Funding support for the Turkey Point and Fisher’s Glen Nature Reseves was provided by the Government of Canada’s Natural Areas Conservation Program as administered by the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
Fisher’s Glen: Lake Erie shoreline, Carolinian forest and a vital stream corridor
Long Point Basin Land Trust (LPBLT) is happy to announce the successful completion of our campaign to acquire this beautiful property on the Lake Erie shoreline in Norfolk County. This impressive 52-acre site along Fisher’s Creek includes Carolinian woodlands, deep ravines, 1400 feet of shoreline and impressive bluffs and beaches. With intensive development pressure on lakefront areas, the Fisher’s Glen property gives us a rare opportunity to protect in perpetuity a large and ecologically-significant natural area.
The site’s Carolinian forests and other habitats serve as an ecological anchor for a network of connected natural areas, linking terrestrial and aquatic habitats along Fisher’s Creek, and creating a wildlife corridor from the shoreline to natural areas inland, such as Spooky Hollow Nature Reserve, Fisher’s Glen Conservation Area and Turkey Point Provincial Park. The new reserve protects woodlands, red cedar savanna, coldwater 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, which has now happened thanks to our generous supporters.
You can help us steward this property by making a donation through CanadaHelps.org. Or send cheques payable to “Long Point Basin Land Trust” to Long Point Basin Land Trust, P.O. Box 468, Port Rowan, Ontario, Canada N0E 1M0.
Protecting Carolinian Forests, Wetlands and Savannas
Long Point Basin Land Trust (LPBLT) operates in an area known as the Carolinian Region of Canada. This Carolinian zone represents less than 0.25% of the country’s land mass, but is home to many rare and unique species not found in other parts of Canada. Along with this rich biodiversity, much of Canada’s population (~25%) also lives here and puts enormous pressure on our natural spaces and our native flora and fauna. Centuries of settlement, agriculture, development and urbanization have had a significant impact on natural habitats and biodiversity in this region. The vast majority of the land in this area is privately owned.
LPBLT’s conservation efforts are focused on the Central Carolinian Region on Lake Erie’s north shore, including Norfolk, western Haldimand, eastern Elgin and adjoining Brant and Oxford Counties. It works to protect significant natural habitats, such as old-growth forests, wetlands, savanna, ravines and shorelines, as well as to enhance watershed protection.
LPBLT’s small but growing system of nature reserves protects and stewards several unique properties. Currently, we are working to purchase and protect a new Fisher’s Glen Nature Reserve (see above). LPBLT 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.
Turkey Point Watershed Reserve
Long Point Basin Land Trust (LPBLT) has run a successful campaign to establish an 80-acre nature reserve along the Lake Erie shoreline. The Turkey Point Watershed Reserve will connect inland woodlands with coastal marshes and help restore 1.2km of forested stream corridor. The project will create an important wildlife habitat corridor, re-connect fragmented woodlands, buffer interior forests and benefit water quality in an internationally-significant Great Lakes watershed and wetland. But we still require financial support to ensure good stewardship of this new reserve, including developing a conservation plan, removing invasive species, and monitoring species at risk. You can help by making a donation through CanadaHelps.org.
Nestled just north of the Turkey Point Marsh, the new 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 and restore natural habitats in the Southern Norfolk Sand Plain.
Your support has helped:
• Protect forever 80 acres of Carolinian countryside near the Lake Erie shore
• Create a continuous forested creek corridor, linking woodlands with Turkey Point Marsh
• Conserve 1.2km of stream corridor, benefiting water quality in Forestville Creek, Turkey Point Marsh and Long Point Bay
• Restore and protect a diversity of natural habitats, including oak savanna, Carolinian woodland, shrubland, meadow and wetlands
• Protect native biodiversity and species at risk, such as Louisiana Waterthrush, American Badger, Blanding’s Turtle and Eastern Hog-nosed Snake
Donated Delhi Wetland a Great Gift to Nature
The donation in spring 2011 of a provincially-significant wetland property near Delhi in Norfolk County becomes LPBLT’s third nature reserve and is a generous gift from the Woytas estate by the Cecilia and Joe Kiss family. Long Point Basin Land Trust is very excited about the securement of this new nature reserve and expresses its sincere thanks to the family.
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.
Long Point Basin Land Trust is very excited about its newest nature reserve not only because of its ecological significance, but also because it 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. Because of the rugged and steep terrain, the property is not currently open to the public.
The Arthur Langford Nature Reserve
Purchased in 2008 and named after the late Dr. Arthur N. Langford, founding president of the Land Trust, this 180 acre reserve has exceptionally high conservation value. Largely forested, and containing extensive wetland habitats, this site nourishes serveral watersheds maintaining a good supply of water in local streams, rivers, and in the water table. 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.
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, the Long Point Basin Land Trust secured 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. The Long Point Basin Land Trust will manage the site to protect the magnificent trees and associated species.
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.
You Can Help
While these important sites have been secured, funds are still needed for stewardship of these and other properties. From stopping destructive ATV traffic to restoring native plant communities, there is still lots of work to be done on all our reserves. Please consider supporting ongoing stewardship through a charitable donation. You can securely donate online through CanadaHelps.org or send a cheque to:
Long Point Basin Land Trust
P.O. Box 468, Port Rowan, ON N0E 1M0
For further information, please contact LPBLT at 519-586-8309
Peter Carson leads a group of woodlot 0wners through the Jackson-Gunn Old Growth Forest. Photo: David Agro