Oschmann Forest officially acquired by South Nation Conservation, open to public

North Dundas Mayor Eric Duncan (left), South Nation Conservation Board Member Bill Smirle and others cut the ribbon at the new Oschmann Forest in Ormond. Courtesy photo

ORMOND — The Oschmann family recently donated an 18-acre forest near the town of Ormond to South Nation Conservation (SNC) to be preserved for posterity.

The “Oschmann Forest” in the Township of North Dundas was officially welcomed into the fold of SNC public lands during a ceremony at the site that took place Saturday, June 3. The event included a few words from the Oschmann family, a ribbon cutting, tour of the property, refreshments and cake.

The Forest was donated in Gertrude Oschmann’s memory.  According to the family, Gertude was a very outdoorsy woman who left many footprints scattered all throughout the Forest; a woman who had a deep connection with nature.

“We are honored the Oshmann Family chose SNC to preserve the Forest that means so much to them,” said Philip Duncan, SNC Property and Approvals Assistant. “Selling or donating forested land to SNC is becoming a popular option among residents in the jurisdiction.”

Duncan described the treed site as having maple, oak, ash, and even butternut trees.  A sugar shack can be found on the property that was functional until the early 2000’s.

“The Forest was obtained as part of the SNC Land Securement Strategy,” Pat Piitz, SNC Team Lead, Property explained. “It’s an ecologically significant property which will benefit from active management and protection of its natural history features.”

As a member of the Ontario Land Trust Alliance (OLTA), SNC is approved to accept donations of land through Canada’s Ecological Gifts Program.

SNC received funding from the OLTA to offset property acquisition and management costs.  “The Ontario Land Trust Assistance Program (OLTAP) assists eligible recipients with costs associated with land securement and management to help conserve Ontario’s biodiversity.  OLTAP is an initiative of the Ontario Land Trust Alliance Inc.  This project was undertaken with the financial support of the government of Canada.”

The Oschmann Forest and similar sites are open to the public. “Family members appreciate that their favorite pieces of land will be maintained in their natural state. We always recognize and value their contribution in creating a lasting legacy.”

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