Long Point Walsingham Forest Priority Place
Local conservation groups working together to protect the future of the Long Point Biosphere Reserve, one of Canada’s high biodiversity ecosystems
Welcome to the Long Point Walsingham Forest, Ontario’s first Priority Place
A significant portion of the Long Point Biosphere reserve, located in Norfolk County on the North shore of Lake Erie, has been chosen as a “Priority Place” for conservation by the federal government. It is one of 11 Priority Places identified in Canada and the only one so far identified in Ontario.
The Long Point Walsingham Forest (LPWF) Priority Place was selected by Environment and Climate Change Canada because of its high biodiversity, large number of species at risk, highly-engaged local conservation community and significant environmental pressures. Federal and provincial governments are working with local conservation partners and stakeholders to develop and implement a Conservation Action Plan.
The vision for the LPWF Priority Place is to create healthy, resilient, and connected ecosystems that support biodiversity, productive landscapes, and a thriving community.
The Long Point peninsula is the longest freshwater sand spit in the world. The peninsula and surrounding location have the largest variety of plants and animals in Canada and is a world-famous spot for migrating birds and rare Carolinian forests. All this led to the designation of the Long Point area as a Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1986.
The LPWF Priority Place includes the biosphere’s significant areas:
- The core areas on Long Point and Backus woods
- The buffer zone, which includes the Big Creek National Wildlife Area and the Turkey Point marshes
- The zone of cooperation in the southwestern portion of Norfolk County
Norfolk County is also home to 65,000 people, and the beautiful natural heritage and enjoyment of it is a key part of the local economy.
LPWF Priority Place Collaborative
In order to effectively implement the Conservation Action plan, a Collaborative of many local conservation groups formed in 2019. This Collaborative will set priorities for improving biodiversity conservation, create new partnerships, seek funding and implement coordinated actions on-the-ground for species at risk and their habitat.
Members of the LPWF Collaborative include:
ALUS Norfolk Inc.
Bird Studies Canada
Carolinian Canada Coalition
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Long Point Basin Land Trust
Long Point Region Conservation Authority
Long Point World Biosphere Reserve Foundation
Nature Conservancy of Canada
Natural Resource Solutions Inc.
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Ontario Plant Restoration Alliance
Ontario Road Ecology Group
St. Williams Conservation Reserve