Nature Canada

Nature Network Showcase: The Bruce Trail Conservancy — Caring for the Niagara Escarpment

From April 29 to May 2, Nature Canada is joining forces with groups across the country for Nature on the Hill — a unique and critical opportunity to ensure that parliamentarians and decision-makers deliver on Canada’s bold promises to halt and reverse biodiversity loss.

As Canada’s oldest and longest marked footpath, the iconic Bruce Trail offers more than 1,300 km of public trails that wind along the majestic Niagara Escarpment UNESCO World Biosphere, an area which boasts an incredible wonder of rich biodiversity and sensitive ecosystems. The conservation corridor containing the Bruce Trail exists in one of the most populated regions in Canada. This paradise of near-urban nature offers locals and visitors alike the opportunity to develop an appreciation for nature and the flora and fauna that we are working to protect. It is this juxtaposition of the need for conservation amid a growing population that brings the Bruce Trail Conservancy to Nature on the Hill.

The Bruce Trail was established in the early 1960s in an effort to save the Niagara Escarpment from development. The founding volunteers believed that by creating a public footpath from Niagara to Tobermory and inviting citizens to explore its natural wonders, people would fall in love with the natural world around them and work to protect it. They were right. 

Since its inception, the Bruce Trail Conservancy (BTC) has proudly maintained that invitation to protect and explore while evolving to meet the ever-changing challenges of conservation in Southern Ontario. Today, the BTC is one of Ontario’s largest land trusts, committed to protecting the Niagara Escarpment through land securement and habitat restoration. These critical efforts – supported by more than 1,400 dedicated volunteers – help mitigate climate change, protect vulnerable species, and provide near-urban greenspace while creating a permanent home for the Bruce Trail, now a world-class hiking destination that is currently only 70% secure.

The BTC will be participating in Nature on the Hill to advocate for the protection of the Bruce Trail and the sensitive ecosystems that make up the Bruce Trail Conservation Corridor. As populations continue to increase, so does the need for near-urban greenspaces – places where people can go to exercise, improve their physical and mental health, and reconnect with the natural world. Not only is the preservation of greenspaces critical for human wellness, it also allows plant and animal species to thrive amidst a growing human population. Without protected natural areas, humans will continue to encroach on sensitive habitats and other species – many already at risk – will struggle to survive.

At Nature on the Hill, we will also share how, by protecting these near-urban greenspaces, the BTC is actively supporting the federal target of conserving 30 percent of Canada’s land and water by 2030. Last year alone, the BTC protected 445 acres of Escarpment land and the organization is on track to almost double that number this year. These protected lands feature a variety of rich habitats including wetlands, interior forests, grasslands, and escarpment karst, which facilitates carbon sequestration, a key natural climate change solution.

By attending Nature on the Hill, the BTC hopes to amplify this message and rally support for the preservation of Ontario’s natural heritage. We invite Canada’s Ministers and Members of Parliament to join the conversation and stand up for nature by continuing their support of programs like the Nature Smart Climate Solutions Fund through Environment and Climate Change Canada, recognizing the work of land trusts across the country that are supporting biodiversity and protecting our forests, wetlands, prairies and waters. By working together, we can realize the Bruce Trail Conservancy’s mission of preserving a ribbon of wilderness for everyone, forever. 


You can help Nature Canada and our Nature Network partners like the Bruce Trail Conservancy who are going to Nature on the Hill  to halt and reverse nature loss. Please send a letter to your MP calling for:

  • A strong National Biodiversity Strategy that is enforceable, equitable, and fully funded.
  • A Nature Accountability Act to ensure that the Strategy goals are met.


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Canada’s wilderness is the world’s envy. It’s our duty to keep our true north strong and green.