Toronto Field Naturalists  –  Enjoy and preserve nature with us!
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Nature Reserves
TFN was one of the first nature clubs in Ontario to secure land as nature reserves for future generations to enjoy. Starting in the 1970s, the club has purchased five properties for a total of 177 hectares, all funded through member donations. The properties, all rated environmentally sensitive wetlands, are located northeast of Toronto along Uxbridge and Layton Creeks. TFN maintains a trust fund for the acquisition and maintenance of nature reserves and welcomes donations to the fund. The club is always on the lookout for potential additions to our nature reserves.
Three reserves (Jim Baillie, Emily Hamilton and Helen and Aarne Juhola) are located one to three kilometres northeast of Leaskdale in Uxbridge Township. They are linked by Uxbridge Creek, which meanders through the centre of the newest reserve. The extensive wetlands provide excellent habitat for a wide variety of flora and fauna including many uncommon bird species.
Members may obtain further information including directions, map and a detailed species list by purchasing our booklet, A Guide to the Toronto Field Naturalists' Nature Reserves, available from the TFN office.
Photos taken in the nature reserves are in our Photo Gallery.

Protecting Lands in The
Happy Valley Forest
Because we decided not to buy any more nature reserves ourselves, TFN was able to provide financial support to the Nature Conservancy of Canada to protect land in the Happy Valley Forest, northwest of King City. Located in the upper reaches of the Humber River Watershed, the Happy Valley Forest is an old-growth forest in the making, with significant habitat for species at risk such as the Acadian Flycatcher. TFN funds supported the acquisition in 2011 of the Goldie Feldman Nature Reserve, along the crest of the Oak Ridges Moraine, a property with maple-oak woodlands, cedar-shaded springs and coldwater creeks. This acquisition literally stopped the backhoes from starting a private housing development - now it is a gateway for all to explore the beautiful Happy Valley Forest.
Jim Baillie Nature Reserve
(35 hectares)
Our first reserve, the JBNR was purchased in two stages, 1970 and 1973. Jim Baillie was president of the club, a popular leader of bird walks and Assistant Curator of Ornithology at the Royal Ontario Museum. The JBNR is in the northwest corner of a wetland complex designated as the "Uxbridge Creek Environmentally Significant Area". It is considered a high quality undisturbed swamp forest with a diverse flora and many regionally rare species.
Jim Baillie Reserve
Emily Hamilton Nature Reserve
(30 hectares)
This property was purchased in 1987. Emily Hamilton was a long serving club director, an active volunteer who led many botany outings and the chief compiler of the plant lists for our reserves. This property consists of a wet meadow and cedar swamp by Uxbridge Creek and its tributaries. There are no trails.
Emily Hamilton Reserve
Charles Fell Nature Reserve
(81 hectares)
This property was purchased in 1997 through generous donations by the Charles Fell Foundation. The reserve is situated in a wide valley surrounding the Layton River. Three-quarters of the Reserve is open wetland with Speckled Alder and Dwarf Birch. One-quarter is forested wetland with poplar, cedar and tamarack. Two small tributaries enter the river on the property, one from the east, one from the west. The whole property consists of impassable wetland, making it self-managing. The reserve is located in Brock Township approximately 15 kilometers east of the Uxbridge Creek.
Emily Hamilton Reserve
Helen and Aarne Juhola Reserve
(30 hectares)
The newest wetland was acquired in 2002 and named in honour of two of our most active members who were directors for many years, Aarne as Treasurer, Helen as President and also editor of the newsletter and co-author of many publications.
Helen and Aarne Juhola