Group of Eden Mills residents buys Camp Edgewood

A long-standing feature of the village of Eden Mills is set to begin a new chapter in its life. 

A group of Eden Mills residents has purchased Camp Edgewood from the Eastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. 

The villagers involved are Richard Lay, Les Zawadzki, Dave Hogberg, Steve Simpson and Wendy Smith, and Ruth and Tom Bowes.

The Eastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church has owned the property and operated a Summer Camp since 1944.

Located at the junction of the Blue Springs Creek and Eramosa River, the property includes approximately 40 acres of land that is regulated as environmentally protected under the Grand River Conservation Authority. 

The camp not only managed a summer camp, but also rented the venue to other organizations, including the Upper Grand District School Board’s Community Environmental Leadership Program.

The church chose to sell the camp to the residents’ group because its main objective is to preserve the environmentally protected area, including the walking trail around the pond. This will be done either through a donation of land or by creating an easement for the environmentally protected portion of the property (at a minimum) to an Ontario Land Trust (OLT). 

The OLT of choice will most likely be the Cambridge-based RARE, which has recently set a new objective to protect rivers feeding the Grand River system, including the Eramosa River and Blue Springs Creek.

This donation will ensure the community has access to the trail at the former Camp Edgewood. 

The donation process will likely take a couple of years to complete. In the meantime, to keep access of the trails and wetlands open to the community, the purchasing group has approached the Eden Mills Eramosa River Conservation Association (EMERCA), formerly the Eden Mills Millpond Conservation Association, to lease the environmentally protected land and provide liability insurance under their umbrella. 

This proposal was approved at the recent EMERCA AGM.

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