Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 Haliburton Highlands Land Trust Enviro-Hero Awards!

Youth environmentalist and advocate Jurgen Shantz and apiarist Ron Lofthouse are the 2019 award winners.

Mary Lou Gerstl, HHLT Chair, (left) congratulates  Jurgen Shantz on his accomplishments.

For the full story, please click the link below which will take you to an article published in The Highlander.



2019 Research Grant News!

Exciting news! Click Here to read more about our two recent research grants:  Climate Action Fund and Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Climate Action Fund Grant Media Release

OTF Media Release Dec 2019


Congratulations to our 2018 Enviro-Heroes!

Congratulations to Andrew Carmount and to Carolynn Coburn and Eric Lilius, deserving winners of the HHLT Enviro-Heros Awards!

Left to right Carolynn Coburn, Eric Lllius, Peter Brogden, Mary Lou Gerstl, Paul Heaven (absent Andrew Carmount)

Carolynn has been involved with Environmental issues in Haliburton County for decades.  She served as Chair of the Haliburton County CASE and is a long time president of Environment Haliburton.  She is a lawyer and has brought a reasoned and passionate approach to the ongoing development of sound public policing in our region.

Eric has been deeply involved in all manner of environmental protection in the Highlands for over 40 years.  He is an activist working tirelessly to support the presentation and facilitation of countless events such as speaker series, concerts and festivals.  These activities have raised the environmental consciousness of our community.  Eric’s commitment has been instrumental to the introduction of improved waste management and recycling in the county.

Andrew is an early supporter of protecting the environment.  He joined the Green Party at the young age of 15 and in high school, he was Vice President of the Student Council and worked very hard to revive the school’s recycling  program.  He educated students on the “how and why” of recycling as a member of the school’s eco-team he fought to keep the program operational.  A few years ago, he worked with other students to establish a community garden at Nature’s Place.  I hear that the tomatoes were so bountiful they were given away to visitors of Nature’s Place.  Andrew and friends produced a video to help educate people about sustainable gardening.  And, if that is not enough, Andrew sat on the Algonquin Highlands Environment Committee for 2 years.

The HHLT also honoured Paul Heaven for all the work he has done over the years to help us move forward with research projects and with our land acquisitions. Paul has also helped to put the Land Trust “on the map” through his excellent work on the Turtle Mitigation project and the Bats at Risk project.

Finally, the HHLT is also very grateful to Peter Brogden for making a significant donation of over $6000.  His donation will be put towards our properties and trails to fulfill his wish to make it possible for people of all ages to walk in the woods.  Peter is the first HHLT donor to donate securities.  Recently the HHLT has set up an account in order to be able to accept donations of securities. We are hoping that word will spread and that others will consider this option as we all work towards protecting the land we love for future generations!

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!

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!