NCC protects 83 hectares of forest and wetland in Frontenac Arch
The new property helps connect most vital forest corridor east of the Rockies
Thanks to the generous support of public and private donors, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has protected a vital swath of forest and wetland approximately 40 kilometres north of Kingston. It prevents it from being lost to other uses and ensures that species like the endangered cerulean warbler bird can continue to find refuge in the canopy of the dense forests in the area.
NCC program director for Eastern Ontario Rob McRae calls the 83-hectare (205-acre) property on Devil Lake “a missing piece” in the jigsaw puzzle of protected land that stretches from Frontenac Provincial Park in the west, to lands managed by NCC and Queen’s University in the east.
This strip of rocky outcrops, wetlands and forest known as the Frontenac Arch Natural Area connects the northern forests of Algonquin with the Adirondack Mountains of New York State, forming a critical habitat linkage between the hardwood and mixed forests of Ontario with the Appalachian Mountain chain of eastern North America. The Frontenac Arch Natural Area is one of the most important forest corridors east of the Rocky Mountains.
“There are some wonderful forest species in the area that require the unbroken canopy in order to thrive,” said McRae. “The cerulean warbler, for example, really needs the space that this intact block of forest provides.” McRae added: “There are estimated to be less than 1,000 of these songbirds in Canada, and the species faces habitat loss both here in Ontario and in its South American wintering grounds”. The forests of the Frontenac Arch provide a key refuge for cerulean warbler.
Mississagua Creek and its web of wetlands along the east side of the newly acquired property support a variety of waterfowl and provide an important migratory resting point for species like wood duck and hooded merganser. Endangered species like king rail and American butternut have also found safety in this region.
The project was funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program, part of Canada’s Nature Fund, as well as by funding provided by the Ontario government, through the Greenlands Conservation Partnership. Private donors — including neighbours in the Devil Lake area — also supported the purchase and stewardship of the property.
“Having an intact and secured Frontenac Arch on Kingston’s doorstep is special. It opens opportunities for outdoor recreation and maintains beautiful wildlife habitat at the narrowest point of the Algonquin to Adirondacks corridor,” said McRae. “Here, every acre counts.”
The Frontenac Arch was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Region in 2002 and expanded in 2007. Biosphere Reserves are designed to engage local communities in conservation of biodiversity and cultural diversity, and to support research and education on sustainable development.
“As the Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands, I am pleased that critical forest and wetlands in Frontenac Arch will be protected for generations to come. Protecting and conserving more nature has important benefits for biodiversity, human health and the fight against climate change. By working with organizations across the country like the Nature Conservancy of Canada, we are creating a cleaner, healthier future for our children and grandchildren.” - Mark Gerretsen, Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands
“Our government is growing Ontario’s conserved green spaces to protect important natural areas and provide people with more outdoor recreation opportunities that benefit our physical and mental health,” said David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “By collaborating with conservation leaders like the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Ontario Land Trust Alliance, Ontario can achieve our shared goals to protect our land, air and water for future generations.”
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 14 million hectares (35 million acres), coast to coast to coast, with more than 84,000 hectares (207,000 acres) in Ontario. To learn more, visit natureconservancy.ca.
The Government of Canada’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program (NHCP) is a unique public-private partnership to support new protected and conserved areas by securing private lands and private interests in lands. The program is managed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). Federal funds invested in the program are matched with contributions raised by NCC and its partners, Ducks Unlimited Canada and the country’s land trust community.
The Ontario government’s Greenlands Conservation Partnership helps partners secure land to conserve ecologically important natural areas and protect wetlands, grasslands and forests that help mitigate the effects of climate change. The government will partially match private and other non-provincial contributions to the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Ontario Land Trust Alliance, to help conservation partners secure, restore and manage new protected areas.
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