2022’s new protected properties
Posted on December 19, 2022
Thank you to the generous landowners who protected these beautiful places with us this past year!
The Kennedy Islands – 1.7 acres – Bayfield Inlet
Four pretty islands in central Bayfield Inlet will remain forever natural thanks to the generosity of Ross and Ann Kennedy.
The Kennedy Islands are classic Georgian Bay rock and pine, beloved not only by humans, but birds, turtles, and snakes as well. They are surrounded by fifty other islands as part of a relatively undisturbed archipelago, providing ample opportunity for local migration.
The Bayfield community at large is home to a wide variety of wildlife including species at risk such as snapping turtle, least bittern, Massasauga rattlesnake, Eastern foxsnake, five-lined skink, hog-nosed snake, bald eagle, and whip-poor-will. The fish community is extensive including smallmouth bass, walleye, northern pike, longnose gar, rock bass, sunfish and perch. The area is also a popular feeding and colony site for Common and Caspian terns.
Protecting the Kennedy Islands will contribute to protecting this biodiversity in the face of increasing development pressures, and connect conservation corridors to north and south.
Thank you Kennedys for this gift to Georgian Bay!
Kerry & AJ Mueller Easement – 65 acres – Otter Lake
Otter Lake – large, beautiful, and home to over 400 cottages – now has its very first protected area.
The Kerry and AJ Mueller Easement protects 65 acres of diverse forest habitat and 3,500 feet of natural shoreline. It contains a wide variety of large old trees including ironwood, trembling aspen, yellow birch, white pine, and eastern hemlock which will now be free to grow without disturbance.
The forest habitat is interspersed with rock barrens, a one-acre swamp, three streams, and several ponds, which provide habitat for a variety of animals, including at least five species-at-risk. This refuge will help ensure that Otter Lake’s animal populations remain vibrant into the future.
The property is already home to a Motus Wildlife Tracking Station, a small tower that records the movements of passing birds, bats, and insects for conservation research. We are so grateful to Kerry and AJ for taking this next step in dedicating the land to nature. We hope that the creation of this protected area will enrich Otter Lake for generations to come, and inspire others nearby to consider conservation too.