MapleCross Upland Hardwood Natural Area
Lewes, Kings County, Prince Edward Island
Island Nature Trust – 2020
44 hectares (109 acres)
Many Islanders feel a deep connection with their land and have made a thoughtful decision to keep it in its natural state. Ella Stewart is one such individual. Ella’s family, especially her late husband John, cared for the Lewes forest for decades, managing it well from the end of the second World War until John’s passing a few years ago. Ella’s family wanted to see the natural space conserved as the forest that held so many wonderful memories. Worried that the land would be converted to blueberry fields, Ella was relieved and pleased when Island Nature Trust offered to buy the land and protect it forever.
Thanks to a majority contribution by MapleCross Fund and additional generous donations from 25 Islanders, INT was able to secure the Lewes property. This beautiful 109-acre property contains old growth upland hardwood Maritime Acadian – Wapane’kati forest, now rare in Prince Edward Island and the Maritimes as a whole. Mature eastern hemlock, white pine, sugar maple, red maple, American beech and yellow birch are present in an uneven aged mixed wood mosaic, providing tremendous value as a seed source for surrounding younger forests. Two headwaters streams begin within the property and support a diverse array of wildlife, including at least one pair of the threatened songbird, olive-sided flycatcher.
This forest also abuts the homestead property of former Premier and conservationist, J. Angus MacLean. The marriage of these two well-stewarded forest areas secures inter-connectivity and greater movement for wildlife in a larger forested block. Thanks to the dedication of a community of conservationists, the MapleCross Upland Hardwood Natural Area is now protected forever.
Content and property pictures courtesy of: Island Nature Trust at islandnaturetrust.ca