Norfolk Field Naturalists: Supporting Central Conservation

Norfolk Field Naturalists: Supporting Central Conservation

The Norfolk Field Naturalists (NFN), a club with 150 members based in Norfolk County fronting on Lake Erie, has been very active in supporting land acquisition in the heart of what is called Carolinian Canada. This is the “deep south” of southwestern Ontario that is home to Ontario’s Carolinian forest zone and its rich diversity of tree, plant and animal species found nowhere else in Canada. Over the last two years, the club has raised and donated $30,000 towards the purchase of two significant nature reserves in the county. The first property, which closed in December 2003, was the Walsingham Savanna, a 400-acre former tobacco farm. This project was a partnership among Ontario Parks, the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Long Point Basin Land Trust. Restoration of the agricultural fields will help to enhance the protection of such rare species as the Black Rat Snake and the Hooded Warbler.The second exciting project the NFN has supported is the purchase of a 23-acre old growth forest. This property is being purchased by the Long Point Basin Land Trust; the deal closed in December 2004. The Jackson Gunn Old Growth Forest, as it will be called, has many trees that are over 280 years old, as well as a Bald Eagle’s nest that has been active for the last 11 years. The NFN knows that it isn’t enough to just set these significant sites aside, so the club will be actively involved in the stewardship of these reserves to protect and enhance local biodiversity.

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Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.