By Gloria Hildebrandt
On Oct. 1, 2022, a dream came true for my father and me. Our small parcel of land in north Halton, around 14 acres, was celebrated as being a registered nature reserve. With the expertise of Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy (EBC), a conservation easement has been placed on the property, meaning that it will forever remain natural habitat for birds, plants and animals.
My father, Charles Hildebrandt, bought the property in the 1960s and worked hard to let the grazed land regenerate. He planted trees and created paths, bridges and boardwalks, nurturing a special place of varied habitats including a cedar forest, a mixed hardwood forest, wetland, a pond and outcroppings of the Niagara Escarpment. Since my father’s death in 2012, this park has been cared for by Mike Davis and me. For Mike’s heroic efforts at eliminating Buckthorn, Garlic Mustard and other invasive species, as well as his harvesting of firewood and general forest management, I included his name in the park’s official registration.
The Oct. 1 celebration was marked by several invited guests who witnessed the unveiling of the park’s sign at the roadside, then had lunch followed by a guided tour of the property. Shannon MacDonald of EBC and Mike took photographs, some of which are here.