Natural environment - Ontario Heritage Trust


Ontario's natural environment – a living legacy

Thousand-year-old cedar trees clinging to rock-cliffs | Tranquil forests harbouring rare or endangered species | Teeming marshes providing refuge to nesting birds

The Ontario Heritage Trust works to protect more than our cultural heritage. It also helps to ensure that our natural environment – wetlands, woodlands, grasslands and geological land formations – remains a viable and significant part of our future.

Ontario's natural environment is rich and exceptionally diverse. Your support will help the Trust conserve this legacy so that we can all enjoy it now and protect it for future generations.

Conservation in action – The Trust’s Natural environment program

The Ontario Heritage Trust – with partners across the province – works to conserve Ontario's natural environment and to raise public awareness of the value of conservation. We have a number of tools to assist with these conservation efforts to protect our threatened resources:

Land held in trust

The Trust holds approximately 4,116 hectares (nearly 10,073 acres) for the people of Ontario. Protected land includes the habitats of endangered species, rare Carolinian forests, wetlands, sensitive features of the Oak Ridges Moraine, nature reserves on the Canadian Shield, the spectacular Niagara Escarpment, and lands along the Bruce Trail.

Heritage conservation easements

Easements are voluntary legal agreements between the Trust and owners of heritage properties that protect the heritage values and resources while the properties remain in private (non-Trust) ownership. The Trust protects nearly 2,010 hectares (over 4,977 acres) of natural heritage land through conservation easements. This protected land includes the habitats of endangered species, wetlands, forests, sensitive features, areas of natural and scientific interest, and nature reserves.


The Trust works with organizations such as the Nature Conservancy of Canada, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Ontario Nature, the Bruce Trail Conservancy, the Niagara Escarpment Commission, The Couchiching Conservancy, other conservation authorities, other land trusts and local naturalist clubs. Joint ventures include public awareness activities and land acquisition.