Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Times They Are A-Changin'

Things are changing up at the Carden Alvar.

Wilson's Snipe

Since 1998 the Nature Conservancy of Canada has been acquiring land; the Katherine McGuaig MacDonald Nature Sanctuary was donated to the NCC in 1998, while the Cameron and Windmill Ranch properties were purchased by the Nature Conservancy in 2003 and 2006, respectively (with the support of the Couchiching Conservancy, Ontario Parks, and others). Just this year Bluebird Ranch was also acquired. Of course there is also the much-hyped Loggerhead Shrike reintroduction program. These changes have been slow and incremental. This year however, there is a noticeable change in the look and feel of the entire area. Signage has been improved. The bluebird boxes have been repainted and labelled in a more sophisticated manner. There are nice parking spaces along Wylie Road, and the surface of the road is smooth and graded. There is a fantastic new 1 km walking trail that takes you along the edge of the Sedge Wren marsh. There is a portable restroom at bluebird box 10 for crying out loud. Most shocking of all was a sign declaring "Birders Welcome".

Signage for New Sedge Wren Marsh Walking Trail

To top things off there is currently a notice on the Ontario Environmental Registry of a proposal to establish Carden Alvar as a regulated natural environment class provincial park where members of the public are encouraged to submit their comments.

Black-billed Cuckoo
Upland Sandpiper

Yes, this all seems like really great news for Carden.

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