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Preservation of Beeton Heritage Forest hailed by environmentalists

August 23, 2019   ·   0 Comments

Formal transfer of land will be celebrated September 28

By Brock Weir

Local environmentalists are celebrating the preservation of 43 hectares of nature in Beeton.

The Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust will formally mark the donation of the local lands, to the trust, on Saturday, September 28, with a guided hike.

The land, which will form the basis of a nature preserve, has been in the process of donation from the Town to the Land Trust since 2017, and these transfers are now complete.

“The Town is extremely pleased to donate this land to the Trust to ensure it is preserved and protected for generations to enjoy,” said Mayor Rick Milne in a statement.

This enthusiasm was echoed by Susan Walmer, Executive Director of the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust.

“Collaboration between the community, Councillors and the Trust made the protection of this heritage forest and wetlands possible,” she said. “We couldn’t have done it without our amazing supporters who each care about the health of the land and future generations. We are thrilled to have protected our first property in Beeton and look forward to the connections we can continue to build between our environment and community.”

The Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust protects environmentally sensitive and important lands on the Oak Ridges Moraine, Greenbelt, and into Simcoe County. It was formed by 2000 by citizen advocates looking  to protect lands in those three areas.

To date, the Trust has secured over 1,784 hectares of land on nearly 60 properties.

Since many watercourses in Simcoe originate on the Moraine, the Trust says protection of lands such as the Beeton Heritage Forest, is important to ensure the protection of water for generations to come.

The Beeton Heritage Forest land is, of course, home to trees, birds, butterflies and many other species, but it is more than that. The lands encompass a diverse eco-system of wetlands, woods and meadows which play vital roles in the cleaning of air and water, including Beeton Creek.

“The preservation of our beloved Heritage Forest is a victory for conservation,” said Neil Arbic of the Beeton Heritage Forest Preservation Society, which will play an important role in the lands’ future. “Through listening and open-minded communication, the Beeton Heritage Forest Preservation Society has found common ground between nature lovers and neighbours. Town Council was inspired to support the preservation of this unique forest for the future of our community. We look forward to stewarding the property for years to come.”

While the land will be preserved for generations to come, the area has played a very important role in the lives of generations past, particularly First Nations.

“The Huron-Wendat Nation is delighted to see that one of our villages is to be completely protected within the new Beeton Forest,” added Dr. Louis Lesage, Director of the Huron-Wendat Lands Office: “This was a place where our ancestors lived full lives within a palisaded village enclosing dozens of longhouses. Several hundred of our ancestors lived in this forest although at the time, five hundred years ago, much of the forest was cleared for agricultural fields. It is comforting to see the landscape and forest returned to its original grandeur. We congratulate the Oak Ridges Moraine Trust on this magnificent accomplishment.”


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