Donor:Scott Wootton and Catherine Kirk
Open to Public:No
In 2018, Scott Wootton and Catherine Kirk gifted a 33-acre property containing a portion of a Provincially Significant Wetland (PSW).
The land is located between Hwy. 28 and Coon Lake Rd. It has been identified by the Kawarthas Naturally Connected Collaborative using the best available conservation science as an important piece of our natural landscape. Approximately half is mixed forest, providing an important buffer to the PSW.
“Cath and I have lived in the Burleigh area long enough to see firsthand many species of animals that call the Fraser Wetland area home”, says Scott Wootton, “Some of which are endangered, which speaks to the importance of helping preserve this sensitive environment.”
Wootton continues, “It is our hope that the list of endangered species is reduced rather than increased in time and that is the underlying motivation for this gift.”
KLT ownership of this property ensures permanent protection of a link in a natural corridor between Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park and the Fraser Wetland Complex.
The property contains two wetland units of the Fraser Property Wetland Complex, a large wetland that has very diverse vegetation. In 2017 the Ontario Municipal Board turned down a plan to build a 58-unit condo development on the 675 acre Fraser Estate, stating that ”there’s a multitude of animal, amphibious, bird and plant species on the site, and that some are species at risk (the Blanding’s turtle, for example)”.
“The forest around the wetland is really the icing on the cake,” says Thom Unrau, KLT Stewardship Manager. “Wetlands receive more policy protection than forests in our county. This wetland complex is already dissected by Hwy. 28, clearing the forest next to it would be another blow to its integrity.”
The majority of the property is forested, Sugar Maple being the most common kind of tree.. Other deciduous trees inhabiting the property include Large-tooth Aspen, White Ash, and Red Oak. The forest is also a part of a provincial deer yard and provides critical habitat for a number of species at risk.
KLT has a goal to ensure public access when it is compatible with the long term protection goals of these sites and features, and correspond with the wishes of the land donor. The Wootton property is not open for public access.