Conservation Areas

Mother and daughter stroll down trail at Conservation Area

Conservation Authorities are recognized worldwide for their management of natural resources on an ecosystem or watershed basis. ERCA owns or manages 19 publicly accessible properties totaling more than 1000 hectares (4000 acres) of land, as well as nearly 100 kilometres of trail to protect some of the most important woodlands, marshes and shoreline areas in the region.

Why Does ERCA Have Conservation Areas?

One of the most important functions of Conservation Areas is the protection of significant natural areas and the numerous provincial and national rare plant and animal species that they contain. The region is home to rich Carolinian woodlands, lush cattail marshes, and unique prairie environments found in very few other Canadian settings. While 90% of original wetlands in the region have been destroyed, through Conservation Areas we are fortunate enough to have access to some of the most environmentally significant areas in the region.

In addition, Conservation Areas offer diverse opportunities for outdoor recreation and contribute to healthier lifestyles. Conservation Areas are tourist attractions, contributing to the local economy by offering opportunities for birding, camping, hiking, swimming and other recreational activities. A healthy environment contributes to healthy lifestyles by improving water and air quality, improving the health of the soil, diversifying wildlife, providing pleasing landscapes and easily accessible areas of recreation for persons of all ages and abilities to be active.

Smoke Free Outdoor Spaces

As of April 1, 2014, Holiday Beach, Hillman Marsh and the John R. Park Homestead will restrict smoking to designated areas only which will be marked with signs.  On April 1, 2015, the remainder of our Conservation Areas will limit smoking to the parking lots only to ensure that all visitors to our Conservation Areas can enjoy being healthy and active without the dangers of second-hand smoke.

Click on any of the conservation areas in the sidebar menu or the map below for more information.