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July 27, 2017
Hodges Pond restoration project unveiled
The re-naturalization of Hodges Pond will improve water quality in the Thames, improve flood protection and promote new vegetation and wildlife

A new environmental restoration project is underway in Oxford County. Nearly 400 acres of land around Hodges Pond in Norwich Township is being re-naturalized thanks to $50,000 in funding from The Cowan Foundation.

The Hodges Pond restoration is the latest partnership between Oxford County, Stewardship Oxford, Ducks Unlimited Canada, the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority (UTRCA) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF).

Hodges Pond was originally constructed as a mill pond and has not been used in decades. Due to the steady decline of its use, the reservoir is now a sediment-filled shallow lake with extremely low oxygen levels and high bacteria counts. Cedar Creek flows through this area, contributing poor quality water into the Thames River watershed.

But thanks to a restoration plan that is now underway, a reworking of the land and an old dam structure will lead to a re-naturalization that will promote new diverse vegetation and habitat. Other environmental benefits of the project include improved flood reduction and water quality for the Thames River watershed.



Phil Holst, Director, Ducks Unlimited Canada/Vice Chair, Stewardship Oxford

“Hodges Pond [Wetlands] is acontinuation of a long list of stewardship work that is progressively restoring the natural heritage of Oxford County and surrounding regions. I am so inspired byall the contributions of time, expertise, funding and a strongly shared vision for wetland conservation here in Oxford County.”

Terry Reidel, Executive Director, The Cowan Foundation

“The Cowan Foundation is providing another donation in partnership with Ducks Unlimited Canada, Stewardship Oxford and Oxford County because the Hodges Pond Wetlands Restoration Project has numerous water related benefits including flood attenuation, providing habitat for wildlife and offering opportunities for people in the community to engage with nature through enhanced wildlife viewing and nature access points. Once again, this an initiative that is important to our clients, employees and business partners in Oxford County and aligns with our goal to make a positive difference in the lives of Canadians and the broader well-being of our communities.“



  • Stewardship Oxford is the project coordinator in partnership with Oxford County.
  • The Cowan Foundation is generously providing $50,000 to Ducks Unlimited Canada to support the wetland component of this project.
  • Funding partners for the creek restoration and re-naturalization elements include: Stewardship Oxford, Oxford County, Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund, Upper Thames Rivers Conservation Authority and Ontario’s 50 million Tree Program along with technical support provided by Ducks Unlimited Canada.
  • The project ties into the environmental goal of the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan – to protect and restore the ecosystem.


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About Oxford County

Located in the heart of southwestern Ontario, Oxford County has a population of approximately 111,700 people across eight municipalities that are “growing stronger together” through a partnership-oriented, two-tier municipal government incorporated as the County of Oxford. Oxford County is emerging as a leader in sustainable growth through the Future Oxford Community Sustainability Plan and County Council’s commitment to achieving 100% renewable energy by 2050 and becoming a zero waste community. Situated in one of Ontario’s richest areas for farmland, agriculture forms a cornerstone of the County’s economy, which boasts 55,000 jobs in a rapidly expanding commercial and industrial sector bolstered by its location at the crossroads of Highways 401 and 403. The County offers a thriving local arts, culture and culinary community, as well as conservation parks, natural areas and more than 100 kilometres of scenic trails. The Oxford County Administration Building is located in Woodstock. Visit or follow our social media sites at Oxford County’s Strategic Plan is at


About The Cowan Foundation

The Cowan Foundationwas started in 1995 in honour of Frank Cowan, the founder of Frank Cowan Company and Cowan Insurance Group. The Foundation is sustained by the ongoing success of the Princeton Holdings group of companies including Cowan Insurance Group (and its subsidiaries: The Williamson Group, Millennium CreditRisk Management and Wentworth Financial Services), Frank Cowan Company, The Guarantee Company of North America and Cowan Asset Management. Together they provide insurance and risk management products and services for individuals, businesses, organizations and public entities as well as assist employers with their group benefits, retirement and health and disability management plans. The goal of The Cowan Foundation is to make a positive difference in the lives of Canadians and the broader well-being of our



Adam Nyp | Strategic Communication & Engagement
519.539.9800, ext. 3529 |

Donna Kemp | Strategic Communication & Engagement
519.539.9800, ext. 3158 |

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