Creating a New Nature Reserve: Malcolm Bluff Shores

Last week, Nature Canada joined Ontario Nature to celebrate the purchase of an important piece of forested land on the coast of Ontario’s Bruce Peninsula. Ian Davidson, Nature Canada’s executive director, and Mara Kerry, Nature Canada’s director of conservation, traveled to Wiarton, Ontario for the celebration.

Thanks to the generosity of Hugo Germeraad, a nature advocate, naturalist and long-time member of Nature Canada, a stunning stretch of Bruce Peninsula is now protected forever. This was made possible when Hugo Germeraad bequeathed a gift in his Will for the acquisition of a nature reserve.

Located some 40 kilometres north of Owen Sound, amidst one of the largest unprotected expanses of woodland on the Niagara Escarpment, this biodiversity hotspot includes Georgian Bay shoreline, wetlands, woodlands, uplands, escarpment and cliff face. A 4-kilometer section of the Bruce Trail crosses along the top of the property’s terraced bluffs, and the views are breathtaking. Nature Canada has allocated the funds to our sister organization Ontario Nature to purchase a 233-hectare parcel – the largest of three spectacular adjoining properties that together constitute the Malcolm Bluff Shores Nature Reserve.

“This very generous bequest from Hugo Germeraad will help permanently secure habitat of exceptional importance for Canadian biodiversity, including part of a major flyway for migratory songbirds and raptors heading to and from their northern breeding grounds,” says Nature Canada Executive Director Ian Davidson. “Species at risk who live on this land, including the Eastern Ribbon Snake and the Peregrine Falcon, will be protected. We are deeply grateful to the family for their thoughtful gift to nature.”

Hugo Germeraad is remembered by his family as a man “completely in harmony with nature.” Local wild birds would eat right out of his hand. He provided nesting places for migratory song birds, birds of prey – and he was an avid birdwatcher, involved with many local naturalist clubs and a member of Nature Canada since the 1970s.