New Nature Reserve In Barkway Is An Impressive 173 Acres


Off to a great start in 2023 Muskoka Conservancy has just added another nature reserve! This will be the 51st property Muskoka Conservancy is now protecting and its second acquisition in 2023.

“One interesting feature of this property is that it directly borders the Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Provincial Park on two sides,” said Scott Young, executive director at Muskoka Conservancy. “By adding more protected land to the area, wildlife benefit from connectivity of their corridors.”

Acquired on Jan 23rd 2023, the new nature reserve in Barkway is an impressive 173 acres. This includes 50 acres of wetlands, and 825 ft of shoreline.

“Features like wetlands and rock barrens are highly biodiverse and provide habitat for many species-at-risk of reptiles and birds,” said Amanda Porter, Conservation Coordinator at Muskoka Conservancy. “We are excited to find out more about the species inhabiting the new nature reserve.”

In the spring, Muskoka Conservancy’s team will make visits to the nature reserve to do a complete biological inventory.

Because of the area’s proximity to Silver Doe Nature Reserve – another NR protected by Muskoka Conservancy – we expect to find species such as Blandings Turtle, Whippoorwill, Five-lined Skink, a variety of snakes, and much more!

In large part, we‘d like to thank the Ontario Land Trust Alliance (OLTA) and their Nature Smart Climate Solutions Program supported by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) for making this conservation project possible.

This fund goes to supporting projects that conserve, restore and enhance wetlands, peatlands, and grasslands to store and capture carbon.

“Each land acquisition is different,” said Young, ”we are happy this went through without a hitch.”

Muskoka Conservancy is a charity and land trust that acquires land in Muskoka for the purpose of nature conservation. Some of these lands are donated, while others are purchased by the land trust for their ecological significance.

President Bob Weekes of Muskoka Conservancy had this to say as he reflected on the organizations start of the year, “Muskoka Conservancy is going from success to success in protecting significant habitat for all manner of species. This is yet another example of how we are ensuring that there will be a place in Muskoka and southern Parry Sound for the natural world in the future. We encourage members of the public to visit our website to see what we are up to and how they can become involved. Future generations will thank us!”

In total, Muskoka Conservancy now protects 3915 acres; 60,481 feet of shoreline; and 703 acres of wetland.

Thanks in large part to the Nature Smart Climate Solutions Program!

This program supports projects that provide natural climate solutions, by conserving and restoring ecosystems that store and capture carbon, whilst enhancing environmental resilience and providing critical habitat for Canada’s wildlife.


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