Ontario Funding Scouts Canada Environmental Project at Camp Attawandaron

Province investing $52,000 to support restoration of critically endangered Oak Savanna


June 25, 2024

Ministry of the Environment Conservation and Parks

PORT FRANKS — The Ontario government is providing nearly $52,000 to Scouts Canada to help restore the Oak Savanna at Camp Attawandaron, in Lambton Shores. Oak Savanna is a globally rare ecosystem that exists between prairie grassland and oak woodland. “By taking the initiative to protect this incredibly rare and beautiful Oak Savanna, Scouts Canada is inspiring another generation of youth to become stewards of their environment,” said Andrea Khanjin, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “This project is another great example of how the Ontario Community Environment Fund is helping community groups use their local ecological knowledge and expertise to make a difference.”

Scots pines, which were planted in the area decades ago, are now known to be invasive and are quickly overtaking the natural oak habitat. This project aims to restore the area to its natural biodiversity, which will include the planting of native trees and shrubs and removing some of the existing Scots pines.

“We’ve been trying to combat the spread of the invasive pines for the past 25 years, but the trees reproduce quicker than they can be cut down,” said Tim Bennett, Executive Director, Commercial Ventures, Scouts Canada. “The funding provided by the Ontario government will allow Scouts Canada to remediate two acres at once by removing the pines and planting native trees and shrubs to ensure the restoration of the Oak Savanna and protect key species at risk.”

Funding for this project is being provided through the Ontario Community Environment Fund, which uses environmental penalties paid by polluters to support locally driven activities that protect and restore areas impacted by pollution or other environmental issues. This year, Ontario will invest nearly $1.5 million in these projects, which includes activities like shoreline cleanups, habitat restoration and tree planting. The Scouts Canada initiative is among 11 projects that will receive funds in 2024.


  • Only three per cent of the Oak Savanna remains in Ontario today.
  • Scouts Canada has an environmental camp every year where local groups participate in activities that educate youth on the importance of the rare Oak Savanna ecosystem.
  • Since 2010, the Ontario Community Environment Fund has committed nearly $2.4 million to 97 projects that have planted over 390,000 trees, restored over 50 kilometres of shoreline, collected 1,000 bags of garbage and resulted in over 11,000 volunteer hours.


“I am thrilled to see that we’re contributing to Scouts Canada’s project in the local community. Investments like these not only enhance our environment but also educate our youth on the importance of preserving ecosystems like the rare Oak Savanna. I am proud that Ontario is making impactful steps towards a greener future, benefiting both our communities and our natural heritage.”

– Steve Pinsonneault
MPP, Lambton-Kent-Middlesex

“A sincere thank you to Scouts Canada for demonstrating its vision in action through the restoration of Oak Savanna near the Ausable River at the beloved Camp Attawandaron. I’m truly proud as a volunteer Scouter to see this incredible partnership with the Government of Ontario come to life.”

– Andrew Dowie
Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks

“We’re excited that the Ontario government is providing a $52,000 boost to Scouts Canada to help restore the Oak Savanna at Camp Attawandaron. This funding empowers the youth at Scouts Canada to make a real difference and take the lead in protecting the local ecosystem and help ensure the natural beauty in Lambton Shores continues to thrive.”

– Doug Cook
Mayor, Lambton Shores


Learn more about the OCEF program

Environmental Penalty Annual Reports