The Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority says it has made two land acquisitions that will protect wetlands in the Lake Simcoe watershed.
With the help of the Regional Municipality of York, the conservation authority bought a parcel of land adjacent to its existing land holdings in the Pottageville Swamp Conservation Area.
The Regional Municipality of Durham and the Toronto Field Naturalists helped the LSRCA receive a donation of a strategic parcel of land along the Uxbridge Brook. This acquisition secures a 3.5 km corridor of significant forest, riverine and wetland area. The conservation authority’s Herrema property straddles the brook just north of Leaskdale Road. Downstream the Toronto Field Naturalists own several parcels of land stretching north to Fowlers Road.
Comprising more than 13 hectares (32 acres) of land, these additions bring the total land owned by the conservation authority to 1,440 hectares (3,558 acres).
“The Toronto Field Naturalists are delighted that our LSRCA neighbours are working with us to protect this large continuous natural heritage corridor in perpetuity,” said Bob Kortright, President of the Toronto Field Naturalists.
“The conservation authority and its partners are making a significant investment in environmental health of Lake Simcoe by protecting these wetlands in the watershed,” says Virginia Hackson, chair of the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority.
Wetlands perform a critical function for the health of Lake Simcoe by filtering river water before it reaches the lake. In addition, the wetlands help to protect downstream communities from flooding as they slow and absorb spring run-off.
Largely undisturbed by human activities, the extensive areas of cattail marsh in the wetlands also provide breeding habitat. Visitors may see muskrats, common snipes, least bitterns, waterfowl and many species of frogs. Closing the gap in the chain of protected land helps ensure that the lands remain natural and gives wildlife a protected habitat.