The Fleetwood Creek Watershed poses one of the greatest opportunities to protect biodiversity and water quality in the southern part of the Kawarthas, in Kawartha Land Trust’s (KLT) service area. It is the only charity and non-government land conservation organization working to protect this beautiful and diverse area.
The Fleetwood Creek Watershed is located in the south eastern portion of the Kawartha Watershed. The creek begins just north of Pontypool Road, with about half of it falling within the Oak Ridges Moraine. It then extends north combining with the Pigeon River, and finally it flows into the Trent Severn Waterway near Omemee. This connected landscape is founded on a mix of privately and publicly protected lands, and private land stewardship.
What makes the Fleetwood Creek Watershed significant and worth protecting? It has been identified as having an outstanding amount of connected natural lands and good water quality. These natural spaces contribute to climate change resilience, wildlife habitat and overall high water quality.
Many landowners in this area have been caring for and enhancing their land for decades and it is because of the choices they’ve made on their properties that have helped to keep this region in good ecological health.
The hills and streams surrounding Fleetwood Creek are identified as having an outstanding amount of naturally connected land, making for an intact wildlife corridor. Fleetwood Creek’s great water quality was the only watershed within the southern portion of the City of Kawartha Lakes to receive an “A” in Kawartha Conservation’s watershed report card. The streams and creeks in this area are one of the best opportunities in the Kawarthas to improve habitat quality of cold water streams for species like Brook Trout.
Through KLT’s Fleetwood Creek Watershed Initiative, the organization aims to work with private landowners whose properties are identified as having significant conservation value, through landscape analysis to deepen their understanding of the natural features on their property, assist land stewardship planning, advance enhancement and connect landowners with other available resources.
Since this Initiative started in 2018, 10 landowners have already participated. This expands KLT’s conservation and restoration efforts to an additional 1,000 acres of ecologically significant land, improving aquatic connectivity, and habitat diversity, beyond the over 4,000 acres of formally protected land either owned or by a Conservation Easement Agreement. Some ongoing and completed projects include invasive plant management to protect forest biodiversity, the planting of native tall grass prairies and wildflower meadows to enhance pollinator habitat and more.
KLT invites landowners in the watershed and anyone interested in learning more about this initiative to attend an event on Thursday, October 24th at 6:30p.m. at the Bethany Community Hub. To RSVP or receive more information, contact Kawartha Land Trust firstname.lastname@example.org or 705-743-5599.
KLT’s Fleetwood Creek Watershed initiative has been made possible thanks to the Ontario Trillium Foundation.