The 62 acre McLean Reserve, is stewarded by the Roads and Conservation Committee in accordance with The Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program MFTIP. The MFTIP is a voluntary program available to landowners who own four hectares or more of forest land, and who agree to prepare and follow a Managed Forest Plan for their property. Under the MFTIP, participating landowners have their property reassessed and classified as Managed Forest and taxed at 25 percent of the municipal tax rate set for residential properties. To participate in the MFTIP, landowners must agree to certain conditions including preparing and following a managed forest plan for their forest. The plan must be approved by an individual certified by the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) as a Managed Forest Plan Approver. Participation in the MFTIP improves the owner’s knowledge of the forest and increases the owner’s involvement in managing the forest. In turn, this helps to encourage the stewardship of Ontario’s private forests. Some of the Roads and Conservation Committee’s responsibilities under the MFTIP are: trail maintenance and improvement, invasive plant control, oversight of the removal of diseased trees, occasional thinning and culling to promote a forest composed of mixed stage of growth. The R& C Committee also organizes educational events/nature walks to raise community awareness and understanding of the various features in the McLean Reserve, its ecosystems, flora and fauna.
Poison ivy is a native plant in Ontario and a persistent, ubiquitous resident in the McLean Reserve. It grows deep in the woods, out in the meadow, in dry as well as moist locations and is a food source for birds and animals. The Roads & Conservation Committee endeavors to control this plant in the vicinity of trails and to provide warning signage where the patches are large. However, since it is simply impossible to eradicate poison ivy from the entire 62 acre reserve, the importance of staying on the trails and learning to recognize this plant cannot be overemphasized.
A close encounter can lead to serious medical conditions. For more information click here
The McLean Reserve is a natural “common” that provides immeasurable benefit and value to the peace and enjoyment of all the Association members. It has been maintained for over 60 years as a natural buffer against an increasingly urbanized surrounding area and is home to a rich variety of amphibian, reptilian, avian and mammalian wildlife. A walking trail system runs nearly the entire north-south length of the Point through interesting and diverse terrain.
The reserve is made up of three distinct compartments:
Each compartment has its own unique features, ecosystem and range of flora & fauna.
In a single day families can experience the delights of catching a frog or finding tadpoles in the wetland; they can hike the forest nature trails or walk the mown pathways that meander through the meadows where countless birds, butterflies and dragonflies can be seen and foxes and deer occasionally glimpsed.
Even though the McLean Reserve is a “natural common”, certain management practices have been followed according to the Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program. These practices, briefly listed below, are in place to enhance our community’s enjoyment of the reserve while promoting a healthy forest and protecting the habitats of our resident wildlife.
Mixed Upland Hardwoods: Trilliums in Mclean Reserve
The Mixed Hardwood Forest represents about 70% of the 62 acre McLean Reserve. Periodic culling of poor quality, diseased or hazardous trees is an ongoing process. Den trees, windfalls and slash will be left for wildlife habitat and to restore the soil.
Nature trails are maintained as single-file pathways for walking while minimizing human impact on flora & fauna. Trails are regularly inspected for, and cleared of poison ivy. The forest area is also monitored for trash and yard waste that may introduce invasive plants.
Projects to remove established invasive plants such as periwinkle, garlic mustard and buckthorn are underway and volunteers from the community are welcome to assist and are encouraged to check the “Events” column for upcoming spring, summer and fall sessions.
Meadowlands: Closely mown meadow pathways
The Meadowlands represent less than 10% of the McLean Reserve.
Succession (the gradual encroachment of shrubs and trees into open fields) has significantly reduced the amount of meadowland over the past 60+ years. Tree plantings in the 1960s, done to benefit from an earlier tax incentive program, also diminished the meadows.
While some would prefer that the open fields be left to return to forest, many others wish to have the small remaining amount of meadow preserved.
For the past few years, maintenance activities for this compartment include one annual rough mowing of the entire meadowlands in mid-July. The timing of the cut ensures that native grassland birds can complete one nesting and minimizes disturbance to other fauna including important native insect populations.
This cut is sufficient to maintain the quality open space zones (prevent the encroachment of trees and shrubs) for their aesthetic qualities, vistas and habitat diversity.
In 2006 a program was established to maintain a network of closely mown trails throughout the meadows from spring to fall. This makes walking consistently easy throughout the cottage season.
The two Wetland areas together represent about 20% of the McLean Reserve.
Although the maintenance of this compartment is presently minimal, the long term objectives are to manage the wetlands as special, important natural features in the overall ecosystem and to develop a greater awareness and appreciation for wetlands through newsletters, speakers/guided tours.
Wetlands are one of the most undervalued ecosystems and yet they provide a range of vital services. They soak up rainfall, filter water, provide a unique habitat for many different species and are an important refuge for migrating birds.
Wetlands are the most biologically diverse ecosystems on earth.
For these reasons it is very important that the Eight Mile Point community values and respects this significant component of the McLean Reserve.
Please refrain from depositing yard waste, construction waste or anything in the wetlands.
ipation in the MFTIP improves the owner’s knowledge of the forest and increases the owner’s involvement in managing the forest. In turn, this helps to encourage the stewardship ofOntario’s private forests.
Some of the Roads and Conservation Committee’s responsibilities under the MFTIP are: trail maintenance and improvement, invasive plant control, oversight of the removal of diseased trees, occasional thinning and culling to promote a forest composed of mixed stage of growth. The R& C Committee also organizes educational events/nature walks to raise community awareness and understanding of the various features in the McLean Reserve, its ecosystems, flora and fauna.