205 acres north of Kingston now protected land, conservancy group says

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The Nature Conservancy of Canada says a stretch of forest and wetland about 40 kilometres north of Kingston is now protected land.

NCC program director for Eastern Ontario Rob McRae calls the 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.

nature land

“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 said.

“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,” adding that the forests of the Frontenac Arch provide a key refuge for cerulean warbler.

Mississagua Creek and the 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 federal Natural Heritage Conservation Program, , as well as 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.

frontenac arch

“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,” said Kingston MP Mark Gerretsen.

“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.”

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