Lambton ‘treasure trove’ celebrates 50 years

Wild flowers in Mandaumin Woods Nature Reserve. (Photo courtesy of Mark Buchanan)

Conservation enthusiasts are hoping to bring awareness to Mandaumin Woods Nature Reserve as it reaches a significant milestone.

The local woodlot marked its 50 year anniversary on Sunday, May 1.

Property manager Roberta Buchanan said Lambton Wildlife Inc. purchased the nature reserve in 1972 to preserve the Carolinian forest.

“It’s 25 acres and it has an incredible number of spring wildflowers — it’s really what it is known for,” said Buchanan.

The “beautiful” wood lot also includes a one kilometre trail and is home to various plants and trees including sugar maple, basswood, beech, white ash, and hickory.

Mandaumin Woods Nature Reserve trail. (Photo courtesy of Mark Buchanan)

“The ecological value is very high for such a small woodlot but we need to protect small areas like that as they diminish from around southwestern Ontario. It’s a little treasure trove that’s nestled in Lambton County.”

While speaking about climate change, Buchanan stressed the importance of preserving even small woodlots.

“Even 25 acres does sequester 60,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year so having that tree cover is very important because it does help with nature-based climate control,” she said.

To celebrate the reserve’s 50 year anniversary, a brief celebration will be held Sunday afternoon, starting at 12:30 p.m. The event will include a speech from one of the founding members of Lambton Wildlife Inc. (which is 56 years old) and guided tours.

“DeGroot’s Nurseries has donated a native sugar maple tree and it will be planted to commemorate the 50th anniversary as well,” said Buchanan.

The nature reserve is located on Mandaumin Road, between Confederation Line and Churchill Line.

The group is always looking for new members. The annual membership fee is $20 per year and Buchanan said because it is volunteer-based, all funds go toward conservation efforts.