The 1000 Acre Challenge
Over the next 5 years, we will raise at least $4 million to support Life, Land, Learning and Legacies. If you haven’t had a chance yet, please watch our video and learn more about the foundational values of TIWLT. These are our 3 immediate initiatives, all overlapping and supporting 4EVER in many ways.
Evergreen Lodge 1963 and 2020 (Above)
Jane Topping (Right)
1. GLEN ELBE
Creating an Historic Learning & Experience Centre
In 2018, a remarkable woman named Jane Topping passed away and generously donated her farm property and home to TIWLT. This 111-acre property sits on local source waters. She loved this land immensely and wanted to protect the remarkable forest, waterfall, wetlands, and history… forever. Her home Evergreen Lodge at Glen Elbe and its 170-year old barn will be now be restored and transformed into TIWLT’s Experiential Learning Centre. TIWLT would love people to donate as they can to make this happen. Volunteer skills for gardening, pruning, carpentry, trail maintenance, etc. are welcomed.
The Back Story
(1790 – 1850)
In the late 1700s, many lots in this region were granted to United Empire Loyalists and this one was especially desirable. In addition to being good farmland, it was on a rare, government-maintained highway, and had an excellent waterfall – a prized power source, ready to be harnessed. By 1805, a sawmill was supplying boards and timbers for nearby pioneer settlements and a grist mill was added in 1818. The mills were constantly evolving with new owners coming on board and a small settlement grew along the western bank of Elbe Creek and within the immediate area.
The Grist Mill today, waiting to be explored! (Above)
The falls that built a community (Right Top)
The Grist Mill in 1830 (Right Bottom)
150 years ago, the sounds were hooves and snorting horses. Just a little TLC needed now.
The Middle Story
(1850 – 2018)
From those very early days, Glen Elbe became a thriving community. Jane Topping’s home, which she has gifted to TIWLT, had served as a post-office and stagecoach stop on the Brockville – Perth road. Stops were every 6 miles so that the hard-driven horses could be changed for fresh ones. Passengers would disembark and enjoy the gardens and a refreshment before continuing on their way. As one of Canada’s newer and well-used roads, it was eventually covered in planks to provide a smoother and quieter ride!
TIWLT is restoring and renovating Jane’s house and grounds to support organic farming, exploratory trails, wildlife and experiential learning. The old gardens and plantings are happy for the help … including yours! It won’t take much if we all contribute a little. As our Executive Director Calder Schweitzer says, “we can nickel and dime our way into saving an endangered species”. Please join TWILT now and consider a small donation.