(Keswick Ridge, NB) The Nature Trust of New Brunswick has protected a significant piece of rare Appalachian Hardwood Forest in Keswick Ridge. The charitable land organization acquired the 16.6-acre (6.6 hectares) property, now known as the Margaret Coburn Cameron Woods Nature Preserve, through a donation from Patricia Volney and her late husband, the well-known Canadian entomologist Jan Volney. It is one of three properties that the Nature Trust conserves in the Keswick region (64 acres) and one of nine properties conserved in the Greater Fredericton Area (525 acres).

“We are thrilled to have conserved a significant piece of property in the Keswick Ridge area to ensure that it is protected forever,” said Renata Woodward, Executive Director of the Nature Trust of New Brunswick. “This property hosts a rare ecosystem that is becoming less common in our province and will help us to understand it’s natural history and understory species.”

The Margaret Coburn Cameron Woods Nature Preserve is one of the few areas in Keswick Ridge that still supports Appalachian Hardwood Forest, an increasingly rare ecosystem in New Brunswick. The forest is well drained and dominated by sugar maple, yellow birch, white ash, American beech, eastern hemlock, and the federally and provincially listed endangered butternut tree, among others. The preserve also supports two plant species that are considered rare in New Brunswick and is home to many forms of wildlife including a variety of birds, frogs, and butterflies.

Much of land surrounding the preserve has been heavily harvested or converted to agriculture in the last two hundred years and little Appalachian Hardwood forest remains.

“Less than 1% of New Brunswick’s Appalachian Hardwood Forest is still intact,” said Vince Zelazny, retired forester and President of the Nature Trust. “The ground flora of this rare ecosystem is more diverse than any other New Brunswick forest type and several Appalachian hardwood forest tree species, including basswood and butternut, reach the northern limit of their range in this region.”

This property was gifted to the Nature Trust in memory of Patricia Volney’s mother, Margaret (Coburn) Cameron, an avid amateur naturalist, and well-known Keswick Ridge resident, who was a 9th direct generation member of the well-known apple farming family, the Coburn’s.

The property was purchased in the mid-1970’s by Patricia and Jan Volney with the intention to build a home, however, because of Jan’s career opportunities nationally and internationally, they were unable to live in New Brunswick. Though they would visit the property often, it was Margaret who would care for the land and would act as a steward to the property. She was extremely knowledgeable about the forest plants in the Keswick Ridge area and visited the property often to walk through and look at the flowers. Even throughout her early nineties, she could be seen traversing through the property, right up until she passed away at 93 years old in 2015.

The preserve is located off Kee Road in Keswick Ridge. The creation of a mapped foot-path trail will be formalized and made public within the next few months.  The trail will offer the same serenity and views of the natural beauty that Margaret Coburn Cameron loved. There will be a tree planting and restoration day on the preserve, with the help of TD Tree Days and the Maritime College of Forestry, on Saturday, October 13, 2018, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Interested participants can contact Cheyenne Currie at Cheyenne.currie@ntnb.org or (506) 457-2398 for more information.

Thank you to the New Brunswick Department of Energy and Resource Development and the Nature Conservancy of Canada for their financial support.

About the Nature Trust of New Brunswick

Established in 1987, the Nature Trust of New Brunswick is a charitable land conservation organization, responsible for conserving over 7,000 acres (2,600 hectares) of land in more than 50 beautiful and diverse nature preserves throughout the province. For more information, visit: www.naturetrust.nb.ca

Media contact:

Danielle Andrus, Communications Manager
Nature Trust of New Brunswick
(506) 457-2398 | danielle.andrus@ntnb.org
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