CHARLEVILLE — South Nation Conservation (SNC) will develop its first public Conservation Area in Augusta Township this year, thanks to a municipal and federal partnership to protect local natural spaces and provide new outdoor recreational opportunities.
Located on a 9-acre parcel of land along the South Nation River on McCrea Road, the planned day-use park sits on property previously owned by the municipality, which decided to donate the land to SNC for conservation and recreational use. Township Council voted in favour of the land donation and project in February.
Work is scheduled to take place through 2020 and will include parking lot and trail creation, river access, site clean-up and excavation, tree management, new tree planting and signage. Opening is set for 2021.
The project is also made possible with $31,500 in support from the federal government’s Canadian Experiences Fund, delivered by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).
“Every year, Canada’s natural beauty attracts millions of visitors from across the globe,” said Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages. “Now, with the support of the Canadian Experiences Fund, South Nation Conservation will be able to develop the Augusta Conservation Area, protecting this pristine region while bringing more tourists to this special corner of Eastern Ontario.”
“We’re excited to partner with South Nation Conservation to offer our residents a new outdoor, natural space for recreational use,” said Augusta Mayor Doug Malanka.
“This new Conservation Area will provide people with the first public and maintained river access to the South Nation River in this area while working to protect natural heritage and forest cover in Eastern Ontario,” added John Mesman, SNC’s Communications Lead. “This site will offer a scenic boat route where people can easily canoe or kayak from Augusta to the Spencerville Mill.”
The local watershed authority manages over 20,000 acres of Community Forest in Eastern Ontario, also acquiring many Conservation Areas through its Land Securement Program — all in the name of maintaining natural legacies and providing a place for people to step outdoors and into nature.
Above, the Spencerville Mill during a popular local Poker Run event. Courtesy photo