Painted turtle. Photo by Cameron Curran

Painted turtle. Photo by Cameron Curran

Non-profit hopes to begin restoration work on local nature reserve

February 3, 2020
Fonthill, ON


The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), a non-profit conservation organization, will start restoration work on the Lathrop Nature Preserve, in Fonthill, Ontario, this winter.

Starting late January–early February, contactors will be conducting soil testing from the site of a popular nature trail near the two ponds on the property. To do this work, crews will be clearing some vegetation along the trails, and disruption to the site should be minimal. Species at risk locations have been mapped and will be protected from the ongoing work.

The restoration project, which was announced last summer, will restore two ponds, ensure trail safety and improve downstream water quality for brook trout, a native species at risk, and other aquatic species. But NCC still needs to raise funds to ensure this key project gets the green light to proceed.

The Lathrop Nature Preserve is located at the headwaters of Twelve Mile Creek — the last remaining cold-water stream. The preserve is also home to the only self-sustaining population of brook trout in the Niagara Region.

More than 100 years ago, what is today known as the Lathrop Nature Preserve was crossed by a railway. This railway also acted as a dam to the headwaters of Twelve Mile Creek and created two artificial ponds. While the old railway berm (embankment) is an important part of the existing public trail system on the property, it is deteriorating. This could create a safety hazard to trail users and downstream neighbours. The collapse of this berm would cause a flood of sediment and warm water downstream, which would kill aquatic animals and damage habitat and property.

The two artificially created ponds on the property are also negatively impacting Twelve Mile Creek. As standing water in the ponds warms up and flows into the creek, the creek temperature rises, making it difficult for brook trout and other cold-water species to survive.

NCC is committed to conserving the ecological values of the Lathrop Nature Preserve while ensuring safe public enjoyment.

NCC, a national land trust, is currently fundraising for this important restoration and visitor enhancement project. NCC has secured funding for the initial surveying and planning stages and is currently fundraising for the implementation phase. To learn more about this project or to donate, please contact NCC directly at 519-586-7773 x 205 or email


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

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Media Contact:

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

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