Ontario parks expanding thanks to partnership
Nature Conservancy of Canada lands to become part of new and expanded Ontario parks
The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is pleased to announce that two of its significant land acquisitions have become Ontario Provincial Parks.
Located in the important Frontenac Arch Natural Area, near Kingston and Brockville, NCC’s 430-acre (174-hectare) Brockville Long Swamp Fen properties will become part of the new Brockville Long Swamp Fen Provincial Park. The 607 acres (246 hectares) on Red Horse Lake will become part of the 736-acre (298-hectare) expansion of Charleston Lake Provincial Park.
This summer, a net total of 6,424 acres (2,600 hectares) was added to Ontario’s Provincial Parks and Conservation Reserves — a huge success for land conservation and outdoor recreation across the province. NCC is pleased to be just one of the partners in this expansion of Ontario’s parks and protected areas.
The Frontenac Arch is the southernmost extension of the Canadian Shield, stretching from the Algonquin Highlands of Ontario to the Adirondack Mountains of New York. Rich in reptile, plant and bird species, it is one of the most biologically diverse areas in Ontario. The Arch serves as a natural wildlife passage, linking the Adirondacks in the United States to the forests of the Algonquin Highlands in Canada.
Brockville Long Swamp Fen is an important wetland complex in the South Nation and Kemptville Creek (Rideau River) watersheds. A provincially significant Area of Natural and Scientific Interest, this biologically diverse area provides habitat for several species at risk, including a variety of reptiles and amphibians.
The new addition to Charleston Lake Provincial Park features a wide diversity of habitats, including more than 8 kilometres of shoreline, wetlands, bare rock ridges and mature mixed upland and lowland deciduous forests. These diverse habitats are home to species at risk, including butternut, and many significant species have been recorded close to the property, including cerulean warbler.
Both the Brockville Long Swamp Fen and Charleston Lake properties were secured through the generosity of many donors and partners, including Ontario Heritage Trust and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. Both properties will now be managed by Ontario Parks as part of the parks system. While Brockville Long Swamp Fen Provincial Park will be kept as a nature reserve and a non-operating park, the public can come visit the newly expanded Charleston Lake Provincial Park for hiking, canoeing, camping and more. Visit ontarioparks.ca for more information.
“The Frontenac Arch is a beautiful and unique region of Ontario, and it’s critical that we strive to conserve its biodiversity, not just for wildlife, but for the benefit of current and future generations. I am pleased to know that these lands will be enjoyed by Canadians and visitors as part of the Ontario Parks system.”
James Duncan, Ontario Regional Vice-president, Nature Conservancy of Canada
“Ontario has made a strong commitment to protecting our natural environment. I’m thrilled that we are able to permanently protect Brockville Long Swamp Fen Provincial Park and welcome the addition to Charleston Lake Provincial Park. These protections continue the important work of conserving important ecosystems and wildlife habitat in our province.”
Kathryn McGarry, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry
- NCC has protected 5,566 acres (2,552 hectares) in the Frontenac Arch. NCC is currently raising funds to acquire additional key properties in this important natural area.
- Large, connected systems of protected areas are important for species migration and to provide habitat for birds and large mammals.
- The dominant tree species found in the Frontenac Arch include shagbark hickory, white oak, eastern hop-hornbeam, sugar maple, eastern white pine and rock elm.
- In addition to key forests, the area features many significant wetlands that are important resting and feeding areas for waterfowl.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada is the nation's leading not-for-profit, private land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC and its partners have helped protect 2.8 million acres (more than 1.1 million hectares), coast to coast, with 184,000 acres (more than 74,400 hectares) in Ontario. Visit natureconservancy.ca/ontario.
Ontario Parks manages over 330 province’s provincial parks, operating more than 100 parks offering visitor facilities and services such as day-use areas, campgrounds, trails and interior camping. The remaining “non-operating” parks are managed mainly to protect wildlife, plants, natural habitats, and spectacular scenery. In 2016, Ontario’s provincial parks received more than 10 million visits including people from around the world and generated over $88 million in revenue, which supported jobs and businesses across the province.
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