The largest forests in Southern Ontario are found on the Bruce Peninsula. These ecologically rich forests support a wide array of biodiversity and provide valuable ecosystem services. However, this invaluable natural heritage is in peril—threatening habitat integrity for sensitive species, reducing carbon sequestration potential, and jeopardizing landscape connectivity. The Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association (BPBA) is committed to working hand-in-hand with local landowners to strategically improve our forests.
In 2015, with funding from the Friends of the Greenbelt, the BPBA developed a Forest Connectivity Strategy for the Bruce Peninsula, identifying key regional forest linkages. The Forest Connectivity Strategy plans to strategically improve regional forest connectivity by engaging landowners in voluntarily, incentivized forest restoration and stewardship. The benefits of enhancing forest connectivity on the Bruce Peninsula include improvements to valuable ecosystem services such as water filtration and improved aquatic habitat, reduction of soil erosion resulting in improved soil health on adjacent agricultural lands, and increased soil carbon sequestration from planting trees, hedgerows, and riparian vegetation. Additionally, this project is an opportunity to elevate the Greenbelt’s visibility and promote sustainable practices amongst local landowners, including farmers.
Earlier this year, BPBA volunteers planted 5000 tree saplings on a 6.5 acre site near Little Pike Bay. This effort was made possible by generous donations from the family and friends of Isobel Ganton to celebrate her 90th birthday.
The BPBA is seeking funding for a two-year project to engage landowners in voluntary forest restoration. Included in this project would be targeted environmental monitoring: wildlife cameras to capture information on corridor use by key species such as black bear; songmeters to track seasonal interior forest use by birds; sampling water systems to track changes in water quality; and, forest monitoring transects to track forest composition and tree survivorship. Stay tuned for more information!
Additionally, the BPBA organizes an annual Forest Festival in October, as a celebration of our forests and the stewards who protect them. **Unfortunately, this year's festival has been cancelled because of complications related to Covid-19.**
Interested in volunteering in any of our forestry projects? Please contact Elizabeth Thorn at (519) 377-5166.