to a diversity of flora and fauna including several species at risk. These lands and waters, that are part of both properties, are often used as reference points in the scientific study of the re-greening of Sudbury and host a variety of research plots and sample collection sites for long-term recovery monitoring linked to biodiversity.

Lake Laurentian itself also plays a vital role in the protection of Greater Sudbury’s drinking water as its watershed is generally undeveloped and in a natural state. Its waters flow northerly to Ramsey Lake that supplies a third of the drinking water to the people of Greater Sudbury.

I hope you will take this letter into consideration when reviewing the evaluation of this part of the Laurentian University property. It is our position that the undeveloped land is currently in a state of best use and its value as a natural asset should not be underestimated.

With warm regards,


Peter Edmunds

Chair, Nickel District Conservation Foundation

Copy: Members, Nickel District Conservation Authority

Laurentian University Board of Governors

Mayor and Council, City of Greater Sudbury

Julian Colman, Cushman & Wakefield

Paul Lefebvre, MP for Sudbury

Marc Serré, MP for Nickel Belt

Jamie West, MPP for Sudbury

France Gélinas, MPP for Nickel Belt

GivingTuesday at the Nickel District Conservation Foundation

Posted on December 3 2020

A first for the Nickel District Conservation Foundation, the GivingTuesday campaign raised an impressive $4,118 to the Trail Maintenance and Development Fund.  The Fund will support :

  • Create proper drainage on the trails, which is especially important in the wet and cold season. 

  • Remove fallen trees and limbs as well as trimming back branches that can impede access to the trails.

  • Repair and maintain floating bridges, bridges and stairs throughout the trails. 

Thank you to everyone who supported the campaign and for keeping trails open, safe and free for everyone to enjoy!

Director of Advancement - Julie Houle
November 3, 2020 

The Nickel District Conservation Foundation (NDCF) is pleased to announce a significant new addition to their organization. Julie Houle joined the Foundation in August as the new Director of Advancement. As Director, Julie will play an integral role in advancing the Foundation’s mission by developing philanthropic strategies and increasing fundraising opportunities.

“We are thrilled to have someone with Julie’s experience and skill set,” said NDCF Chair, Peter Edmunds. “Her creativity and leadership skills will help us to expand our fundraising efforts to increase program sustainability, growth, and to advance our mission.”

The position is partly being supported by three local business partners; Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations, a Glencore Company (Glencore Sudbury INO), Manitoulin Transport, and Technica Mining.

“We could not have moved forward with this position without their support,” says Edmunds. “We are incredibly grateful to Glencore Sudbury INO, Manitoulin Transport, and Technica Mining. Their gifts will allow the Foundation to go to the next level and increase support for the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area such as trail improvements and youth programming,” he added.

Julie brings a wealth of knowledge to the Nickel District Conservation Foundation. In her previous roles at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine and Laurentian University, Julie led multiple campaigns and collaborated with alumni, donors, and community members to meet the needs of the organization.

“I’m delighted to join the Foundation team. I’m a strong believer in protecting our resources and educating the community about water conservation”, said Houle. “I’m very grateful for the support of these three private-sector donors. Their support is a testament to the significance of the Lake Laurentian facility in our community,” she added.

Julie studied Littérature française and English Literature at Laurentian University. She sits on the board of the Northern Lights Festival Boreal and holds a certificate in Strategic Gift Planning from the Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP).
About the Nickel District Conservation Foundation

The NDCF is a registered charity and was formed in 1984 to supports the objectives of the Nickel District Conservation Authority (aka Conservation Sudbury). The focus of the Foundation’s philanthropic mission is to support the practice of conservation of the natural environment at the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area and to assist in the education of young and old in respect to the values of conservation.