Kawartha Land Trust wants to partner with landowners to help conserve the Fleetwood Creek watershed

October 24th event in Bethany is also open to anyone interested in this significant natural area

Land conservation organization Kawartha Land Trust, which is already protecting two properties in the Fleetwood Creek watershed including the Ballyduff Trails (McKim-Garsonnin property) pictured above, wants to partner with private landowners to further protect the area's biodiversity and water quality. (Photo courtesy of Kawartha Land Trust)
Land conservation organization Kawartha Land Trust, which is already protecting two properties in the Fleetwood Creek watershed including the Ballyduff Trails (McKim-Garsonnin property) pictured above, wants to partner with private landowners to further protect the area's biodiversity and water quality. (Photo courtesy of Kawartha Land Trust)

Kawartha Land Trust — the only charity and non-government land conservation organization working to protect land in the Kawarthas — is looking to partner with more private landowners in the Fleetwood Creek watershed to conserve the area’s biodiversity and water quality.

The expanse of the Fleetwood Creek watershed. (Map courtesy of Kawartha Land Trust)
The expanse of the Fleetwood Creek watershed. (Map courtesy of Kawartha Land Trust)

The Fleetwood Creek watershed is located in the southeastern portion of the Kawartha watershed. The creek begins just north of Pontypool Road southeast of Manvers, with about half of it falling within the Oak Ridges Moraine.

It then extends north, combining with the Pigeon River, and finally flows into the Trent-Severn Waterway near Omemee.

This connected landscape, featuring lowland forests, hardwood bush, wetlands, meadows, and steep valleys, is on a mix of privately and publicly protected lands along with private land stewardship.

The watershed encompasses the Fleetwood Creek Natural Area as well as two properties protected by Kawartha Land Trust: Sheidow Farm – Awde-Ertel and Ballyduff Trails – McKim-Garsonnin.

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The Fleetwood Creek watershed is significant because it has an outstanding amount of connected natural land, making for an intact wildlife corridor and contributing to climate change resilience, as well as excellent water quality — making it one of the best opportunities in the Kawarthas to improve habitat quality of cold water streams for species like Brook trout.

The Fleetwood Creek watershed has an outstanding amount of connected natural land, making for an intact wildlife corridor and contributing to climate change resilience. (Photo courtesy of Kawartha Land Trust)
The Fleetwood Creek watershed has an outstanding amount of connected natural land, making for an intact wildlife corridor and contributing to climate change resilience. (Photo courtesy of Kawartha Land Trust)

While many private landowners in the area have already been caring for and enhancing their land on their own for decades, over the past year Kawartha Land Trust has been working with landowners through its Fleetwood Creek Watershed Initiative.

For landowners whose properties have been identified as having significant conservation value, Kawartha Land Trust has been conducting landscape analysis to deepen landowners’ understanding of the natural features on their property, assisting with land stewardship planning, advancing enhancement, and connecting landowners with other available resources.

Since Kawartha Land Trust launched the initiative in 2018, 10 landowners have already participated — allowing the organization to protect an additional 1,000 acres of ecologically significant land, improving aquatic connectivity and habitat diversity.

The streams and creeks in Fleetwood Creek watershed are one of the best opportunities in the Kawarthas to improve habitat quality of cold water streams for species like Brook trout.  (Photo courtesy of Kawartha Land Trust)
The streams and creeks in Fleetwood Creek watershed are one of the best opportunities in the Kawarthas to improve habitat quality of cold water streams for species like Brook trout. (Photo courtesy of Kawartha Land Trust)

Some of the projects underway or completed include managing invasive plants to protect forest biodiversity and planting native tall grass prairies and wildflower meadows to enhance pollinator habitat.

Kawartha Land Trust is inviting landowners in the Fleetwood Creek watershed to attend an event about the Fleetwood Creek Watershed Initiative at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 24th at the Bethany Community Hub (3 George St., Bethany).

The event includes presentations from 7 to 8 p.m. — including on the significance of the Fleetwood Creek watershed, how some area landowners are caring for and restoring their land, and Kawartha Land Trust’s Stewardship on Private Lands program — followed by a “map your property” and question-and-answer session until 8:30 p.m.

Wetlands in the Fleetwood Creek watershed. (Photo courtesy of Kawartha Land Trust)
Wetlands in the Fleetwood Creek watershed. (Photo courtesy of Kawartha Land Trust)

While the event is intended for landowners in the Fleetwood Creek watershed, anyone who wants to learn more about the Fleetwood Creek watershed is welcome to attend.

To RSVP or for more information, contact Kawartha Land Trust at tbrenot@kawarthalandtrust.org or 705-743-5599.

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For more information about Kawartha Land Trust, visit kawarthalandtrust.org.

This story was created in partnership with Kawartha Land Trust.

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