You can Help Protect the Black River Wildlands

In Birds, Funding, Nature Reserves & Easements by couchiching

We have a special opportunity to bring a section of one of the last wild rivers under protection.

With your help, more than 4 km of one of the last
wild rivers in southern Ontario will be protected forever.

The Couchiching Conservancy has a rare opportunity to protect more than 4 km of Black River shoreline, winding through 730 acres of diverse wilderness. This parcel will fill a significant gap in Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Provincial Park. The river runs through the core of the property and its floodplains features rich, deep sands that are uncommon in the rest of the park. Forest and wetland habitats make it a mecca for wildlife and birds.

The Conservancy is racing to raise $575,000 to purchase this Nature Reserve, to protect its ecological values from the rapidly escalating development pressures along the Black River. The Reserve will have trail use, canoeing and kayaking opportunities, with linkages to the Ganaraska Trail and Trans Canada Trail.

This is a great opportunity to bring this beautiful river run under permanent protection.

The time to act is now.

Quick Links: Donate ~ Photos ~ Maps ~ Video ~ Events


What’s special about this property?

  • Good representation of valley train deep sands left by the glaciers which adds a high diversity of habitats: vegetation-landform types not well represented in the adjacent provincial park;
  • Includes both sides of Black River for a distance of 4.4 km, a significant canoe route. This scenic and historic asset is one of the few remaining southern Ontario rivers not controlled by dams;
  • Habitat for multiple species at risk including Golden-winged Warbler, Canada Warbler, Blanding’s Turtle, Snapping Turtle, Five-lined Skink, and Hog-nosed Snake.
  • Located within the Black River priority habitat area identified in CC’s Natural Heritage Action Plan, at the crossroads of emerging east-west and north-south corridors critical to responding to climate shifts;
  • Annual spring floods store waters in extensive floodplain wetlands within the property;
  • Suitable breeding habitat on the property for at least 35 landbird species, four shorebird species and
    six waterbirds/waterfowl identified as regional priorities

Why it is imperative to protect this property now:

Acquiring this land will ensure the integrity of the river and the broader park landscape, which is at risk of being converted into small parcels and degraded.


Northern Mockingbird at Black River Wildlands. Photo David J. Hawke.

Northern Mockingbird at Black River Wildlands. Photo David J. Hawke.

Funds needed:

Expense Amount
Cost of land $466,000
Appraisal $9,500
Legal fees $5,300
Land Transfer Tax $5,800
Staff time $10,000
Stewardship Endowment (15%) $70,000
Audit $2,000
Signage, printing, communications $6,400
Total Project Cost $575,000

Your gift in action:

  • Protects a special piece of the wildlands on the edge of the North – 730 acres of pristine habitat for endangered, rare and at risk species – and fosters biodiversity in Ontario
  • Brings a beautiful river under permanent protection, supporting various species
  • Provides linkages to the Provincial Park, as well as protects wildlife corridors to the south on the Carden Alvar
  • Shows your commitment to protecting local green spaces for future generations

The time to act is now.

Donate Today

Upcoming Events

Janet Grand and volunteers are organizing a number of events at the property. You can hike, bike or paddle and explore this magnificent property. Donate to participate and help protect this land.

Hike or Bike:  July 30, August 6, 13, 20, 27 & September 10, 17

Paddle:  August 20 & September 10

Full details, registration and meeting locations can be found here.

Photos of the Property

Use the left and right arrows to view

Help Protect the Black River Wildlands

Quick Links: Donate ~ Photos ~ Maps ~ Video


(click the map to see a larger version)

Black River area mapThis map gives you a good sense of the area, but is not meant to give you directions for accessing and using the Black River or the Ganaraska Trail.

BRW MapZoomed - cropped

  • Use the online donation form below to donate securely through Canada Helps
  • Give us a call and we can take your information and credit card over the phone: 705-326-1620
  • Download a Donation Form and mail to our office (Box 704, Orillia, ON L3V 6K7)

If you have any questions, please reach out to Tanya Clark – 705-326-1620 or