Backus Woods, ON (Photo by Neil Ever Osborne)

Backus Woods, ON (Photo by Neil Ever Osborne)

A champion for conservation

April 5, 2019
Simcoe, ON


Thanks to a $1 million donation, Ontario is getting a boost for conservation

Thanks to retired businessman Frank Charles Miller’s million-dollar donation, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) will be able to protect more conservation land in Ontario.

In honour of the donation, NCC has named a conservation project in Norfolk County after the Hamilton, Ontario, resident. The Frank Charles Miller Nature Reserve borders NCC’s Backus Woods, a forest widely recognized as the best remaining example of older-growth Carolinian forest habitat in Canada supporting numerous species at risk, including Acadian flycatcher, eastern whip-poor-will, prothonotary warbler and monarch.

This incredible gift will help support the national not-for-profit land trust’s conservation efforts across Ontario. This includes protecting more land for species at risk, battling invasive species and ensuring that the next generation have forests, beaches, wetlands and grasslands to enjoy.

“Supporting conservation just makes sense,” said Miller. “As you grow older, you realize that protecting nature is protecting the future, and I can’t think of a better legacy to leave for those who come after us.”

Miller is known for his charitable giving in his home town of Hamilton, where he also made a significant gift to St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation.

“It is thanks to the generosity of our amazing donors like Frank Miller that we can continue to conserve Ontario’s most important natural areas and the species they sustain,” said Mike Hendren, NCC’s regional vice-president for Ontario.


  • The Frank Charles Miller Nature Reserve is located in the Carolinian Life Zone — a critical ecosystem that extends from the Carolinas to its northernmost point in southwestern Ontario.
  • Norfolk County is home to more than 45 provincially, nationally or globally rare plants and animals, one of the highest densities of rare and endangered wildlife in Canada.


The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) 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 to protect 2.8 million acres (more than 1.1 million hectares), coast to coast, with more than 200,000 acres (82,000 hectares) in Ontario. To learn more, visit

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Media Contact:

Nicole Senyi
Communications Manager
Ontario Region
C: 416-937-5079

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