The Haliburton Highlands Land Trust announced last week that it had received a grant for more than $36000 from Environment and Climate Change Canada to map and evaluate the Kendrick Creek Wetland Complex with the goal of having the area designated a provincially significant wetland.
The Fred and Pearl Barry Wetland Reserve which is one of the land trust’s properties is at the top of Kendrick Creek at the outflow of South Lake and is part of the wider 849-hectare wetland complex.
HHLT chairperson Mary-Lou Gerstl said part of the project will include education and awareness raising about the importance of wetlands to the overall environmental health of the region and their role in combating climate change and flooding.
One of the first orders of business will be a presentation to Minden Hills council.
“I think they’re going to find this exciting certainly for them it brings awareness to climate change and the value of the wetlands to mitigate flooding. We want them to be the first to know” Gerstl said in an interview.
The Barry Wetland is about 25 hectares but the funding is to map and evaluate the whole complex which will be led by biologist Paul Heaven.
“He’s done a fair part of the areas around [the Kendrick Creek complex] already certainly he is very familiar with the Barry Wetland and he’s very familiar of course with the species at risk that live on these properties in the wetland” she said.
The wetland complex is part of the watershed that extends into Snowdon Park a popular place for people to go hiking snowshoeing or walking their dogs.
Gerstl said the land trust will be reaching out to landowners who have property on the wetland complex and letting them know about the importance of the wetland to the environment as well as about tax incentives that may exist.
“Awareness is the key here. The more that people are aware of what a wetland does for us and how vast it is [the better]” she said. “I was shocked when Paul [Heaven] showed imaging of the wetlands – and it’s many many wetlands that are all connected and they all work together to mitigate flooding.”
The funding for the project is provided through the Climate Action Fund.