New Land Trust Property Acquisition: Barnum Creek Nature Reserve


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The HHLT is pleased to announce the acquisition, through donation and Conservation Easement Agreement, of a beautiful, ecologically diverse property.

Through the Federal Ecological Gifts Program, Leopoldina and Margaret Dobrzensky have donated outright approximately 500 acres to the HHLT, while another 100 acres will be protected through a Conservation Easement Agreement between the Dobrzenskys and the HHLT. The Dobrzenskys are long-time and well-known residents of Haliburton County and, over the years, have managed their properties in a sustainable manner to ensure the ecological values associated with their properties would be maintained. Under terms of the Ecological Gifts Program, the HHLT will continue to manage the properties, in perpetuity, to ensure the long-term health and diversity of the ecosystems are protected and maintained.

The property is located a few kilometers south of the town of Haliburton in the Township of Dysart et al. To be now known as The Barnum Creek Nature Reserve, the property is a spectacular example of the diversity of ecosystems in the Haliburton Highlands. The Reserve includes habitats ranging from forests to wetlands.   The property is a component of a large, contiguous tract of natural landscape that provides habitat for local flora and fauna, including many Species at Risk. Similar habitats are found immediately south of the property and onto a large tract of Crown Land that is known to provide habitat for Species at Risk such as Blanding’s Turtle, Whip-Poor-Will and Five-Lined Skink.

The property is bisected by Barnum Creek which drains from Barnum Pond, located approximately 2 km east of the property, and flows into Barnum Lake, located approximately 6 km west of the property. The creek changes in nature as it passes through the property from a wide marshland on the east, to a narrow flowing creek, and finally to a series of beaver ponds. The creek serves as important habitat for moose, deer fox, wolf, beaver, porcupine and muskrat. Blue Heron and a wide variety of bird species are abundant. In addition to providing important habitat, the wetlands also deliver important ecological functions such as flood attenuation, groundwater recharge/discharge and water filtration.

The announcement of this very special land donation was made at the Land Trust’s 2018 AGM on June 2.  Leopoldina Dobrzensky told the crowd how happy she was knowing that the land she and Margaret love so dearly will now be preserved for future generations. She explained how an abandoned farm property that she and her husband bought in the 1970s, which at the time had little value, became priceless to them as they discovered the wealth of flora and fauna that existed on the property and visited special places such as Barnum Creek and its small waterfall.   After 44 years of careful management by Leo’s late husband and her daughter Margaret, they are passing the land to HHLT in excellent condition.   The HHLT will continue this practice of wise stewardship and   protect and care for this beautiful property for generations to come.