The Following announcement was Issued to Superior Media November 30.
With regret, we announce today that our long standing Executive Director, Tanna Elliott, has decided to leave her position with The Kensington Conservancy (TKC), effective May 1, 2021. Tanna, as our founding Executive Director, has provided invaluable leadership to our organization, creating most of what we know as TKC today.
Tanna has served for 14 years, and in that time, TKC has become a highly recognized conservation organization, unique in its dual nationality in Canada and the United States. Under her leadership, TKC has conserved properties totaling 900+ acres and 11,000+ feet of shoreline in the North Channel area, through both property acquisitions and conservation easements.
TKC relies solely on private donations for operating expenses and grants for special projects. Tanna was instrumental in helping raise over $4.4 million over the years to fund these. Annual campaigns and other fundraising endeavors are conducted each year to receive donations for local and seasonal residents. Grants are received from a variety of sources, including the Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund and the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
Tanna served six years on the board of the Ontario Land Trust Alliance, three as a Governor and three as Board Chair. As a representative of northern Ontario, she brought a northern perspective to the land trust movement.
After working out of a small office trailer on the side of Highway 17 in Desbarats for many years, Tanna supervised the building of The Kensington Conservation Centre just up the road on Boyer Drive. This allows a variety of events and activities to be hosted on site by TKC and other community partners. The centre also offers a larger workspace for staff.
Educating youth on the environment and good stewardship practices was a large part of Tanna’s passion. The youth of our community are the next generation of conservationists, so it is important to educate them on this topic. The TKC Junior Explorers program operated twice a week during the summer months. TKC also partnered with the St. Joseph Island Hunters and Anglers Association to offer the Explorer Summer Day Camp, a week long day camp.
One of Tanna’s proudest accomplishments was organizing the first Conservation Forum for the Central Algoma area. When she started working for the organization, this was a way to introduce TKC to the community and build a sense of collaboration with others. Tanna also was the founding Chair of the Central Algoma Freshwater Coalition and continues to be on their Board, a founding member of what is now the Sustain Algoma Expo, and formed a partnership agreement between TKC and Sault College’s Natural and Environmental Studies Program.
Fortunately, we still have a few more months left with Tanna. We will miss her but wish her well on her future endeavors.