Kawartha Land Trust Recieves $2.9 million Investment from Province’s Greenlands Conservation Partnership

Lakehurst Ontario – Kawartha Land Trust (KLT) is proud to announce the purchase of its largest conservation property in the charitable organization’s 22-year history, which was secured with financial support received from the Province of Ontario’s Greenlands Conservation Partnership.

KLT’s Hammer Family Nature Preserve comprises 1,400 acres of forests, wetlands, fields, and natural shoreline along Pigeon Lake. The preservation of this property ensures the protection of its important ecological values, maintains vital natural connectivity in the region, and provides future opportunities for public access and nature connection.

“Kawartha Land Trust is extremely grateful for the government funding partners and private donors who made this ambitious project possible,” said John Kintare, Executive Director of Kawartha Land Trust, “The protection of this natural gem of the Kawartha’s is an important investment in nature, in the Kawartha’s, and Ontario at large. It was only though our strong partnerships that we were able to achieve such a positive conservation outcome.”

The protection of KLT’s Hammer Family Nature Preserve was made possible in part through the support of a $2.9 million investment from the Province of Ontario’s Greenlands Conservation Partnership. The $38 million program helps conserve ecologically important natural areas and protect wetlands, grasslands, and forests that help mitigate the effects of climate change.

“Today’s announcement marks one of the largest non-profit conservation projects in the Kawarthas and I am very proud of Ontario’s contribution through the Greenlands Conservation Partnership program,” said Andrea Khanjin, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “By working alongside strong conservation leaders, we have been able to leverage public and private funds to protect ecologically important natural areas for generations to come.”

“Today’s investment of $2.9 million demonstrates the Ontario Government’s commitment to preserving our ecosystems across all of Peterborough-Kawartha,” said Dave Smith, MPP for Peterborough-Kawartha. “I want to thank Kawartha Land Trust for stepping forward and all the advocacy work and experience that they have in ensuring that our natural heritage and ecosystems are preserved for future generations. Kudos to Kawartha Land Trust for all they do and thank you for continuing to advocate for our environment this way,” added MPP Smith.

“Our government is proud to support the Kawartha Land Trust in their monumental conservation efforts,” said Laurie Scott, MPP for Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock. “Keeping this land safe helps protect its important natural features, safeguard crucial habitats, and will allow for people to connect with nature now and in the future.”

“The Ontario Land Trust Alliance (OLTA) congratulates Kawartha Land Trust on protecting the amazing Hammer Family Nature Preserve,” said Alison Howson, Executive Director, OLTA. “Since 2020, OLTA has been supporting Greenlands Partners like Kawartha Land Trust to secure new properties that conserve sensitive ecosystems. The Greenlands Conservation Partnership protects habitats for many species at risk and has made significant increases in the availability of green spaces for the people of Ontario to enjoy.”

Vital funding for this project was also received from the Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund (NSCSF) and private donors. The fund helps conserve, restore, and enhance the management of ecosystems such as wetlands, forests, and grasslands, in order to help tackle the dual crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.

Three-quarters of KLT’s Hammer Family Nature Preserve is home to tracts of forests and
wetlands. The preservation of this unique property will ensure the vital ecological services it provides — clean air, clean water, and mitigating the effects of climate change — will be protected for current and future generations.

“The support and financial investments from the Province of Ontario, Government of Canada, and private donors, has resulted in the creation of a regional and provincial community asset,” said Kintare. “This conservation outcome would also not have been possible without the countless contributions of KLT’s dedicated community of volunteers, donors, partners, and supporters throughout our 22-year history. For that, I thank each and every one of you.”

consult local stakeholders, Williams Treaties First Nations, and community partners to inform future stewardship plans, partnerships, and public access to the property, all while maintaining and strengthening the ecological values of KLT’s newest and largest nature reserve.

The organization is also working on a public fundraising campaign to allow for the ongoing stewardship of the property, including habitat enhancement and restoration, species at risk surveys, property maintenance and monitoring, future trail maintenance, and other actions as determined through the community consultation process.

Quick Facts:
• The Hammer Family Nature Preserve is located on the east side of Pigeon Lake in the Municipality of Trent Lakes. In total, the nature preserve protects 1,411 acres of forests, wetlands, fields, and natural shoreline along Pigeon Lake — seven times bigger than Emily Provincial Park.
• The property features over 200 acres of wetlands in total — 183 acres of which include sections of the Bear Creek Provincially Significant Wetland (PSW) and Fulton’s Bay — Oak Orchard Wetland (PSW).
• The Hammer Family Nature Preserve protects approximately 700 acres of deep upland forest, which is uncommon for the region. The forest provides vital habitat for species that are sensitive to disturbance and require large tracts of woodlands, like the at-risk Wood Thrush.
• Species at Risk that can be found on the property include Blanding’s Turtle (listed provincially as Threatened), Monarch Butterfly (recently uplisted to Endangered federally), Golden-Winged Warbler (listed provincially as Special Concern), Evening Grosbeak (listed provincially as Special Concern), Barn Swallow (listed provincially as Special Concern), Eastern Meadowlark (listed provincially as Threatened), Butternut Tree (listed provincially as Endangered), and Black Ash Tree (listed provincially as Endangered).
• The property is located less than one kilometre away from KLT’s second-largest protected property—KLT’s publicly-accessible Big (Boyd/Chiminis) Island. At 1,142 acres, it is the largest known undeveloped island in the Kawarthas.
• Since 2020, the Greenlands Conservation Partnership has conserved more than 166,000 hectares of land and water through 75 key ecologically significant projects (Source: OLTA).
• For every dollar of provincial funding provided through the Greenlands Conservation Partnership, NCC and OLTA and land trust partners have matched it with approximately $5 from other conservation partners, including individual donors, foundations, and other levels of government (Source: OLTA).
About Kawartha Land Trust (KLT)
Kawartha Land Trust (KLT) is a dynamic land conservation charity with an impressive track record of growth. Our mission is to care for the lands entrusted to us and help others protect the land they love in the Kawarthas. We create nature reserves for future generations by acquiring ecologically important properties and/or interests in properties. We also enhance our stewardship of the land by engaging landowners in land care initiatives through our Partners in Conservation program. Founded in 2001, KLT protects 34 properties that include more than 6,700 acres of ecologically diverse lands, some of which include hiking trails that introduce thousands of people to nature in the Kawarthas every year. We have achieved our successes through the work of our dedicated and growing team of donors, volunteers and supporters. Together, we can ensure more natural spaces in the Kawarthas are preserved forever. KLT works within the Treaty 20 Michi Saagiig Territory and we are dedicated to continuing to create meaningful connections and relationships with First Nations communities in our region as we build upon these connections.
Learn more about Kawartha Land Trust and how to support land conservation in the Kawarthas: · www.kawarthalandtrust.org
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· Twitter: www.twitter.com/KLTptbo
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John Kintare, Executive Director Cell: 705-731-7347 Office: 705-743-5599, ext. 2 Email: jkintare@kawarthalandtrust.org