Chaffey’s Lock – The Rideau Waterway Land Trust (RWLT) has begun a fund-raising campaign to purchase an important 30-hectare (74-acre) property on Opinicon Lake. It is located near the historic village of Chaffey’s Lock, in the heart of the Rideau Canal, Ontario’s only World Heritage Site.
The property is located within the Frontenac Arch UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and provides critical habitat for many species-at-risk. The Frontenac Arch also provides a “land bridge” that connects the boreal forest of the Canadian Shield to the forests of the Adirondack and Appalachian Mountains. This link helps to maintain genetic diversity in plant and animal life as our climate continues to undergo change.
The land abuts Provincially Significant Wetlands, is near the Queen’s University Biological Station (QUBS) and has been used for scientific research and education. The current owners now wish to sell the land and its acquisition is an ideal project to help the Trust celebrate its 25th year of successful operation.
The property was once owned by Don and Mary Warren. Don was one of the founders of the Rideau Waterway Land Trust, an educator and activist who led the community’s resistance to the plan to electrify the Rideau Canal’s locks in the 1960s. Mary was an enthusiastic supporter and was instrumental in convincing Don to purchase this property in 1965. The opportunity to establish the Warren Nature Reserve is a fitting tribute to their foresight.
If RWLT is successful in this fund-raising campaign, the property will be added to the Land Trust’s collection of 20 other protected properties along the Rideau Corridor between Kingston and Ottawa. RWLT is seeking to raise $120,000 towards the $435,000 project cost by April 2021; all donations will be used to leverage matching government funding. RWLT has a very short timeframe to raise these funds. Any and all donations from our local communities would be greatly appreciated.
Anyone interested can learn more about this project at www.rwlt.org/warren. Donations can be made at www.rwlt.org/donate, noting “Warren Property” in the donation comments. All donations will receive a charitable receipt.