Enviro-Hero Awards and Open House Thursday December 6, 1 to 4pm

Photo by Lyn Winans

Please drop in to the HHLT office on Thursday December 6 to say hello, enjoy a snack, and congratulate our 2018 Enviro-Heroes!  The open house runs from 1pm to 4pm. The Enviro-Heroes Award winners will be announced at 2pm.  Hope you can join us!

Barnum Creek Nature Reserve Awaits You!

Support Barnum Creek trails today!

New! “OUR CALENDAR” of HHLT Events and Community Events

Click here for a full calendar of our events and community events!

Exciting News! Barnum Creek Nature Reserve

The HHLT is excited to announce the donation of a beautiful property, Barnum Creek Nature Reserve! Read on to find out details…

Barnum Creek Nature Reserve

Through the Federal Ecological Gifts Program, Leopoldina and Margaret Dobrzensky have donated approximately 500 acres to the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust. In addition to the 500 acre donation, the Dobrzensky’s have established a Conservation Easement on an additional 100 acres adjacent to the donation property. The HHLT will be responsible for the long term sustainable management of this property. Public access will be restricted on parts of the property as the Dobrzensky’s will continue to live on the property.

 The donation was announced at the 2018 Annual General Meeting of the Land Trust on June 2, 2018. The property will be known as the Barnum Creek Nature Reserve.

At this time, June 2018, there is no public access to the property.  The HHLT will now strike a Management Committee whose responsibility will be to provide stewardship for this property, develop a property map, properly sign trails which will be eventually opened to the public, and develop a long term management plan for the property.  Until then, public access will only be through guided walks and other events.

The Dobrzensky’s are long-time and well known residents of Haliburton County. Over the years, they have managed their properties in a sustainable manner to ensure the ecological values associated with their properties would be maintained. Under terms of the Ecological Gifts Program, the HHLT will continue to manage the properties, in perpetuity, to ensure the long term health and diversity of the ecosystems are protected and maintained.


The property is a spectacular example of the diversity of ecosystems in the Haliburton Highlands. The Reserve includes habitats ranging from Tolerant Hardwood Forest, Mixedwood Forest, Marsh and Swamp as well as Open Upland Successional Forest habitat which is reclaiming former agricultural land.  Similar habitats are found immediately south of the property and onto a large tract of Crown Land that is known to provide habitat for Species at Risk such as Blanding’s Turtle, Whip-Poor-Will and Five Lined Skink. The Open Upland Successional Forest habitat is known to provide suitable habitat for numerous Species at Risk (SAR) known to occur in Haliburton County. The property is a component of a large, contiguous tract of natural landscape that provides habitat for local flora and fauna, including many Species at Risk.

A significant component of the property is comprised of mature maple forest with abundant ground cover including wild leek, blue cohosh, leatherwood and maidenhair fern. Calcareous soils, which are limited in the Haliburton Highlands, are derived from fingers of marble, dolostone and limestone extending into the granitic rock that dominates the landscape.

The property is bisected by Barnum Creek which drains from Barnum Pond, located approximately 2 km east of the property, and flows into Barnum Lake, located approximately 6 km west of the property. The creek changes in nature as it passes through the property from a wide marshland on the east, to a narrow flowing creek, and finally to a series of beaver ponds. The creek serves as important habitat for moose, deer fox, wolf, beaver, porcupine and muskrat. Blue Heron and a wide variety of bird species are abundant. In addition to providing important habitat, the wetlands also deliver important ecological functions such as flood attenuation, groundwater recharge/discharge and water filtration.

Loss of Founding HHLT Chair, Ian Daniel

It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Ian Daniel on May 3, 2018.  As the Founding Chair of the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust, Ian’s quiet strength and determination set the course for the organization.  Ian played a number of key roles on the Land Trust Board for its first five years and remained an engaged Land Trust supporter throughout his life.  In his professional life, Ian was a superb educator and administrator.  At his beloved cottage on Mountain Lake he enjoyed the beauty of the lake and the surrounding landscape. Ian was always an active participant in life and enjoyed golf, curling, skiing and time with his family.  Meetings were worked around these activities.

Ian’s wisdom, patience and kindness prevailed in all circumstances.  He once said that one didn’t start a project unless one could imagine a chance of success.  Ian not only succeeded in his vision for the Land Trust, he has left a lasting legacy.

A special tribute is planned and will be held at the HHLT Annual General Meeting on June 2 at the Minden Cultural Centre.

BATS research project entering year two!

