Branchton Village Land Trust


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Branchton Carolinian forest preserved

Posted by Paul Eagles on March 1, 2016 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (0)

St. George Lance, Thursday June 26, 1997

BRANCHTON — A special ceremony was recently held to dedicate a remnant of Carolinian forest to conservation.

Thanks to the foresight of the local community, a nine-acre (three-hectare) site in Branchton now known as Branchton Village Woods, has been preserved. The property was purchased in January by the Branchton Village Land Trust, composed of members of the local community.

The Branchton Village Land Trust is a private charity dedicated to preserving the landscape, ecology and native wildlife in the Branchton area. "Our group realized the importance of protecting and preserving this small remnant of Carolinian forest because of the many varieties and rarity of some species of vegetation and wildlife found within," says James Voll, President of the Trust. "This none-acre forested woodlot is situated in the centre of the village and greatly enhances the beauty of the village. It is our hope that the forest continues to flourish over time and that all residents, young and old, continue to enjoy and learn from it."

The Branchton Village Woods is adjacent to a provincially significant Class 1 wetland and is part of the Branchton Swamp Forest complex, a regionally significant environmentally sensitive area. The woods is an excellent example of an oak-hickory forest with the largest documented stand of Sassafras and the largest individual Sassafras tree in the region of Waterloo. The forest provides habitat for a wide variety of breeding birds including the Scarlet Tanager, Wood Thrust, Red¬headed Woodpecker and the Yellow-throated Vireo.

The property was purchased by the land trust thanks to the generous financial contributions made by Jack and Mary-Lou Hessler, the Ontario Heritage Foundation (OHF), Canada Trust's Friends of the Environment Foundation, the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the residents of the village of Branchton.

Joanna Bedard, Chair of the OHF says, 'This community successfully took on a very ambitious project. We applaud all of the individuals and groups who stepped forward to protect this significant woodland.

Future generations will continue to benefit from the beauty of the property and foresight of these local stewards."

"Protecting the environment begins in our own backyards and the Friends of the Environment Foundation is delighted to assist in the preservation of this significant piece of Carolinian forest history," says Paul Morris, Cambridge Chapter Secretary for the Friends of the Environment Foundation.

Through the Nature Conservancy of Canada's Community Forest Conservancy Program, funded by the Richard Ivey Foundation, the Conservancy assisted the land trust in the negotiations to purchase the property and provided legal and other advice. An interest-free loan was provided to the Branchton Land Trust by the Conservancy which enabled the land trust to close the deal.

'The Branchton Village Land Trust and the other contributors should be praised for securing this remnant Carolinian forest for the people of Branchton and Ontario," says Elva Kyle, Chair of the Nature Conservancy of Canada. "The protection of this property is significant since one-third of all of Canada's rare, threatened or endangered species are found in the Carolinian zone. The dedication celebrates the protection of this area which present and future generations will be able to enjoy as a place to learn, to teach and to wonder."

Since its formation in 1962, the Nature Conservancy of Canada has worked with individuals, corporations, foundations and governments to protect more than 1.2 million acres (490,000 hectares) of prime wildlife habitat across the country.




Forest Management Grant

Posted by Paul Eagles on January 19, 2016 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (0)

The Branchton Village Land Trust received a grant from The Region of Waterloo Environmental Stewardship Fund in 2015. The money was used to bring down dangerous, dead trees. After the ice storm of late 2014, there were many brokend and leaning trees in the forest. These created a danger to anyone in the forest. The grant enabled the Land Trust to hire a forestry company to cut down the trees. The wood was left on the ground to decompose naturally.

Letter from the President

Posted by Paul Eagles on October 31, 2011 at 6:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Message from the President

October 31, 2011

The objectives of the land trust are to ensure thepreservation of the land, forest, animal and plant life found within the nineacres of the forest lands. We also wanted to ensure the lands were nevercommercially logged. With the newly produced “Branchton Village Land TrustBotanical Report”, we now know just how significant this parcel of land is andare proud to have protected it during this time.

It should also be noted that wildlife has flourished withinthe woods. Deer, wild turkeys and a large variety of birds amongst others, maketheir home in the forest.

For us, as residents and homeowners, it is nice to know thatstudies dealing with real estate values, properties, not just those abuttingsuch forested lands, are significantly more valuable when they are near this type of land feature.

However, with the responsibility of managing the Trust comesthe function of protecting the forest from encroachments, dumping, hunting andtrespassing. Twice each year we walk the forest to pick up garbage andneighbour’s garden clippings. We do not appreciate the dumping but, more over,the clippings interfere with the natural vegetation as they re-seed and grow.The no trespassing notices on the land is a necessity for the Trust and its Directors to enforce, as we do not want to see anyone be injured or place any undue liability on the Trust and Directors. While we have always had this policy, we will be posting NO TRESSPASSING signs in the fall of 2011.

The good news is that anyone wishing a tour of the woods cancontact Dr. Paul Eagles. He would be more than happy to accommodate where andwhen possible. Another good way to see the woods is to help us clean up the woods when we do our spring and fall cleanup. We would welcome your help.

Thank You

James Voll


Branchton Village Land Trust


Website Launch

Posted by Paul Eagles on September 5, 2011 at 7:35 PM Comments comments (0)

The Branchton Village Land Trust Website was launched September 5, 2011.