Painted turtle. Photo by Cameron Curran

Painted turtle. Photo by Cameron Curran

Alfred Bog

Moose in Cookville, NB (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Moose in Cookville, NB (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Help protect the largest high-quality bog in southern Ontario

For a long time, the swamps, bogs and marshes that make up wetlands were thought of as wastelands. Over centuries, many wetlands were drained or filled for agriculture and development, and peat was extracted to be used for fuel and gardening. Today, less than two-fifths of Ontario’s original wetlands remain, with losses in some areas as high as 80 per cent.

Now, wetlands are internationally recognized as habitats that support biodiversity and provide key ecosystem services that help slow the effects of climate change. Wetlands store carbon and improve the quality of our waters. They act like giant sponges, slowing drainage from developed areas, reducing floods, filtering out pollutants and trapping sediments.

Twelve-spotted skimmer, dragonfly count, Minesing Wetlands, ON (Photo by NCC)

Twelve-spotted skimmer, dragonfly count, Minesing Wetlands, ON (Photo by NCC)

With an increase in storm events and dramatic changes in precipitation caused by the climate crisis, protecting wetlands has never been more important. In order to ensure clean drinking water and dry basements for humans, a stable climate and habitat for wildlife, we need to act now to conserve our remaining wetlands.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has a time-sensitive opportunity to protect 82 hectares (202 acres) in the largest high-quality peat bog in southern Ontario, but we need your help to raise the necessary funds.

Alfred Bog: Protecting Ontario’s wetlands

Alfred Bog, ON (Photo by Wikimedia)

Alfred Bog, ON (Photo by Wikimedia)

Located an hour east of Ottawa, Alfred Bog is the largest bog of its kind in southern Ontario. Bogs take thousands of years to form and store vast amounts of carbon in peat.

Local concerns around peat extraction led to community efforts to start protecting Alfred Bog in the 1980s. Since then, NCC and partners such as the Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club, Ontario Parks, South Nation Conservation and Vankleek Hill & District Nature Society have worked to protect over 3,300 hectares (8,150 acres) within the bog.

Alfred Bog is home to many plants and animals, including moose, waterfowl, turtles and orchids. It is classified by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry as a provincially significant wetland and an Area of Natural and Scientific Interest.

Up until now, an important piece of the bog has remained unprotected. NCC needs to raise $320,000 by spring 2021 to purchase the largest remaining private property in the Alfred Bog. Please consider making a gift or multi-year pledge to help purchase this property and fund vital, ongoing stewardship work to care for Alfred Bog for the long term.

Quick facts

  • Location: Alfred, Ontario, approximately 70 kilometres east of Ottawa
  • Habitat type: Bog (a type of peat-accumulating wetland)
  • Size: 82 hectares (202 acres)
  • Total project cost: $320,000
  • Species: orchids, turtles, waterfowl, moose

The Ottawa Valley

Ottawa River (Photo by Ottawa Tourism)

Ottawa River (Photo by Ottawa Tourism)

The Ottawa Valley is a remarkable area featuring forests, alvars, sand dunes and wetlands. This area is a meeting place between multiple ecoregions, creating an area rich in biodiversity that provides habitat for many species.

Lands in the Ottawa Valley are the traditional territory of many Indigenous Peoples, including the Algonquin Anishnaabeg and Haudenosaunee. We honor and thank the original stewards and traditional inhabitants of this place and recognize the significant contributions Indigenous Peoples have made, and continue to make, on these lands.

The area has a long history of settlement. Today, the Ottawa Valley has one of the fastest growing populations in Canada. NCC’s goal is to engage in strong conservation partnerships with Indigenous communities, all levels of government and other organizations to protect the unique species and habitats in this area.

A natural legacy

When it comes to conserving Canada’s most important natural areas, buying land is just the beginning. Stewardship — managing the land for the long term — is at the heart of what we do. Each and every property we protect is monitored and managed so that the ecosystems are maintained and species thrive; even if that means leaving it be. This can include mapping and removing invasive species, restoring wetlands, grasslands and forests, monitoring for species at risk, planting native species, building trails or installing signage.

In order to continue to care for the natural areas we protect, NCC has created a Stewardship Endowment Fund. This fund provides annual support for our priority stewardship work across Ontario. Annual benefits from the endowment fund are used to pay the costs necessary to ensure efficient and long-term, science-based management of lands under NCC’s care.

NCC may direct all or a portion of gifts committed to this project to NCC’s Stewardship Endowment Fund for Ontario. Revenue generated by the Stewardship Endowment Fund provides for long-term management on properties across the province, including NCC conservation lands in the Ottawa Valley. In the event that this project becomes fully funded or cannot be carried out, your gift will be allocated to the next urgent priority in this natural area.

To learn more or to donate contact Pia Kaukoranta Vahabi, senior development officer,

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