Local land trust secures 60 hectare property north of Frontenac Park

TerreOak (now Somerville Nature Reserve), will be protected in perpetuity. Photo via Land Conservancy for KFLA.

A generous donation has allowed the Land Conservancy for Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (Land Conservancy for KFLA) to secure a new conservation property north of Frontenac Park.

According to a release from the land trust, the new property features 60 hectares of unspoiled nature and has common features found in the Eastern Ontario Canadian Shield region, including granite outcrops, mixed deciduous and coniferous forest, and wetlands. Along with a long list of native species identified, the land trust said that species at risk include Eastern Ribbon Snake, Gray Rat Snake, Eastern Wood Pewee, and Monarch.

This ecologically significant land has been named the Somerville Nature Reserve, after the donation from Betty and Keith Somerville, whose wish is to see this natural beauty protected from development forever, the land trust noted.

Keith Somerville recounted his early love of spending time in nature, saying, “I took great joy in sitting quietly in the woods or on the water, enjoying the sights and smells, watching the wildlife that surrounded me. I loved being on the water and became an avid four-seasons fisherman.”

He went on to state that his dream has been to see TerreOak (now Somerville Nature Reserve) protected in perpetuity.

According to the release, the property has been secured with the support of the Government of Ontario through the Greenlands Conservation Partnership, which helps conserve ecologically important natural areas and protect wetlands, grasslands and forests that help mitigate the effects of climate change. Through the Greenlands Conservation Partnership, a total of $50 million will be invested over four years, the land trust stated, including $20 million from the Ontario government, and another $30 million from other sources, such as individual donations and foundation support through the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Ontario Land Trust Alliance, and other levels of government.

The Land Conservancy for KFLA is a non-profit, non-governmental, all-volunteer effort. Its purpose is to acquire and steward conservation lands to ensure that future generations can continue to benefit from the region’s rich natural heritage. According to the release, the Land Conservancy for KFLA currently protects 13 properties totalling 452 hectares (1117 acres) of land conserved for nature, forever.

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