A historically significant patch of land is under new protection.
Completed this week, a deal that transfers 43 hectares of land from the Town of New Tecumseth to the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust, land known as the Beeton Heritage Forest.
With the help of the Beeton Heritage Forest Preservation Society, the forest will be cared for and maintained with single walking paths and as a nature reserve. Neal Arbic, the Society’s President was thrilled with the donation, “The preservation of our beloved Heritage Forest is a victory for conservation. Through listening and open-minded communication, the Beeton Heritage Forest Preservation Society has found common ground between nature lovers and neighbours. Town Council was inspired to support the preservation of this unique forest for the future of our community. We look forward to stewarding the property for years to come.”
Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust Executive Director Susan Walmer commented that “Collaboration between the community, councillors and the Trust made the protection of this heritage forest and wetlands possible. We couldn’t have done it without our amazing supporters who each care about the health of the land and future generations. We are thrilled to have protected our first property in Beeton and look forward to the connections we can continue to build between our environment and community.”
While the forest is a significant ecological gem, its cultural history as the site of a former indigenous community will also be protected under this transfer. “The Huron-Wendat Nation is delighted to see that one of our villages is to be completely protected within the new Beeton Forest.” says Dr. Louis Lesage, the Director of the Huron-Wendat Lands Office. “This was a place where our ancestors lived full lives within a palisaded village enclosing dozens of longhouses. Several hundred of our ancestors lived in this forest although at the time, five hundred years ago, much of the forest was cleared for agricultural fields.”
Barrie 360’s Lisa Morgan visited a celebration Saturday, recognizing the donation of the land. Listen here for more information.
Banner photo courtesy Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust