MapleCross Shoreline Reserve, Eastern Lake Ontario Coast, ON (Photo by NCC)

MapleCross Shoreline Reserve, Eastern Lake Ontario Coast, ON (Photo by NCC)

Rare piece of Prince Edward County’s undeveloped shoreline protected

July 9, 2020
Belleville, ON


Nature Conservancy of Canada conserves 55 hectares on south coast

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) and its partners today announced the creation of a new 55-hectare (135-acre) nature reserve near Belleville, Ontario: the MapleCross Coastline Reserve.

The national not-for-profit, private land conservation organization, in collaboration with the Hastings Prince Edward Land Trust (HPELT), has purchased this important piece of the local conservation puzzle. HPELT was instrumental in helping engage the community and assist with fundraising efforts for this project.

The MapleCross Coastline Reserve is a collection of undeveloped shoreline, coastal wetland, forest, alvar and grassland habitats. This conservation success was made possible thanks in part to generous match funding from the MapleCross Fund.

The property contains 16 hectares (40 acres) of rare coastal wetland — part of the Provincially Significant South Bay Coastal Wetland — that provides a buffer against local flooding as well as habitat for migratory birds, turtles, frogs and fish.

The property is located in the Prince Edward County South Shore Important Bird and Biodiversity Area. The site provides vital stopover habitat for a wide variety of migratory birds. The surrounding area is also home to a variety of resident and migratory bat species, such as endangered little brown myotis, along with big brown bat, hoary bat, migratory silver-haired bat and eastern red bat.

This land conservation project was made possible with funding from the Government of Canada, through the Natural Heritage Conservation Program, part of Canada’s Nature Fund. These funds were matched by the MapleCross Fund, Hastings Prince Edward Land Trust, the Gosling Foundation, the Consecon Foundation, Kingston Field Naturalists, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, and many additional generous donors.


“We are very grateful for the work of volunteers from the Hastings Prince Edward Land Trust, who helped with local fundraising for this acquisition. There has been great local support for this project.” Mark Stabb, program director for central Ontario east, Nature Conservancy of Canada

“Wetlands are among the most productive and important ecosystems on Earth. They provide habitat for wildlife, act as nurseries for fish, reduce flooding and clean our water. That’s why it’s so important to protect those that we have left here along Lake Ontario’s coast.” Mike Hendren, regional vice-president for Ontario, Nature Conservancy of Canada

“Having lived in proximity of the Great Lakes for many years, we have become increasingly aware of their uniqueness and splendour, as well as their fragility. We are thrilled to be working in partnership with the Nature Conservancy of Canada, the Government of Canada and other donors toward the acquisition of the MapleCross Shoreline Reserve, 55 hectares (135 acres) of environmentally sensitive land in Prince Edward County on Lake Ontario. Together, we are committed to restoring and preserving the integrity of our land for our community and for all Canadians.” - Dr. Jan Oudenes and Dr. Isobel Ralston, MapleCross Fund; “Investing in Canada – Investing in Nature”

“The conservation of the MapleCross Coastline Reserve provides important habitat for migratory birds, protects biodiversity, and helps prevent flooding. Through the Canada Nature Fund’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program, our government is proud to support projects like this one, which help us reach our goal of conserving a quarter of Canada’s lands by 2025.” – The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change


  • The latest in a series of new protected areas on the south coast of Prince Edward County, the MapleCross Coastline Reserve adds to a network of conservation lands, which includes the:
    • 560-hectare (1,400-acre) Prince Edward Point National Wildlife Area, managed by Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Canadian Wildlife Service;
    • 198-hectare (490-acre) Miller Family Nature Reserve, owned and stewarded by HPELT; 
    • 95-hectare (234-acre) Ducks Unlimited Canada property at Gravelly Point;
    • 31-hectare (76-acre) NCC Hudgin-Rose property; and
    • 15-hectares (38-acre) Mark Bass Nature Reserve.
  • National Wildlife Areas are created and managed for the purposes of wildlife conservation, research, and interpretation. Environment and Climate Change Canada's National Wildlife Areas protect over 2.1 million hectares of habitat with over three-quarters of that area protecting marine habitat.


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.

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Nicole Senyi
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C: 416-937-5079

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