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A Provincially Significant Wetland

The Ministry of Natural Resources has designated the Paradise Beach - Island Grove wetland as provincially significant. Eighty percent of the property Metrus is looking to turn into a subdivsion lies within this wetland area (see map).

Below are some excerpts from MNR's 2004 assessment of the wetland and its recommendations for maintaining the health of these important wetland and surrounding forests.

The Paradise Beach- Island Grove Wetlands are important for wildlife. Its 70 hectares of mixed and coniferous swamps and deciduous swamps with White Cedar in the understorey are locally significant for wintering White-tailed Deer. The swamps and associated upland forests support sensitive breeding forest bird species such as Pileated Woodpecker, White-throated Sparrow, Ovenbird and Ruffed Grouse. Waterfowl such as Mallard breed and stopover in the more open wetlands. The wetlands also support locally significant fish habitat . . .

To ensure that Paradise Beach - Island Grove wetland functions are maintained, it is important to maintain water quality, quantity and duration to the wetlands. Alterations to water regimes, even minor ones, could have dramatic impacts on wetland communities and their resident species . . .

The diversity of wetland species at Paradise Beach -Island Grove Wetlands is the result of its large and diverse wetlands that are connected to each other and to adjacent upland habitats. To maintain species, the network of wetlands and uplands needs to be maintained and strengthened. Critical adjacent uplands for the wetland species include the surrounding forests as well as regenerating meadows, agricultural lands and pastures . . .

The presence of forest bird species necessitates maintaining its swamps and associated forests. A number of forest birds require larger blocks of woodlands for their survival and experience declines following urban development (Friesen et al. 1995).

Wildlife corridors in and around the Paradise Beach - Island Grove Wetland Complex need to be strengthened. Studies have shown the importance of wildlife corridors in maintaining diversity and resiliency in an ecosystem (Riley and Mohr 1994, OMNR 2000). In addition to the smaller-scale travel corridors between the wetlands and their adjacent upland forests and meadows there are also larger-scale wildlife corridors. There are riparian corridors along the tributary streams from the wetland complex north to Lake Simcoe. As well there is a major overland connection to the east to large forests and wetlands that are part of the Willow Beach Wetland Complex (OMNR 1994). Encouragement should be given to increasing forest cover in and around the wetland complex, along stream corridors and in the major overland connection to the east.

Map of Paradise Beach - Island Grove wetland complex


Blue heron

Waterbirds such as herons rely on these wetlands

Pileated woodpecker

Pileated woodpeckers need older forests

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The North Gwillimbury Forest stretches all the way from Orchard Beach to the Hedge Road in Jackson’s Point. It contains the Arnold C. Matthews Nature Reserve, which will be cut off from the rest of the forest by Metrus' proposed Maple Leaf Estates.


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