How big is the Algonquin to Adirondacks region?
The A2A region measures approximately 93,000 sq km (58,000 sq miles), with 75,000 sq km in eastern Ontario and 18,000 sq km in northeastern New York State.
Its boundaries extend from the southern-most edge of Adirondack Park, in New York State, to the northern edge of Algonquin Provincial Park, in Ontario, and encompass the area between the two parks and a buffer zone.
The A2A region should not be thought of as being surrounded by a hard boundary line; instead, we embrace a broad web of connection across the landscape.
How are landowners involved in the A2A vision?
Central to A2A's vision and mission is land stewardship and cooperation with those whose lives and livelihood are rooted in the area. We recognize that many people who live in this landscape have roots that go back many generations, and they identify strongly with the land. A2A is about retaining, restoring or enhancing natural ecosystems and connectivity while preserving the values and lifestyles of the people who call this area home. We work together with landowners to keep intact the landscape they care deeply about. Our values and the values of landowners in this region are complementary — in fact, we, too, are landowners, and we have always partnered with local communities to achieve shared goals.
Does A2A want to turn this region into one big protected area that is off limits to private ownership, development and industry?
Absolutely not. Our vision is of ecological linkages in the natural landscape that are preserved and restored not by creating more park land and reserves, but through local landowner initiatives and strong community partnerships.
Over 60% of the A2A region is privately owned. We believe in working with landowners to pursue conservation goals. Many A2A residents realize this unique environment is part of their heritage and that they have something very special to care for. Fostering a respectful way of thinking about the land and its inhabitants is fundamental to connecting the landscape. Thus, A2A endeavours to encourage individual landowners to make changes on their land that will enhance natural habitat, expand it where possible and connect it to habitat on other properties.
Who funds the A2A Collaborative?
A2A is a registered charity in Canada and the United States that depends on annual membership fees, donations and other forms of non-profit funding to initiate research and other projects. A2A has received grants from organizations such as the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Thousand Islands Community Development Corporation, the RBC Blue Water Fund, the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, the McLean Foundation, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry's Species-at-Risk Stewardship Fund, the Community Foundation for Kingston & Area, and the National Trails Coalition. A2A also accepts donations from from partner organizations and private donors. A2A is run by a full-time Program Director, contracted project staff, and a team of volunteers.
Photos by Emily Conger