May 30th was a special day on the Bruce Trail, as eager members of the 19th Hamilton Spark and Brownie Unit together with the 47th Hamilton Scouts set out for some serious trail work. Seventy Sparks, Brownies, Scouts and their leaders worked all afternoon on the Bruce Trail in Waterdown.
Bruce Trail Conservancy staff ecologists were on hand to help highlight three ecological themes. The first was a native wildflower planting to help increase biodiversity on the property and provide habitat for pollinators such bees and butterflies. Next the children participated in an invasive species pull that helped to rid the property of the ever-so-persistent Garlic Mustard plant, which is increasingly displacing our native species such as the White Trillium. Lastly, the groups were treated to an ecologically interpretive hike along the Bruce Trail. From wildflowers to salamanders the hike was a great opportunity for the kids to learn how the Bruce Trail and the natural environment go hand-in-hand. The message certainly hit home for many of the children, "I love butterflies and birds. I am happy to work on the Trail to make sure they have a safe home." said Spark Nora Kelsey.
The work done by the Scouts, Sparks and Brownies was on the McNally Nature Reserve, a property donated to the Bruce Trail Conservancy in 2006. In Ontario's increasingly urbanized landscape the Conservancy is working to ensure critical Niagara Escarpment landscape remains in its natural state for everyone to explore and enjoy in perpetuity. The Conservancy is one of Ontario's largest Land Trusts, and its work in conserving and preserving Escarpment land is of growing importance.
The Bruce Trail Conservancy is committed to preserving and conserving the irreplaceable natural lands of the Niagara Escarpment. Most impressively, over the past 50 years the Bruce Trail Conservancy, a registered charity, has been directly responsible for the permanent preservation of almost 10,000 acres of land along the Niagara Escarpment. Through its 50th Anniversary Milestones Project, the Conservancy plans to permanently secure and preserve 5,000 acres of Escarpment land, provide for their stewardship and rehabilitation, and ensure trails on these lands are of the highest ecological and recreational standard.