With the help of financial and land donations from the community, and other funding agencies, LPBLT is able to acquire important ecological sites containing Carolinian forests, wetlands and savannas for conservation. LPBLT’s five nature reserves provide important wildlife habitat corridors, connect fragmented woodlands, increase valuable forest interior habitat, improve and protect water quality, and provide habitat for many species at risk.
Strongman-Guiler Nature Reserve: Protection on Lake Erie shoreline, Carolinian forest and a vital stream corridor
On the Lake Erie shoreline in Norfolk County, Strongman – Guiler Nature Reserve is a beautiful 52-acre site along Fisher’s Creek. It includes Carolinian woodlands, deep ravines, 1400 feet of shoreline and impressive bluffs and beaches. With intensive development pressure on lakefront areas, this property has given us a rare opportunity to protect in perpetuity a large and ecologically-significant natural area.
The different types of habitat found here link terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems along Fisher’s Creek, and create a wildlife corridor from the shoreline to areas such as Spooky Hollow Nature Reserve, Fisher’s Glen Conservation Area and Turkey Point Provincial Park. The reserve protects woodlands, red cedar savanna, cold-water fish habitat, coastal beaches and active sand bluffs, as well as habitat for species at risk and other flora and fauna. Not surprisingly, this undeveloped property was identified by many conservation groups as a top priority for securement and stewardship. Thanks to our generous supporters and funding provided by the Government of Canada’s Natural Areas Conservation Program as administered by the Nature Conservancy of Canada, LPBLT is able to help conserve this nature reserve.
The Strongman-Guiler nature reserve can be accessed through Front Rd. From Hwy 24, turn south onto Fisher’s Glen Rd., just south of Vittoria. Turn right onto Front Rd. in the town of Fisher’s Glen, the reserve is on the south side of the road.
The Shirley & George Pond Nature Reserve: Protection of a water source for Turkey Point Wetlands
Once fully restored, this 80-acre nature reserve along the Lake Erie shoreline will connect inland woodlands with coastal marshes and help connect 1.2km of forested stream corridor. The project will create an important wildlife habitat corridor, buffer interior forests and benefit water quality in an internationally-significant Great Lakes watershed and wetland, such as Forestville Creek, Turkey Point Marsh and Long Point Bay.
Nestled just north of the Turkey Point Marsh, the Shirley & George Pond Nature Reserve will protect scenic Carolinian countryside and a diversity of habitats, including woodlands, meadow, shrubland and the east branch of Forestville Creek. The protection and ecological restoration of this retired orchard property will make an invaluable contribution to nature conservation and fill in the “missing link” of woodland along this cold water stream. The property will also contribute to broader conservation efforts to protect species at risk such as Louisiana Waterthrush, American Badger, Blanding’s Turtle and Eastern Hog-nosed Snake and restore natural habitats in the Southern Norfolk Sand Plain.
The Pond Reserve can be accessed via Front Road, approximately 2 km west of Turkey Point Road. The property is on the north side of the road and has a parking area, accessible only when the entrance gate is open. When the gate is unopened, there is space for a single vehicle to park safely.
The Delhi Wetland Nature Reserve: A Great Gift to Nature
In the spring of 2011, LPBLT acquired its third nature reserve, as a result of a generous gift by the Cecilia and Joe Kiss family. A large portion of this property, located near Delhi in Norfolk County, is designated as provincially-significant wetland.
Nestled in a deep valley alongside Big Creek north of Delhi, the property is as diverse ecologically as it is varied topographically. Despite its relatively small size (12 acres), the property includes a diversity of habitat types, including: mature hemlock and hardwood forests on the ravine slopes and uplands; a small stream flowing through the narrow valley; a perched grass and sedge wetland; and, a cedar-fringed ox-bow pond at the property’s lowest elevations.
The donation of this ecologically-significant property demonstrates the importance of long-term stewardship of natural areas by private landowners. LPBLT is grateful to the Kiss and Woytas family for entrusting us with the future stewardship of this property.
The property is located in the Big Creek valley immediately north of Delhi on the east side of Swimming Pool Road. The property can be viewed and appreciated from a pleasant lookout point at the south end (enter from the Delhi cemetery and park at the north end). Because of the rugged and steep terrain, visitors are asked not to explore past the lookout, without permission.
The Arthur Langford Nature Reserve: Protection of Head waters for three watersheds
The Arthur Langford Nature Reserve is one of many hidden treasures in the Long Point Basin. This vitally-important natural area is home to a wide array of wildlife, including a number of species at risk, such as American Chestnut, Butternut, Black Gum, and Jefferson Salamander. Because of the large size and continuity of the property’s wetlands, as well as its rare species, it is a prime location for biological research.
Purchased in 2008 and named after the late Dr. Arthur N. Langford, founding president of the Land Trust, this 186 acre reserve has exceptionally high conservation value. Largely forested, and containing extensive wetland habitats, this site nourishes several watersheds maintaining a good supply of water in local streams, rivers, and in the water table.
The Arthur Langford Nature Reserve is located near the town of Frogmore in the western part of Norfolk County. Entry is gained from the Barth Sideroad between Regional Road 23 and Regional Road 28.
The Jackson-Gunn Old Growth Forest
In December 2004, LPBLT secured its first reserve and one of the most spectacular old growth forests remaining in southern Ontario. Only 0.07 percent of southern Ontario’s original “old-growth forest” (i.e. stands of trees over 120 years old) still exist and there are few examples as spectacular as this. The Jackson-Gunn Old Growth Forest is an American Beech /Sugar Maple community comprised of many trees which are older than 280 years.
The site has never been cleared and, historically, only deadfall was removed. This amazing piece of history looks today much as it did 600 years ago. The towering maples and beeches are scarred and crooked, the veterans of numerous ice and wind storms. The trees, their lower limbs at 21 metres (70 feet), are widely spaced and give the site a very open feeling. The forest is recognized as one of the most significant old growth forests in the Carolinian Region. Today, the forest is home to numerous birds and a diverse flora. Woodpeckers search the lower branches of the canopy, Wood Ducks watch from their nest cavities and Bald Eagles regularly soar over the woodland. LPBLT will manage the site to protect the magnificent trees and associated species.
Peter Carson leads a group of woodlot owners through the Jackson-Gunn Old Growth Forest. Photo: David Agro
The Jackson-Gunn Old Growth Forest is located near Houghton Centre in the south-west part of Norfolk County. Access is gained from the Lower Sideroad between Regional Road 28 and the 4th Concession.