Celebrating Canada Day with Conservation Action: Nature Conservancy of Canada protects older growth forest

King City, ON – The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is proud to announce the protection of an ecologically significant property in the Happy Valley Forest, just north of Toronto. Together with Environment Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR), York Region, the Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation and private donors, NCC has secured significant upland forest habitat. The spectacular property is part of NCC’s annual Gifts to Canadians program, and will forever be a natural legacy for future generations.

“It is wonderful to have our major partners here to celebrate with us today,” remarked Chris Maher, NCC Ontario’s Regional Vice President. “It is the power of partnership that enables us to accomplish incredible conservation feats like protecting this important property, making sure that places like this will stand forever.”

The 72-acre (29-hectare) property has been secured with support from the Government of Canada under the Natural Areas Conservation Program.

“I am proud to mark the second anniversary of the Natural Areas Conservation Program, a great partnership between the Government of Canada and non-government conservation organizations, such as the Nature Conservancy of Canada, that has yielded concrete results with the conservation of important lands across our country,” said Canada’s Environment Minister Jim Prentice. “This is a great example of what public-private partnerships can achieve when sharing the same objectives of preserving and protecting Canada’s Environment.”

The very successful and long-standing NCC-OMNR Greenlands partnership also provided funds to ensure the protection of this incredible property which showcases Ontario’s natural heritage.

"Conserving significant natural areas in southern Ontario takes cooperation among governments, organizations and individuals,” noted Ontario Natural Resources Minister Donna Cansfield. “By securing this property in Happy Valley, we have taken another step toward protecting the landscapes and species that make this province a great place to live."

This new property in the Happy Valley Forest will be added to NCC’s Roberta Langtry Nature Reserve and supports at-risk species like the endangered Acadian Flycatcher and the threatened Hooded Warbler. The Happy Valley Forest has the potential for achieving old-growth structure in the next 50 years. It also provides important headwater habitat protection for waters flowing to Lake Simcoe and Lake Ontario.

This is the eighth year that NCC has marked Canada Day with Gifts to Canadians celebrations. The chosen landscapes represent NCC’s ongoing work to conserve the country’s biodiversity from coast to coast, and to leave a lasting natural legacy.

For more information please visit www.natureconservancy.ca/ontario.

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Species and landscape photos and staff interviews are available upon request.

For more information:
Laura Mousseau
NCC Communications Coordinator, Ontario
Telephone (Toll Free): 1-877-343-3532 x235
Mobile: 519-830-7770
E-mail: laura.mousseau@natureconservancy.ca

Mark Stabb
NCC Program Manager, Central Ontario
Telephone: 905-862-2642
Mobile: 905-904-0300
E-mail: mark.stabb@natureconservancy.ca

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