Over 278 acres of Niagara Escarpment land have been recently preserved thanks to the generosity and commitment of Bruce Trail Conservancy donors. Spanning the Escarpment from Terra Cotta to the Bruce Peninsula, six new properties are now part of the Bruce Trail's growing Conservation Corridor, creating greater connectivity of green space and a natural oasis in an increasingly developed Southern Ontario.
Generous donations have allowed the Bruce Trail Conservancy to secure:
* Vanishing Stream Nature Reserve (Peninsula section of the Bruce Trail): This 105 acre nature reserve secures 1.1 km of the Bruce Trail and contains sinkholes, karst features and habitat for grassland birds such as the Bobolink, a Species at Risk.
* SC Johnson Nature Reserve at Walter's Creek (Sydenham section): This 16.5 acre nature reserve secures 500 m of the Bruce Trail and contains Walter's Creek, a coldwater stream that provides habitat for Rainbow and Brook Trout.
* 18 acres near Rockside (Toronto section): This picturesque forested property links neighboring conservation lands and re-establishes 700 m of the Bruce Trail on its Optimum Route and off roads.
* Two 6+ acre properties (Caledon Hills section): One of these properties completes a continuous corridor of land between Airport Rd and 5th Line EHS - a corridor now conserved entirely by the BTC. The other keeps the Bruce Trail off road and protects important talus slope habitat. Together they secure 585 m of the Bruce Trail along its Optimum Route.
* Sydenham Nature Reserve (Sydenham section): An expansive 127 acre nature reserve near Owen Sound has been generously donated to the BTC. It is home to a variety of habitats including dense forest, swamp, meadow, and thicket and meadow marsh. Generous donations during the Fall allowed the BTC to cover the legal fees and stewardship costs associated with this donated land, which totalled close to $30,000.
Preservation of these lands has brought the Bruce Trail Conservancy to a significant milestone: the Conservancy is now responsible for the preservation of over 10,000 acres of land. A registered charity, the Bruce Trail Conservancy is one of Ontario's largest land trusts, and its work in conserving and preserving Escarpment land is of growing importance.
This latest fundraising effort was launched with a $200,000 gift from the Gosling Foundation. Dr. Philip Gosling, a founder of the Bruce Trail, has demonstrated a longstanding and committed effort to further the mission of the BTC. In addition to Dr. Gosling's gift, individual donors contributed over $500,000 to ensure critical Niagara Escarpment landscape remains in its natural state for everyone to benefit from in perpetuity.
"At the Bruce Trail Conservancy, we are committed to realizing the vision our Founders set over 50 years ago - a vision of a protected Escarpment landscape that allows ecosystems to flourish and people to enjoy the benefits of these natural lands. With these additional 278 acres, our donors have furthered our mission, and allowed us to achieve an incredible milestone of 10,000 acres preserved since 1974. We are mindful of the responsibility we take on when we preserve natural spaces, and will be attentive stewards of the land our donors have entrusted to our care", said Beth Gilhespy, Executive Director of the Bruce Trail Conservancy.