For Immediate Release



August 6, 2020

Through the generosity of landowners, 113 hectares (279 acres) of natural spaces in Simcoe County have been protected forever! The Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust (ORMLT) works to ensure a healthy ecosystem and natural environment that thrives forever, on and near the Oak Ridges Moraine, and is thrilled to be protecting these important properties. The Land Trust has expanded its protection efforts to preserve land in Simcoe. Since many watercourses in Simcoe originate on the Moraine, land protection in this area is important to ensure our water is protected for current and future generations.

We are pleased to share the wonderful new Simcoe properties that are now protected forever:

Farming History Becomes Farming Future

A historic barn complex sits on 40.5 ha (100 aces) of active agricultural lands, forest and wetlands in Innisfil which have been protected though a donation of a Conservation Easement on the property to the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust. The donor’s family have lived and cared for the farm and its natural spaces in the area for generations. The farmlands are surrounded by forest and wetlands, which are home to several Species at Risk, including the endangered Butternut tree and the Monarch butterfly (Special Concern). The property has also been home to a raptor (hawks & owls) banding research station for over a decade, contributing to our knowledge of bird migration.

 Tree Farm to Forever Forest

In Adjala-Tosorontio, 28.5 hectares (70.5 acres) of much-loved forests and meadows have been protected. The landowners donated a Conservation Easement on the property to the Land Trust so it would remain protected. Towering maple trees in the deciduous forest provide a home to species at risk birds including Wood Thrush (Threatened), and Eastern Wood-Pewee (Special Concern). This protected land is a living legacy to the reforestation efforts of the property owners. The forest continues into a former Christmas tree farm, where the trees are now tall, as the forest evolves to a more natural forest. A meadow nestled between the forest and yard is home to Monarch butterflies flitting from milkweed to milkweed plant, and swooping Barn Swallows (Threatened), showing off their aerial acrobatics while searching for insects to eat in the meadow.

 These two projects were generously donated to the Land Trust under the Government of Canada’s Ecological Gifts Program. This program provides enhanced tax incentives for individuals or corporations who donate ecologically significant land. To learn more about the Ecological Gifts Program, please visit

 Beeton Heritage Forest

This 44 ha (108 acres) local, ecological and cultural gem was donated to the Land Trust in its entirety by the Town of New Tecumseth. This donation was made to provide the protection worthy of a forest of this calibre and beauty. Home to species at risk such as Butternut, Barn Swallow, Red-headed Woodpecker (Threatened), Eastern Wood-Pewee, and Monarch, this property’s diverse wetlands, forests, and meadows will clean our air and protect our water, into the future. 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.

 These private land conservation projects were made possible by many partners. The Land Trust especially wishes to thank land donors, including the Town of New Tecumseth, for their generosity. These projects were also supported by the Government of Canada through the Natural Heritage Conservation Program, part of Canada’s Nature Fund (Adjala-Tosorontio & Beeton), and the Ecological Gifts Program Land Acquisition Support Fund (Innisfil). Thank you also to the ECHO Foundation for providing support for the protection of all three of these properties.


“The Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust’s conservation of forests, wetlands, and meadows in Simcoe County provides habitat for species at risk, protects our water, and helps communities adapt to climate change. Through the Canada Nature Fund’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program and Ecological Gifts Program, we are proud to work with ORMLT and generous land donors to preserve these natural spaces. By working together, we are making progress toward conserving a quarter of Canada’s land by 2025.” – The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“The Town is pleased to donate this environmentally and culturally significant forest and wetland to the Trust to ensure it is preserved and protected for generations to enjoy.” – Rick Milne, Mayor, Town of New Tecumseth

“Together, we are creating permanent conservation solutions that protect wildlife habitat, control flooding, replenish groundwater and meet the needs of people for a more resilient landscape, all of which are critical in times of climate change. We are thrilled to have protected properties in each of these municipalities and watersheds in 2019 and look forward to continue working in the area to protect more land forever.” – Susan Walmer, Chief Executive Officer, Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust

“We wanted to keep our beautiful property as it is, protecting it from disturbances that could possibly happen to it in future years. My hope is that now I know, the monarch butterflies will flourish with our meadow of milkweed, and the birds of the meadow will continue to sing. It is so very important for those that can, to try to save areas that still provide a safe haven for nature in its true form.” – Marilyn Kamstra, Donor, Adjala-Tosorontio gift

“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.” – Neal Arbic, President, Beeton Heritage Forest Preservation Society


The Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust, a registered charitable organization, was formed in 2000 by citizens interested in protecting the Moraine. The Land Trust ensures significant Moraine, Greenbelt and Simcoe properties are protected for future generations through agreements with landowners, protection of lands and on-going stewardship. To date, the Trust has secured over 1,813 hectares (4,480 acres) of land on 60 properties

The Government of Canada’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program (NHCP) is a unique public-private partnership to support new protected and conserved areas by securing private lands and private interests in lands. The program is managed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). Federal funds invested in the program are matched with contributions raised by NCC and its partners, Ducks Unlimited Canada and the country’s land trust community.

Susan Walmer
Chief Executive Officer
Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust
18462 Bathurst Street, Newmarket, Ontario, L3Y 4V9.
Tel.: 905-853-3171 x32

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Historic barn complex on Innisfree Farm

Adjala-Tosorontio Forest

Fall colours in the Beeton Heritage Forest