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Thickson's Woods

Thickson's Woods is the last remnant of old-growth white pines on the north shore of Lake Ontario. Once reserved for masts of sailing ships of the British Royal Navy, the towering pines provide a vital resting place for countless migrating songbirds each spring and fall.

Galvanized into action when the pines were threatened with logging in 1983, a handful of naturalists formed a non profit corporation and purchased the woods. Donations from hundreds of caring people, from as far away as England and Japan, raised $150,000 to pay off the mortgage. Thickson's Woods became the first natural area to be listed in the Ontario Nature Trust Alliance registry.

In 2001 we took on another challenge: protecting this tiny natural jewel from encroaching development by purchasing an 8 1/2-acre meadow just north of the woods—for more than half a million dollars. Again, caring people responded, giving so generously that the five-year mortgage was paid off nine months early. Today, what short decades ago was a cow pasture is regenerating into valuable habitat that buffers this precious woodland from the fumes and noise of trucks and industry.

Biodiversity studies by the Matt Holder Environmental Research Group have recently revealed what a treasure trove of species urgently needs protection there.


Charitable Registration # 11926 3176 RR0001

(This website was created and is maintained by Lois Gillette. Photos in this website are by Mike McEvoy and Lois Gillette)