Since 1984

The Big Picture Network: Haldimand County


Bassindale Farm: Building Habitat Connections

Howard Bassindale has lived on the family farm near Selkirk since he was a boy.   He and his brother Harold enjoyed the outdoors and the wildlife they shared it with.   More recently he decided to restore some of the habitat that has been lost, and so in 2005 he started work with the Long Point Region Conservation Authority to enhance a wetland on his land.   Over 13,000 trees, mainly hardwoods like Cottonwood and Green Ash in the low areas, and Oak and Hickory on the uplands were planted along with some White Pine by the LPRCA staff in random pods to mimic natural seeding patterns.   The new hardwood woodland connects all the woodlots on the farm and in the neighbouring block and has attracted species like the American Tree Sparrow and the Red-bellied Woodpecker.   ‘It takes an outdoors lover to do this' says Howard.   ‘You develop a picture in your mind and go for it!'   Funding was provided through Long Point Region Conservation Authority and from the Wetland Habitat Fund.

Ruthven Park

The Lower Grand River Land Trust, a nonprofit, charitable organization, owns and manages Ruthven Park, 1500 acres on the Grand River, 2 kilometers north of Cayuga.   The mandate is to conserve the natural areas and built heritage which includes Carolinian Forest, areas of provincially significant slough forest and wetlands, two cemeteries, walking trails, and nineteenth century buildings.   Also on site is the former town of Indiana which is being investigated by university students, researchers and archaeologists.   Ruthven also has a bird banding station as part of the Canadian Migration Monitoring Network whereby thousands of birds have been banded and recorded.   The station is connected to a university biodiversity program.   There are four public marked trails on the property and the historic Coach House is available for public rental.

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