Announcing the Butternut Creek Nature Reserve

The Butternut Creek Nature Reserve is a project to rewild a 150-acre farm property purchased near Moose Creek, ON. It will promote ecological diversity, habitat restoration, climate resiliency, and reforestation in the area.

Historically part of the traditional lands of the Huron-Wendat, the Mohawk and the Audenosaunee (Iroquois). the site was colonized by the Johnsons around the time of Confederation. After being cleared of its maple, hemlock, and cedar woods, the fertile land supported a thriving Aryshire dairy farm and later crop farming. In the 1980’s it was purchased by Richard Warnock, a hydraulics engineer with a farming background, and his wife Jean who ran it as a Welsh pony breeding operation while allowing some parts of the farm to slowly return to nature. Now the plan is to actively continue the re-wilding of the property, using human intervention and assistance to optimize habitat development and biodiversity.

Along the way we’ll be exploring some of the issues around land-sharing and land-sparing as well as working through questions such as

  • how do we showcase the “ecological services” provided by this property in a natural state. Environmental services (air, water, natural space for people), and also services to promote biodiversity.
  • what economic activities are compatible with these goals? How does our not-for-profit operation generate revenues to sustain the project?

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