The HHLT is very excited to have been approved to continue our Bats research project!  Read on to learn all the details and also click the link to view the latest poster.


Media Release – for immediate release, May 10, 2018

The Land Trust Will Continue to Ask our Community to “Go to Bat” for the bats.

The Haliburton Highlands Land Trust (HHLT) has been approved to continue with the second year of its two-year grant by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry Species at Risk Stewardship Fund (OSARSF).

The primary focus of the grant in Year One was to identify the bat species and their distribution in Haliburton County.  Over 40 locations were visited and tens of thousands of bat calls were recorded.  “Though anecdotally we know that bat populations are not as high as they once were, it is good news that we have documented all 8 species found in the Province, including the four endangered species: the Little Brown Myotis, Eastern Small–footed Myotis, Northern Myotis and Tri-coloured Bat,” stated Paul Heaven, wildlife biologist and principal investigator for the “Bat Project”.

HHLT is once again asking the community to report any bat observations this year directly to their Office Administrator, Christel Furniss, admin@haliburtonlandtrust.ca or 705-457-3700.   Of particular interest is the presence of large numbers of bats at a specific location, as this may represent a roost site.

HHLT also monitors all Species at Risk (SAR) in the County, so please continue to submit all SAR observations to Paul Heaven, pheaven@glenside-eco.ca or 705-286-3181.

Year Two will follow-up on active bat sites found in 2017. An examination of activity identified 6 sites that represent probable maternity roosts of the Little Brown Myotis and 7 sites that represent possible maternity roosts of the Eastern Small-footed Myotis, Northern Myotis or Tri-colored Bat. All thirteen sites have been identified for further investigation during the 2018 field season. These actions directly meet critical actions identified in the Northern Myotis, Eastern Small-footed Myotis, Little Brown Myotis and Tri-colored Bat provincial recovery strategies. There will also be continued observations and documentation on all properties (approximately 700 acres) that HHLT currently owns, manages and protects.

“Remember that bats play an important role in the environment.  They are nature’s environmentally friendly insecticide.” says Mary-Lou Gerstl, HHLT Chair, “Bats can consume thousands of mosquitoes and other insect pests in one night”

Learn more about these fascinating, beneficial creatures by attending HHLT’s presentation by one of the world’s foremost authorities on bats, Brock Fenton, Professor Emeritus of Biology/UWO, “Exploring the Lives of Bats” at the Minden Cultural Centre on May 26th, @ 7:00pm.

Last year HHLT hosted an extremely successful bat box building workshop.  Given the overwhelming response and interest from the community, the HHLT is pleased to announce that this year they will be hosting two more bat box build workshops, in partnership with Abbey Garden and The Fish Hatchery.  Come out and build your own bat box to help reduce the number of biting insects on your property.  The first workshop will be held Saturday, June 9th at The Fish Hatchery (HHOA) and the second will be Saturday July 21st at Abbey Gardens.  They both start at 10:00 a.m. and end approximately at noon.  Kits will be supplied. Registration is limited so don’t be disappointed. Register today at www.haliburtonlandtrust.ca .

To learn more about the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust, please visit www.haliburtonlandtrust.ca or call 705-457-3700.

Mary Lou Gerstl

Chair – Haliburton Highlands Land Trust

HHLT Volunteers at Dahl Forest

Boundaries and a Bear!!  A great day spent with volunteers Jan MacLennan and Peter Dahl, Shawn Chevalier, Dave Northcote, and Joan Duhaime, marking boundaries at the Dahl Forest!  Many signs of moose and saw some beautiful wetland beaver ponds.  Also ran into a bear…. read on!



We unexpectedly disrupted a bear in his den! (Jan’s leg broke through a brush pile near the den)The bear woke up, exited his den, and proceeded to run quickly into the bush right between Jan and Joan.  Thanks to this hearty group of volunteers for a fun and productive day!


Opening of the den which was under a fallen tree.

Bear prints in the snow from it’s hasty exit!

Reptile Road Show Photo Gallery!

Click Here to view our Reptile Road Show 2018 Photo Gallery! We all had a great time and learned a lot from Scales Nature Park!

Good News! Ontario Land Trust Alliance 2018 Federal Budget Media Release

Click on this link to learn how the February 2018 Federal Budget will support Land Trusts and conservation efforts across Canada!

OLTA Federal budget Media Release

Your Land, Your Land Trust

The HHLT is working hard to protect land in Haliburton County for generations to come! Get to know us: make a donation, volunteer to monitor one of our properties, or just spread the word about the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust!