What nature needs now is you.
Help Create Three New Nature Reserves in the Sydenham Section
This conservation opportunity will protect, conserve and care for natural lands, all located in the Sydenham section. These nature reserves showcase some of the Niagara Escarpment’s unique and remarkable natural ecosystems including – abundant forests, valuable wetlands, and iconic crevices.
The combined cost to secure and steward these properties is $2.1 million. Thanks to the wonderful donors who have already made their year-end gifts, we have raised more than $1.4 million.
Your kind donation can help us raise the next $658,000 to get the rest of the way!
By donating today, you will help protect 243 acres of natural land, secure close to 2 km of Bruce Trail, and protect 6 rare and at-risk species.
Mossy Gorge Nature Reserve
50 acres | 408 m of Bruce Trail
A picturesque natural sanctuary, the Mossy Gorge Nature Reserve is almost entirely forested, featuring significant interior hardwood forest and a re-naturalizing Pine plantation. Located near Walter’s Falls, these large forested areas are extremely important as they provide habitat for a variety of species and create a local wildlife refuge.
Amid the forest, you can find a large ravine, remnants of an old valley stream containing velvety moss-covered rocks.
Species of special concern identified on the property include:
- Eastern Wood-Pewee
- American Hart’s-tongue Fern
Cattail Marsh Nature Reserve
153 acres | 820 m of Bruce Trail
This large nature reserve is adjacent to the Bayview Bluffs, Bayview Forest East and West, and Overton nature reserves and contains:
- 14 acres of wetlands consisting of a large Cattail Swamp and Meadowmarsh
- A fantastic and sizable (105 acre) Sugar Maple and dense Cedar forest
The wetlands and forests provide valuable habitat to birds, amphibians and mammals alike.
The property lies within the Bayview Escarpment provincially significant Life Science ANSI creating a vast 35 km woodland corridor extending from Chatsworth to Cape Rich, and forming a natural area of more than 100 square km on the Spey, Sydenham and Bighead River watersheds.
Woodford Karst Nature Reserve
40 acres | 696 m of Bruce Trail
The Woodford Karst Nature Reserve lies adjacent to the BTC’s Crevice Springs property and showcases a mix of vital and valuable ecosystems including:
- A large Sugar Maple forest
- Three acres of coniferous forest along the Escarpment
- Deciduous Forest
- Maple Swamp, White Cedar Swamp and Meadowmarsh
The nature reserve also features an impressive Escarpment crevice system as well as iconic talus and cliffs along the rocky outcrops. These provide important habitat for many species including bats and snakes.
Along with neighbouring protected natural lands, the property creates a 14 km woodland, Escarpment and wetland corridor within the Bognar Marsh and Escarpment Life Science ANSI.
Connecting lands for wildlife survival
For decades, the Bruce Trail Conservancy has been actively protecting natural spaces along the Niagara Escarpment, connecting the land. These wildlife corridors provide space along the Niagara Escarpment for animals to search for food, mates, and places to live. It also provides a path to new habitat, allowing species to better adapt to environmental changes and disasters – like flooding and forest fires.
Bringing Species at Risk back from the brink
Thriving on the dolostone soils of the Niagara Escarpment, the endangered Butternut (Juglans cinerea), has been observed on all three properties. BTC staff are trained in Butternut health assessment and the data they collect will be shared with the Forest Gene Conservation Association to aid in Butternut species recovery efforts.