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Thank you!  


Sincere thanks to the Matt Holder Environmental Research Group for such a successful celebration of World Bird Migration Day, May 14, in the Thickson’s Woods Nature Reserve! 

Free coffee and muffins greeted all birders attending, generously hosted by Phill and Sue Holder, daughter and son-in-law Kelly and Phil Reyenga, and granddaughter Madison. It was Maddie who spent the day before slaving over a hot stove, baking lots of those tasty muffins!   If you missed Phill’s ever-growing library of nature guides and checklists available that day, check out Hawk Owl Publishing Shop at www.mattholderfund. 

Red Raven Marketing was conveniently on hand to display top-notch birding and photography equipment they handle, including the latest amazing Kite Optics. 

We want to thank enthusiastic volunteers Karen Schilling, Cathy Brailsford and Barb Haynes for their help with the T-shirt/sweatshirt sale, nature book sale and free draw. 

Congratulations to Meg O’Mahony for winning the door prize, a Rain Forest Bird Feeder designed by West Coast Salish First Nations, plus a copy of Birds of Thickson’s Woods, published and donated by Phill Holder.




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.


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