Edwards Wetland Nature Reserve
In 2014, the Rideau Waterway Land Trust received a valuable bequest of land from the estate of a very generous woman, Ms. Elizabeth Edwards. This donation of 185 acres of land, wetlands and mature forest includes 1,600 feet of shoreline on Big Rideau Lake.
Three parcels of land make up this donation. The larger 122 acre parcel consists of a wetland marsh surrounded by a healthy buffer of deciduous forest. The smaller 20 acre parcel located adjacent consists of a mature, undisturbed deciduous forest typical of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Forest Region for this part of eastern Ontario. The third parcel is located on Sherwood Bay and is a 40 acre parcel, a valuable deciduous forest tract adjoining Big Rideau Lake in the form of a largely undisturbed natural shoreline landscape.
The larger parcel is 122 acres of land in the Portland area. It consists primarily of deciduous forest and wetland. The wetland, which constitutes approximately 40% of this parcel’s land base, is a dense, flooded cattail-dominated marsh surrounded by a transition band of Red-Osier Dogwood, Willow and other shrubs, with a slow-flowing stream running through it.
The second, 20 acre parcel, is a beautiful and largely undisturbed area of primarily deciduous woodland dominated by mature Sugar Maples.
Sherwood Bay is a 40 acre primarily deciduous woodland adjoining Sherwood Bay on the south west shore of Big Rideau Lake. It is one of the few remaining, highly visible stretches of undeveloped upland forested landscape left on Big Rideau Lake and is thus deserving of continuing protection. The forest is dominated by Sugar Maples, but you’ll also find Ironwoods, American Elm, and Hemlocks.
These parcels were originally protected by a conservation agreement was donated by Ms. Edwards in 2004 under the Ecological Gifts Program, a national program administered by Environment Canada. Upon her death Ms. Edwards bequeathed full ownership of the lands to the Rideau Waterway Land Trust to ensure their continued preservation. The Rideau Waterway Land Trust is a qualified recipient of donations of land under the Ecological gifts Program. All properties donated under this program must meet national criteria for ecological importance. Having met these criteria, Ms. Edwards’ land is considered to have national ecological significance.