Pine Ridge (Hartley)
Property Location:Omemee, Ontario
Donor:Bob and Mary Hartley
Open to Public:No
Protection:Conservation Easement Agreement
Bob and Mary Hartley have owned the Pine Ridge property for 37 years and, in December of 2018, they teamed up with KLT through the development of a Conservation Easement Agreement (CEA) to ensure the protection of this remarkable property. A CEA allows property owners to provide professional stewardship to the land while still retaining private ownership.
Sitting along the Hogsback Esker (Omemee Esker) just west of Pigeon River, this 44-acre property contains some trees that are estimated to be up to 215 years old!
Pine Ridge sits at a pinch point along a north-south wildlife corridor – a critical pathway in an otherwise fragmented landscape. Many species at risk are found in this area and benefit from this property’s connection to surrounding natural areas, which includes a county-protected forest.
The property is covered by forest and contains vegetation types that are rare to find in the local region. For example, it is unusual to find Musclewood trees this far north, but it is likely that the area’s sheltered valleys have created a microclimate in which these trees, and other locally underrepresented species, are able to survive.
A small man-made pond lies on the property, as well as a small abandoned agricultural pasture and a residence with a small barn. In the past, the land was used as both a hobby cattle farm and a small maple syrup business.
The Pine Ridge property is located on a 19 km long esker, a ridge of stratified sand and gravel that was formed by the movement of glaciers during the Ice Age. An esker’s sand and gravel is often mined and extracted for its economic value and the Hartleys worried that if they eventually sold the Pine Ridge property it might one day be developed into a gravel pit, a fear that lead them to reach out to KLT to formulate the CEA.
Now, the Pine Ridge ecosystem enjoys long-term protection and the Hartleys enjoy their peace of mind!
“This property is beautiful and has all kinds of unique features,” Mr. Hartley said. “I enjoy it every day when I walk it with my dog and when I jog through it three times a week.”