Over time, he acquired several other pieces of land and one day set up a help center for people with mental illness of various sorts Robert Shepherd and his wife, Stansje Plantenga, found in this valley the unique happiness of nature and contact with wildlife and its habitat.
“I was born in Amsterdam, but have lived in Montreal for more than half my life. It was fate that introduced me to the Ruiter Valley in Potton Township, and I literally fell in love with the valley,” recalls Stansje.
Five years before his death, Robert Shepherd and his wife started thinking of ways to protect this nature in its integrity for the benefit of future generations.
After much research and work, in the mid-1980s, Robert and Stansje decided to donate most of their land to create this Land Trust to ensure the protection and integrity of the territory they cherished. Inspired by this project, which was a bold move at the time, others joined them.
Contributing to the creation of the Ruiter Valley Land Trust was the best thing I’ve ever done »
— Robert Shepherd