’50 in 50′ Series: Biennial Conference – Largest Conference in Trenton’s History (1980)


Lower Trent Conservation is celebrating its 50th anniversary! To commemorate this milestone occasion, we have released our ’50 in 50′ historical blog series. This special series features 50 articles highlighting some of the achievements, milestones and events of the past 50 years. We hope you enjoy them!

On September 14 to 17, 1980, Lower Trent Conservation hosted over 500 delegates for the 17th Biennial Conference of Conservation Authorities.

Biennial Conference Welcome Conservation Authority delegates-1980

Delegates from across the Province, including Conservation Authority board members and staff as well as personnel from the Ministry of Natural Resources, converged on the Wandlyn Inn in Trenton (now the Ramada Inn) for the four day conference which was reported to be “one of the largest conventions in Trenton’s history.”

17th Biennial Conference 1980
Welcome to Biennial Conference attendees signage at the front entrance of the Wandlyn Inn, Trenton ON (Sept 1980)

Due to the number of delegates, too large for just the Wandlyn Inn, additional accommodations were handled by the Black Hawk and Sun Valley Motor Inns in Belleville. The itinerary for the conference included workshops, tours, and guest speakers which showcased a broad range of watershed programs and projects.

Topics included:

  • Land use planning
  • Stream management techniques
  • Environmental assessment
  • Private land assistance programs
  • Conservation area regulations and vandalism
  • Provincial floodplain criteria
  • Federal/Provincial Flood Damage Reduction Program
  • Canada/Ontario Great Lakes Shore Management

Delegates enjoyed bus tours of Canadian Forces Base Trenton, Bata Shoe Factory, Domtar Packaging paper mill (known today as Cascades Containerboard Packaging), and local conservation authority projects as well as a boat tour of the Bay of Quinte to Presqu’ile Provincial Park.

Busy program planned for major conference_article 1980

At the conclusion of the conference, the Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable James Auld addressed the large group, emphasizing the role conservation authorities play in flood control, floodplain management, and flood forecasting and warning. He said he was proud of the “unique system of conservation authorities that our province has pioneered. The vital part conservation authorities play is the envy of many jurisdictions.”

Conservation delegates at dinner-1980

Gatherings of conservation authority staff and municipal representatives to share ideas, showcase conservation projects, and inspire new approaches continue today.

Biennial Conference- 1980

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