Through the generosity of five Ontario landowners, 163 hectares (404 acres) have been protected forever! The Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust works to ensure a healthy and thriving ecosystem in and surrounding the Moraine. In both donations, many generations of passionate nature lovers have influenced the decision to protect their land. We are thrilled that these donors trusted us to protect these long-loved properties for endless generations to come.
We are pleased to share the wonderful features and stories behind these newly protected properties:
12,000 Years in the Making / Drumlin Up Excitement
Just 3.5 kilometers north of the Oak Ridges Moraine Eastern border, two neighbouring properties combine to create 80 hectares (200 acres) of ecological haven. The landowners chose to donate these 80 hectares in Peterborough County through a Conservation Easement Agreement and ensure their well-loved land would be protected forever.
While the surrounding areas are facing pressure to develop, these properties exist as a reminder of the area’s natural beauty. Within the tall woodlands, marshy wetlands, and open fields, the local wildlife can find a home. The wetlands on this property are attached to Squirrel Creek Provincially Significant Wetland, home to riparian Species at Risk (SAR) like the beloved and uniquely striped Northern Map Turtle (Special Concern). Possibly the most distinct aspect are the geological features. The two drumlins on the properties were formed 12,000 years ago resulting in elongated hills specific to the size, speed, and direction of the glacier that formed them. The existence of these drumlins is a visual relic of Canada’s natural history and are well-admired by the Land Trust.
Eight generations of land ownership have given this property owner a passion for protecting undeveloped lands. After completing a Conservation Easement donation for their family’s farm in 2019, they completed the donation of these two Peterborough properties. Through a Conservation Easement Agreement, these landowners can continue to own these properties while experiencing peace of mind knowing that their land will be protected forever.
Farm to Forest
Located entirely within the natural core area of the Oak Ridges Moraine, this exceptional 82.5 hectare (204 acre) property has also been acquired through a Conservation Easement Agreement donation. The generous gift was made by a family of long-term advocates for the protection of the Moraine.
Previously cleared for agriculture many years ago, the sandy soils unsuitable for farming on this property led to the fully forested habitat it is today. This property is part of the largest continuous woodland in the Township, making it important local habitat. If you are lucky enough to visit, you might hear the call of an Eastern Wood-pewee or even see a Cerulean Warbler peak at you through the trees. In fact, this property and its surrounding areas are home to many Species at Risk (SAR). These include, Bank Swallow (Threatened), Barn Swallow (Threatened), Blanding’s Turtle (Threatened), Bobolink (Threatened), and many more making a total of 23 SAR. In addition to providing habitat, the natural features of this property are responsible for facilitating base flow and absorption of snow melt and storm run-off into Scugog Lake. This property is abundant and generous with the ecological services it provides us.
“The twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss are two sides of the same coin, and we must tackle them together. By working with partners such as Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust and generous landowners, we are helping to protect the natural environment in Ontario and across the country. Through programs such as the Natural Heritage Conservation Program and the Ecological Gifts Program, the Government of Canada is helping progress toward its goal of conserving a quarter of lands and oceans in Canada by 2025.”
– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
These private land conservation projects were made possible by many partners. The Land Trust especially wishes to thank land donors 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. A portion of this project was donated to the Oak Ridges Moraine 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. 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, 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 2039 ha (5039 acres) of land on 65 properties.
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