Rose Island Nature Reserve
Carling Township, Ontario
Georgian Bay Land Trust – 2020
116 hectares (287 acres)
This Georgian Bay Land Trust’s new Rose Island Nature Reserve in Georgian Bay was made possible in no small part through the generosity of the MapleCross Fund. This crucial support brought the project over the goal-line in late 2020. We are happy to be able to now say that 116 hectares of older-growth forest and wetlands on Rose Island are now a permanent nature reserve held by the Georgian Bay Land Trust.
The Rose Island Nature Reserve has long been a priority for conservation due to its ecological significance. Rose Island is one of the few islands on eastern Georgian Bay with sandy soils – a remnant of ancient glacial deposits. These soils are the reason for the island’s unusually diverse deciduous forest, which is a rare habitat type on the eastern Georgian Bay coast. This glacio-lacustrine ecosystem contains some of the last remaining old-growth forest in Southern Ontario. The Rose Island Nature Reserve also features 70 acres of wetlands, including two large interior swamps and two coastal marshes. It contains suitable habitat for 29 species at risk, and is home to over ten species at risk, including the federally endangered Monarch Butterfly, Eastern Foxsnake, and Blanding’s Turtle.
The Rose Island Nature Reserve will provide opportunities for people to enjoy and learn about nature, through an existing trail system that will be open to the public and school groups. The island is key connecting piece in linking northern and southern Georgian Bay’s coastal habitats. Rose Island is a coastal migration corridor that reaches a pinch point around Parry Sound,” says Bill Lougheed, Executive Director of the Georgian Bay Land Trust. “Our goal has always been to maintain the integrity of this corridor, which allows wildlife to pass between the lands of Wasauksing First Nation to the south, Killbear Provincial Park to the north, and beyond.”
We are so grateful the Government of Canada’s contribution of $150,000 in matching funds through the Natural Heritage Conservation Program and for MapleCross’s contribution, and other foundations and individual donors.