We at KEEN are proud to partner with The Bruce Trail Conservancy and hope to not only be able to continue to donate for land acquisitions and stewardship programs, but to also educate the public about the BTC and its challenges and its successes.
Bruce Trail Conservancy Accomplishments in 2009/2010
Each year The Bruce Trail Conservancy spends from $1 to $2 million on purchases of land, preserving hundreds of acres of the Niagara Escarpment. They have protected a diverse array of landscape types within the Niagara Escarpment UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve: wetlands, karst topography, open meadows, caves, towering scarp edges and lush forests.
During 2009/2010, The Bruce Trail Conservancy contributed to the securement of 10 parcels of land on the Niagara escarpment. These acquisitions mean permanent preservation of a record 927 acres of Escarpment land, and 7.6km of Bruce Trail Optimum Route secured. Here are a couple recent acquisition highlights:
- The Pallisades – Sydenham
- Cuckoo Valley Overlook – Beaver Valley
- Ley’s Burn – Blue Mountain
- Dyer’s Bay Cliffs – Peninsula
- West Fork – Caledon Hills
- Malcolm Bluff Shores – Peninsula
- Speyside Sanctuary – Toronto
- Grindstone Creek – Iroquoia
While $2.4 million in land value is an incredible accomplishment, it pales in comparison to the value that preserving those lands gives back to our community. The 2008 Suzuki Foundation report titled Ontario’s wealth, Canada’s future – Appreciating the value of the Greenbelt’s Eco-services calculates a dollar value for the ecological goods and services provided by natural lands within Ontario’s Greenbelt, including the Niagara Escarpment. Ecological goods and services include carbon storage, water filtration and supply, flood control and air purification. Using the report’s data, the ecological benefits provided by the 10 properties secured in 2009/2010 are estimated close to $2.2 million each year.
Other notes of interest:
Over 150 Land Stewards and Ecologist help to protect the Escarpment’s vast array of habitats, including tall grass prairies, mature forest, alvars, wetlands and cliff faces.
The Bruce Trail Conservancy’s 1,100 volunteers contributed the equivalent of approximately $2 million in labour value this past year. The volunteers keep the trails safe and accessible for its thousands of visitors each year, through trail maintenance and addressing incidences such as vandalism, garbage, diseased trees, etc.
*Information and photos are from The Bruce Trail Conservancy Annual Report