TAY VALLEY TOWNSHIP, Nov. 30, 2020 – Towering white pines, maple groves and rocky outcrops overlook a provincially significant wetland in a new property donated to the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) this fall.
The 1.55-acre parcel connects to Long Lake beside the RVCA’s Mica Mines conservation area, further protecting the lakeshore and provincially significant wetland that stretches to Big Rideau Lake. While the property isn’t huge, donor Martin von Mirbach recognized its ecological value soon after purchasing a 35-acre swath of land along the lake in 2017.
“I spend a lot of time right across from the donated property, and it’s completely wetland,” von Mirbach said. “It’s not especially useful to me, but I have enjoyed watching the blue herons, ospreys and trumpeter swans who use it. I’d like to ensure that they can continue to make use of this wetland.”
RVCA’s Conservation Lands Planner Chelsey Ellis said the ecological value of the property will only grow with time.
“This is perpetual protection. As development and growth continues, the significance of these small protected areas gets bigger,” Ellis said. “Over time, the benefit per acre is huge.”
Whip-poor-wills, a species at risk in Ontario, have been found on the site. The property also features 300 metres of unaltered shoreline, which is vital for wildlife, key to maintaining good water quality and important for flood reduction.
Von Mirbach said it gave him “great satisfaction” to donate this sliver of property that, as it turned out, was already severed from his acreage and a hassle come tax time.
Besides reducing his own red tape, he was happy knowing how much good protecting it will do for the local wetland complex.
Von Mirbach encouraged other landowners to call the RVCA if they suspect their surplus land is worth donating.
The RVCA and the Rideau Valley Conservation Foundation prioritize waterfront properties, and place high value on properties that include wetlands, forest cover, floodplain, steep slopes, unstable soils, species at risk, ecological restoration potential or that connect to another public property or natural area. Depending on the property, donations could be eligible for considerable charitable tax benefits through the Ecological Gifts program.
How else can I help?
No land? No problem! Donations to the Steve Simmering Conservation Land Endowment Fund help the RVCA and its charitable foundation cover annual maintenance costs like property taxes, fencing and signage.
With your help, we can continue to protect our 6,578 acres of ecologically important properties, and also feel financially prepared to accept important new land donations in the future.
And between Nov. 20 and Dec. 1, you can double your impact thanks to a matching promise from Enbridge Gas.
To make a donation, visit https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/11994 and choose Steve Simmering Conservation Land Endowment Fund.
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