The building affectionately called The Donald Chemical, built in 1908, is an important antique building with national significance. For many years the building was left, by its owner, to deteriorate. In 2009 it was taken for tax sale, and that is when a collaborative of charities stepped in…While the charities’ cooperative venture made progress, and in only 3 short years the building received provincial attention and the efforts were sufficient to secure the building so that it could stand for another 100 years, a treasure hunt for blueprints began and search for new solutions to an ancient puzzle ensued. Yet what was most elusive may have simply been, patience …
See the project update as of August 31, 2018 on the main page of BuildingBetween.ca
Our Shoreline Garden workshops are in the news and online:
Read about our workshops in the Muskoka and Haliburton Life magazine editorial
Download the articles here: Haliburton and Muskoka Life Magazine. Shoreline Garden Editorial
If you cannot attend, we have brought the workshop to you!
The Land Between Charity (nationally registered) and their invaluable partners with the Turtle Guardians Program have teamed up with Think Turtle Conservation Initiative and Scout Canada’s 1st Bancroft Beavers & Cubs to further spread the “WATCH 4 TURTLES” message through the nine counties across Central Ontario that make up “Turtle Country.” Home to 1/3 of Ontario’s turtles. The Land Between is also the name of the region that the charity cares for and this region spans Central Ontario across 9 counties that is Turtle country.The nine counties include: Parry Sound District, Muskoka District, Algonquin Park, Haliburton County, Victoria County, Peterborough County, Hastings County, Lennox & Addington and Frontenac County.
This partnership is based on a common goal to “Help the Ontario Turtles.”
As of July 17, 2018 Phase 2 of the “WATCH 4 TURTLES” fund raising campaign goes into effect and the allocation of funds from the sale of each sign and any donations received will be in support of “CURE” and “PREVENTION”, both areas the Ontario turtles are so in need of help and support.
CURE: Half of the funds from the sale of the signs and donations received will go to the OTCC Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre to aid in the treatment and recovery for the turtles admitted and in their care.
PREVENTION: Half of the funds will go to The Land Between Charity (nationally registered) specifically for their Turtle Guardians program for turtle tunnel assessment and implementation.
To date Phase 1 of the “WATCH 4 TURTLES” fund raising campaign has raised $1,600 through sign, key chain, button, patch, bumper sticker, awareness wristbands sales and donations received, “all” of these funds are to be donated to the OTCC Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre. The final figure will be posted.
Kicked off by an e-mail to Think Turtle Conservation Initiative from Scout Leader Loretta Kasperski and the Bancroft Beavers and Cubs wanting to help the turtles in some way as part of their good turn week the little green turtle has become a friendly reminder to “WATCH 4 TURTLES” on the roads. Combined with the kind and caring people of Hastings County and further afield that have purchased signs and made donations our collective efforts are helping turtles and spreading awareness!!! Thank you so much for wanting to be a part of that.
Kelly Wallace, Think Turtle Conservation Initiative
Scout Canada’s 1st Bancroft Beavers & Cubs
Loretta Kasperski, Scout Leader
We will post where you can purchase the signs in your area as the relationships are set up. At this time signs are at:
- Hastings: Contact ThinkTurtle Conservation Initiative (Facebook site)
- City of Kawartha Lakes: email us for details
- Haliburton: Country Rose Garden Centre
- Haliburton/West Guilford: The West Guilford Shopping Centre
- Minden: Organic Times
- Muskoka: TBA
- Guelph: TBA
Or you can purchase your sign from our online store.
All proceeds go to the cause.
*Turtle Guardians, a program of The Land Between Charity (nationally registered) and invaluable partners include: Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre, Scales Nature Park, Ontario Nature, Toronto Zoo, S.T.A.R.T. Saving Turtles At Risk (Canadian Wildlife Federation & Scales Nature Park), Trillium Lakeland’s District School Board, Curve Lake First Nation, Ontario Trillium Foundation and Eco-Kare International.
Turtle Guardians: www.turtleguardians(dot)ca
The Land Between: www.thelandbetween(dot)ca
The Eastern Hog-nosed Snake – The Drama Queen of The Land Between
Article by Basil Conlin
Phote by Joe Crowley
The granite barrens, sandy soils, and pine woodlands of The Land Between provide some of the best habitat in Ontario for a special animal and a very talented actor. The eastern hog-nosed snake (Heterodon platirhinos) is a harmless species of thick-bodied snake that occurs throughout eastern North America, south to Texas and reaching the upper part of its range in central Ontario. It is so named because of it’s shovel-shaped head, perfectly built for burrowing in soft, sandy soils. In Ontario, this snake is found in its largest concentrations within The Land Between Ecotone, particularly the Parry Sound area, in addition to a large and well-studied population at Long Point Provincial Park along the north shore of Lake Erie.
