Just outside of Craighurst, there is a jewel. Not the kind that sparkles and shines, but the kind that is so special and so irreplaceable, it is worthy of being preserved and cared for forever.
The jewel I am referring to is a 17-acre mature forest called Elliott Woods. This well-loved property was donated in 2006 by Heather and Don Elliott, who happened upon it while travelling around the region. The property is adjacent to a Simcoe County forest and is a mixture of upland hardwoods. Heather and Don regularly took their kids and grandkids for picnics and walks in the woods and when Don learned he had cancer, they knew it was important to ensure it would be protected forever. By donating it to the Couchiching Conservancy, they created a living legacy and people who visit benefit from their generosity.
Elliott Woods lies within the Oro Moraine, which is one of its four areas of strategic interest for the Couchiching Conservancy. The moraine is ecologically important because of the significance of the forest interior habitat, which is key for the wildlife and plants.
Our final Passport to Nature event of 2015 took place this past Sunday at this property. The event is full, but it’s worth knowing about, since it gives you a flavour of things to come next year, when the passport program starts again.
Along the edge of the moraine,
there are a number of key
wetland areas & water drains to
Lake Simcoe, Severn Sound
and Nottawasaga Bay.
Because the moraine has
a filtering effect, the water moving
through it is thought to be
Look, See, Paint provides nature lovers with the opportunity to get inspired by nature with local artist Jeff Miller and naturalist Eleanor Reed. The foliage should be at peak fall colours by that time, so people will have plenty to get their creative juices flowing.
Participants can learn about the variety of hardwoods and ferns and might see or hear a number of birds, such as wood thrush. The Look, See, Paint program was created by Jeff more than 20 years ago. Since then, he has been sharing his love of art and nature with people of all ages. Eleanor has a wealth of knowledge and experience in forestry. Professionally, she guides landowners in methods to achieve their personal goals while respecting the integrity of the forest.
Elliott Woods is open to the public to enjoy walking, birdwatching and nature appreciation. And who knows — if the sun is shining through the trees and the morning dew still lingers on the blanket of leaves, the forest may come alive and sparkle and shine like a jewel.
Written by Tanya Clark.