A property management plan is the next step for Town Island in the Lake of the Woods

·2 min read

The Nature Conservancy of Canada says it’s onto the next step with developing a property management plan for Town Island in Lake of the Woods.

The sale of 82 hectares of Town Island owned by the City of Kenora to the Nature Conservancy of Canada was completed on July 14th. The NCC will share the island will with B'nai Brith Camp which owns the remainder of the island.

“It is really important for us that we are able to maintain the historical use for the island,” said Dana Kleniewski, acting senior director of campaigns and development operations for the NCC. “With all of our projects, in the first year we collect data and information about the property that we own and analyze all of that and invite feedback from community members so that we can develop a property management plan for the site,” she said.

Kleiniewski said staff have been on the island collecting data. She said the plan will answer questions about possible invasive species, determine whether trail upgrades are needed, and outline access and permissions. “So this plan will lay out a blueprint for us on how we want to move forward,” she said.

The NCC said it raised $2.85 million for project to purchase the land and contribute to the long-term stewardship for the island and shoreline. It said this included a generous contribution from the Asper Foundation, the Province, the City of Kenora, cottagers and residents of Kenora.

“We were blown away,” said Kleiniewski about the support for the project also noting around 100 donors from across the country contributed.

She said Town Island was attractive for conservation because of its intact forest and undeveloped shoreline as well as it being a large Island in the Lake of the Woods.

“From a conservation perspective, it’s incredibly important for us to acquire and protect those areas for the long term,” she said. “It will remain undeveloped forever and we are really excited to work with the community and other partners to develop a plan for stewarding the island to ensure that the biodiversity values that are there continue to thrive into the future. And so that people can continue to enjoy this area as well.“

Eric Shih, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source