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Protecting Prince Edward County

By Steph Crosier


QUINTE WEST, ON (03/06/2011) Susan VandenBosch at Willow Creek Farms. She does not farm this land because it is a natural creek and wetland. Photo by Steph Crosier.

Technology and nature are coming together to protect Prince Edward County and surrounding area’s natural beauty.

The Natural Heritage System is a computer program explaining where the natural heritage sites are in Prince Edward County and the surrounding areas.

Stewart Murray, president of the Hastings and Prince Edward Land Trust, said that the system is a tool that uses new computer technology. The Natural Heritage System is an application with maps and aerial photos that municipalities and conservationists can use in their work. The system stretches 460,000 hectares of land and water across the Bay of Quinte shoreline.

“We think it’s important for the community because it provides a basis for ways we can keep our environment healthy and not just for wildlife but for people too,” said Murray.

Murray said that the system would also help the economy by preserving natural resources that attract tourists. Another important reason for the system is to protect water resources.

“In this part of Ontario this strategy could be helpful in terms of protecting our water resources and ensuring we have safe and adequate water supplies into the future and a healthy environment in terms of good air quality and good water quality too.”

Murray hopes landowners will use this technology to better protect the environment for the future.

“Technology has provided us now with these powerful tools together with the high resolution air photography and other remote sensing systems that can be used to map these systems of natural heritage features across a broad landscape.”

The tool will show the best way Prince Edward County and surrounding areas can better steward the land and waterways around the Bay of Quinte. The plan could also allow conversation groups to create programs and activities to teach better stewardship.