Northumberland Land Trust’s story has its roots in two different groups of people who care deeply about preserving our natural spaces in Northumberland County.
In the east end of the county, Lone Pine Land Trust was founded in 1996 due to the unstoppable Murial Braham’s drive to conserve the beautiful Lone Pine Marsh, and her mobilization of the local community to help.
To the west, the Willow Beach Field Naturalists (WBFN) identified the need to have a land trust established in Northumberland County in order to preserve natural spaces for future generations and to provide habitat for wildlife and species at risk. They founded the Northumberland Land Trust in 2004.
Lone Pine Land Trust
The Lone Pine Land Trust story began in 1991 with the vision of the late Murial Braham, whose love of a beautiful wetland in Cramahe Township led her to purchase the original 84 acres of the Lone Pine Marsh.
Following the purchase, and with a view to protecting the wetland in perpetuity, Murial requested the Ontario Heritage Trust to place a natural heritage conservation easement agreement (HCEA) over the property.
Then Murial got to work! Galvanizing the community, Murial worked to form a local land trust dedicated to owning, stewarding and preserving the Lone Pine Marsh property. In 1996 a local non-profit organization, the Lone Pine Marsh Sanctuary Inc. (later Lone Pine Land Trust), was formed and Murial donated the 84 acre Lone Pine Marsh property to the land trust.
Through fundraising and amazing community support, an additional fifty-four acres of swamp and buffer lands of agricultural fields around the marsh was purchased by the land trust. Volunteers have donated countless hours over the years to restore this buffer zone to a grassland habitat, and our community has now been rewarded with the return of Bobolinks, Meadowlarks and other grassland birds.
Since 1996, 5 more properties were donated to the LPLT by generous community members.
Northumberland Land Trust
The original Northumberland Land Trust started with the Willow Beach Field Naturalists. They created the Northumberland Land Trust in 2004.
Their first protected property was the Laurie Lawson Outdoor Education Centre. In 1968 Dr. Laurie Lawson offered the site to the local Cobourg School Board for use as an Outdoor Education Centre. Dr. Mary Bedford-Jones and her husband, Mr. Bill Goodwin, took over the Outdoor Education Centre property following Dr. Lawson’s death in 1983. Audrey Wilson, who had taught the outdoor education program at the Centre for 22 years, was a founding director of Northumberland Land Trust. Dr. Bedford-Jones wanted to continue the preservation of this area so in 2005 she donated this 100-acre nature reserve to the Northumberland Land Trust.
Since 2005, generous community members donated 6 more properties to the Northumberland Land Trust.
Lone Pine Land Trust and Northumberland Land Trust merged in 2021
With the combined resources of the original two organizations, the merged Northumberland Land Trust is working towards protecting even more natural lands for the future.