Nestled away at 1641 Perth Rd. is a beautiful stretch of woodland that for many is an iconic element of our childhood memories. It’s a wooded wonderland filled with nature, the sound of running water - and the sweet smell of maple syrup being cooked.
This place is the Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area. For more than 40 years this 394-hectare site has been a popular destination for those looking to appreciate nature and enjoy the outdoors.
For the past nine years, Rick Horton has been overseeing the operations of Little Cataraqui Creek.
What do you love the most about your work here?
There are plenty things to feel good about. For example: the recreational opportunities we provide for people. A lot of what we do is geared toward the kids and when you see them laughing and having a ball, it’s fun for everyone involved.
What would you say is a significant lesson you have learned through your work?
One thing I would say is that we have a huge challenge ahead of us. A lot of it has to do with climate change. Climate change is like a great big ball of string – and if you pull on it, you’ll be pulling for a long time because everything is so interconnected.
This past winter is a great example of the unpredictability. Personally, I think that we (human kind) have pushed it far enough. When you work outside every day and deal with nature – many of the things you see really drive it home.
As a conservation authority we are always pushing (and educating) for ecological responsibility.
That’s definitely one thing I’ve learned since I started working here. The (environmental) impact is real.
What is one of your favourite memories of working here?
I would have to say it would be our Maple Madness program. It’s a great way to ‘cap-off’ the winter. This is when you see a lot of people having fun, everybody is in a great mood. It’s fun for us too.
I think a lot of people feel some nostalgia when they come here. That’s the whole thing about Maple Madness and the entire month of March. This is when we see all the smiling faces.