Pine River Watershed Initiative Network

About Us

Mission/Vision Statement:

“Clean water and a healthy ecosystem within the Pine River watershed”

Our History:

Who are we?

A Not-for-Profit local environmental initiative that puts projects in the ground! We are comprised of 12 directors and 2 employees. We rent a small office at 86 Huron Street in downtown Ripley, ON to conduct our day to day business. All of our directors are volunteers and do not get compensated for all the hours and labour they put into each project. Our employees are paid a fair wage to coordinate the projects, conduct the accounting, and write grants and reports for funding opportunities. We also reach out to local 4H groups and school classes to conduct field trips, as Outreach and Education is mandated within our constitution.

Where did we come from?

The Pine River Watershed Initiatives Network (PRWIN) was started in the year 2000 by a group of citizens concerned about the water quality in the Pine River. It became obvious that heat, moisture and nutrients cause algae growth. In September 2000, a letter was drafted and sent to SVCA, Huron-Kinloss Council, and Bruce County Public Health requesting a meeting re: water quality. Mayor Stuart Reavie and clerk Laura Haight convened the first meeting on December 1, 2000, in the Huron-Kinloss council chambers. A proposal entitled “A Plan for Improving Water Quality in the Township of Huron-Kinloss” was presented. Later, A clear vision to help establish “Clean Water and a Healthy Ecosystem Within The Pine River Watershed” was agreed upon and our four main goals were created and included in our Constitution (found in Learn More/Documents).

What have we done?

To date (Spring/Summer 2023) we have planted over 357,000 trees; created 21 wind breaks; constructed 16 berms; 10 livestock cattle crossings; developed 7 wetlands; restored 5 stream banks; supplied 4 alternative solar power water supplies; installed over 24 kilometres of livestock exclusion fencing; and created annual educational programming for local youth. In 2012 the Pine River Watershed was named the top priority watershed on Lake Huron. Subsequently, our Project Coordinator helped published the “Integrated Watershed Management Plan”. This 80 page document outlines a five year plan for the Pine River Watershed, including core projects in a) education and outreach, b) vegetation cover; c) increasing water storage on the landscape and, d) controlling erosion. These core projects will help correct and sustain the Pine River watershed.

How We’re Moving Forward:

PRWIN has a unique reputation with our community. We are known for our great work, and have developed a very approachable relationship with the local landowners. We are respected. Trusted. We have a growing list of projects personally requested by concerned local landowners. Berms, tree planting and cattle crossing are the majority of project requests. Going forward, PRWIN needs financial support from area businesses and citizens to implement these projects, and help to keep our office doors open. In 2015 we created the PRWIN Sponsorship Program to help fundraise to achieve our goals.

Honorary PRWIN Directors:

The following retired PRWIN Directors will always be PRWIN Members! The following gentlemen gave countless volunteer hours to our organization. It was through their leadership and dedication that our vision of “Clean water and a healthy ecosystem within the Pine River watershed“ became an obtainable goal.

Don Cass (multi-coloured cardigan) Don Cass has been involved as a volunteer Director with PRWIN for 15 years.

Jack Campbell (Vest) Jack Campbell has been with our organization for over 20 years and still helps plant trees in the Spring!

Jim Armstrong (burgundy cardigan) Jim Armstrong still has his finger on the PRWIN pulse after 15 years of dedication.

Two long serving PRWIN directors retired from our board. Gord Cale and Murray Ferguson were celebrated at our November meeting. These gentlemen served our organization and contributed valuable expertise to our non profit group.


Past PRWIN Chairperson/Director and Volunteer

Jack CampbellJack Campbell was a member with our organization for over 20 years. Jack was one of the co–founders of PRWIN when it was started in 2000 by a group of citizens concerned about the water quality in the Pine River.

Jack gave countless volunteer hours to our organization along with many other community groups. PRWIN Directors respected Jack and his vision for the Pine River Watershed. PRWIN would not be where we are today without his leadership and dedication to our vision of “Clean water and a healthy ecosystem within the Pine River watershed.” Jack was the lead director to establish the PRWIN constitution for our non profit organization and he helped to connect farm owners and cottagers to preserve our community watershed. Even after Jack retired from the board, he would attend PRWIN seedling planting sessions and board lunches, always connecting with our PRWIN committee.

On behalf of the board of directors, past and present, we wanted to extend our condolences to Linda and family. Jack will be missed by his dedication to important projects and his love of community.


Retirement of PRWIN Secretary and Board Member:

Cathy is a founding member of PRWIN and I am sure some if not all of the initial meetings during the establishment of PRWIN started around her kitchen table. Cathy has been very dedicated and hard working ensuring the success of PRWIN. She has always provided sound advice and is a wealth of knowledge on the community and past projects. As a new Board Member, she was very welcoming and gracious to me, always a friendly smile and positive suggestions at meetings.  During our spring seedling planting events, Cathy always jumped in to organize the hot cider and sandwiches to keep the tree planters going until the job was completed.  She has been of great assistance to me since I joined the Board in 2012.  

Thank you very much Cathy, for all your time and energy over the years.  It has been a real pleasure to get to know you and Don and your family. You know you will always be welcome at any of our PRWIN events, so please join us for a hot cider during the tree planting season next spring.

PRWIN Chairperson, David Grant