Submitted by the Muskoka Conservancy
Protecting headwaters is fundamental conservation work
Muskoka Conservancy has been able to secure 150 acres in southwest Huntsville that is the headwaters of a stream that flows into Three Mile Lake.
“Protecting source water is about as fundamental as it gets when it comes to conserving our environment, but in this case, it’s even more important,” said Scott Young of Muskoka Conservancy.
Three Mile Lake is known to have serious issues with water quality. The lake frequently experiences blue-green algae blooms, most recently in 2019 and 2020. Algae produces toxins that are harmful to the health of humans and animals, and public health officials have warned residents not to drink water from this lake and avoid water sport activities where an algae bloom is visible.
“Straight up, that’s just not what Muskoka is about,” said Young. “It’s not what Ontario or Canada is about either.”
Muskoka Conservancy is the nature conservancy of Muskoka that now protects 46 properties featuring over 700 acres of wetlands and over 60,000 feet of natural shoreline on Muskoka’s lakes.
“I would personally like to thank our members for believing in us and helping to fund this critical work,” Young added. “Special thanks go to the Kenneth M Molson Foundation for their major contribution to this project.”
The new nature reserve will be called Source of Three Mile Lake Nature Reserve. About half of the area is wetland feeding a series of ponds and a stream that meanders west into Three Mile Lake, the Dee Bank River, Lake Rosseau and beyond.
“This is a fantastic accomplishment for our volunteers and supporters, but there’s so much more to be done,” says Young. “Developers are well funded and moving fast. We’ve got to pick up the pace.”
The deal just closed on Thursday, July 22 and Young said the Conservancy will need to have a closer look at the property to determine if any part of it is suitable for a public trail.
Learn more about nature conservation in Muskoka at muskokaconservancy.org
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