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O'Leary Family Wetland

City of Kawartha Lakes

Established 2023


Protected Acres


Patrick O'Leary

Open to public:




Interesting Features:

The O’Leary Family Wetland, part of the Emily Creek No. 2 Provincially Significant Wetland, was donated to Kawartha Land Trust in 2023 by Patrick O’Leary.

This 100% wetland property — a paradise to wetland-loving creatures — abuts KLT’s Emily Creek Wetland, expanding the protected natural lands in the area.

A peaceful place, the property is home to Sensitive Ferns, Silver Maples, Eastern White Cedars, Red Osier Dogwoods, a large stand of Endangered Black Ash Trees, and Speckled Alders.

Speckled Alder grows rapidly and inhabits wetland environments like those found on the O’Leary Family Wetland. A favorite of Beavers to build their dams and lodges with, this shrub also provides cover and food for Moose, Muskrats, Cottontail Rabbits, Snowshoe Hares, and several songbirds who feed on parts of this plant, including twigs, foliage, seeds, and buds.

A variety of lichens, mushrooms, and moss can be found throughout the property. The cavity trees and snags found at O’Leary Family Wetland support the wildlife who rely upon them, including overwintering birds and bats, for nesting sites, denning, and rest.

This swamp also provides breeding habitat for amphibians whose numbers are dropping worldwide due to habitat loss and other factors. Northern Leopard Frog, Wood Frog, Green Frog, Mink Frog, Spring Peeper, and at-risk Western Chorus Frogs have been heard in the swamps surrounding this property.

In the winter months, calls from Black-capped Chickadees, Crows, Blue Jays, and woodpeckers can be heard and the tracks of small mammals can be seen in the snow.

This property was secured with support from Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund (NSCSF).

Canada’s Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund (NSCSF) is a $1.4 billion, ten-year fund (2021–2031) administered by Environment and Climate Change Canada to help conserve, restore, and enhance the management of ecosystems such as wetlands, forests, and grasslands, in order to help tackle the dual crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. The NSCSF will focus on three main objectives: (1) conserving carbon-rich ecosystems at high risk of conversion to other uses that would release their stored carbon; (2) improving land management practices to reduce their greenhouse gas emission-causing impacts on Canada’s ecosystems; and (3) restoring degraded ecosystems. Overall, these projects will contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and increased carbon sequestration, while also providing benefits for biodiversity and human well-being.

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