Trees, birds, and butterflies will now have their homes protected, forever, thanks to a new 43-hectare (108-acre) nature reserve in Beeton. This local, ecological and cultural gem was donated by the Town of New Tecumseth to the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust to ensure that the forest remains intact, protected and healthy.

In 2017, the Town of New Tecumseth respected the public wish that the Beeton Heritage Forest be protected and began initiating the donation of the property to the Trust. This nature reserve is home to diverse ecosystems of wetlands, forests, and meadows which will clean our air and protect our water, including the Beeton Creek. With the help of the Beeton Heritage Forest Preservation Society, the forest will be cared for and maintained with single walking paths and as a nature reserve.  Neal Arbic, the Society’s President was thrilled with the donation, “The preservation of our beloved Heritage Forest is a victory for conservation. Through listening and open-minded communication, the Beeton Heritage Forest Preservation Society has found common ground between nature lovers and neighbours. Town Council was inspired to support the preservation of this unique forest for the future of our community. We look forward to stewarding the property for years to come.”

The Town has worked diligently with the Trust to have the property donated. “The Town is extremely pleased to donate this land to the Trust to ensure it is preserved and protected for generations to enjoy.” Said the Town’s Mayor, Rick Milne.

Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust Executive Director Susan Walmer commented that “Collaboration between the community, councillors and the Trust made the protection of this heritage forest and wetlands possible. We couldn’t have done it without our amazing supporters who each care about the health of the land and future generations. We are thrilled to have protected our first property in Beeton and look forward to the connections we can continue to build between our environment and community.” The Trust protects environmentally important lands on the Oak Ridges Moraine, Greenbelt, and in Simcoe. Since many watercourses in Simcoe originate on the Moraine, protection of land such as the Beeton Heritage Forest is important to ensure our water is protected for current and future generations.

The forest represents much more than the ecology; it’s cultural history as former village for local indigenous communities is also protected.  “The Huron-Wendat Nation is delighted to see that one of our villages is to be completely protected within the new Beeton Forest. This was a place where our ancestors lived full lives within a palisaded village enclosing dozens of longhouses. Several hundred of our ancestors lived in this forest although at the time, five hundred years ago, much of the forest was cleared for agricultural fields. It is comforting to see the landscape and forest returned to its original grandeur. We congratulate the Oak Ridges Moraine Trust on this magnificent accomplishment.” Commented Dr. Louis Lesage, the Director of the Huron-Wendat Lands Office.

A celebration of this donation will be taking place on Saturday September 28th at 1pm at the forest, followed by a guided hike; please RSVP by email or calling 905-853-3171 x33. If you are interested in the future of the forest and how you can get involved, get in touch today!