In additions to their amazing shovel-shaped head, hog-nosed snakes are rear-fanged, meaning they have a small pair of fangs and weak venom glands way at the back of their mouths which give the snakes an adorable, chubby-cheeked appearance. The reason for these tiny fangs is simple: eastern hog-nosed snakes love to eat toads! But toads don’t especially love to be eaten by hog-nosed snakes. If a toad is unlucky enough to find itself being eaten, it will puff itself up many times with air in an attempt to become too large for the snake to swallow. This is where those handy rear-fangs come in. With a carefully placed pop, the hog-nosed snake can deflate its prey like an old balloon, and swallow its meal.
The venom in these fangs is weak and harmless to humans and pets (unless your pet is a toad). Hog-nosed snakes are often quite docile and reluctant to bite, and their fangs are too far in the back of their mouths to pierce a human. They are made strictly for popping and stunning toads.
Hog-nosed snakes have many nick-names. “Toad-popper” might be a good one, but a more common regional name is “puff adder” (a real puff adder is a venomous species of old world snake, found in Africa). This local name was given due to this species’ amazing and dramatic defensive strategy. When hog-nosed snakes feel threatened they will flatten their necks in a way similar to a cobra in order to make themselves appear larger. Then, rather than bite when faced with a potential predator, hog-nosed snakes will hiss and contort, flipping themselves over onto their backs with their mouths open in a pose of pure agony, then remain immobile until the threat has retreated. To the uninitiated, it would seem that the hog-nosed snake had died of fright. Indeed, they will sometimes defecate on themselves during this process to make the entire play more convincing. But, it was all just a very elaborate act! “The Drama Queen of The Land Between” has survived another encounter with a predator thanks to some fantastic acting skills, and can slither away for another day. Feigning death is a unique strategy, one of many characteristics that make this species special.
Sadly, eastern hog-nosed snakes appear to be dying off for real in many parts of Ontario. Due to multiple factors including loss of sandy pine barrens and open woodland and grassland habitat, as well as human persecution, hog-nosed snakes have been listed as Threatened in Ontario, meaning it is illegal to harm or harass them or their habitat. Possibly the biggest threat to the hog-nosed snake’s long-term survival in Ontario is death on roads, what ecologists refer to as “road mortality”. Much of southern Ontario has been cut up by criss-crossing roads and highways that span hundreds of kilometres and fragment thousands of acres of habitat. Because hog-nosed snakes are thick bodied and slow moving, they often become road kill while trying to cross roads to get to hibernation sites and breeding sites, and several once thriving populations have collapsed after the introduction of new roads.
Interestingly, paved roads seem to deter hog-nosed snakes from crossing as they prefer to cross dirt roads (Robson et al. 2012). This could actually cause populations to become genetically isolated, which means that snakes on either side of a large road cannot cross and mate with each other. This can lead to many problems, such as genetic bottlenecks that happen when too many bad genes accumulate due to isolation. Efforts are underway to build fencing along roads to block reptiles and amphibians (known as ‘herps’) from crossing and install tunnels under roads specifically for reptiles to use, known as ‘eco-passages’. Eco-passages installed in Pinery, Killbear, Algonquin, Presq’ile, and Longpoint Provincial Parks have shown promising results in curbing reptile and amphibian road mortality, but more work is still to be done.
With a little effort, eastern hog-nose snakes can remain a part of our unique cultural, spiritual, and natural history for many centuries to come. To help this species, respect speed limits on roads to avoid hitting snakes. You can also help snakes cross roads by carefully moving them in the direction they are heading. If you are not confident that the snake is not a massassauga rattlesnake (our only venomous snake, present mostly in the Georgian Bay area with a few isolated populations near Windsor) or if you don’t want to touch a snake, you can encourage the animal to move by gently pushing it with a shovel or similar object, taking care not to harm the animal. Never pick up a snake by the tail, you could accidentally injure it.
Snakes overwinter in group sites known as ‘hibernacula’, often in open, rocky areas. Developers should be aware of any hibernacula present on properties and should take measures to avoid damaging these sites, often used by the same populations for centuries. Displacing these sites could cause populations to collapse, or cause snakes to start using your basement to hibernate in instead. Education is extremely important in the recovery of this species. If you know someone who is scared of snakes, you can educate them on all the benefits and joy that snakes bring to the wild. Ontario wouldn’t be the same without them!
If you see an eastern hog-nose snake, report your sightings! Sightings of rare species can be reported online to The Land Betweens “Report a Species” page: https://www.thelandbetween.ca/conservation-tools/report-a-rare-species/
As well as to the Ontario Herp Atlas at Ontario Nature.
Last year The Land Between charity and with The Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre (home of the Turtle Trauma Centre) declared a state of emergency for Ontario’s turtles. This was because there were unprecedented numbers of turtles killed on roads and brought into the trauma centre for treatment. Turtles can live for more than 100 years and some research suggests they live for more than 400 years. Turtles need to live a long time because it takes between 30 and 80 years of laying eggs in order for a turtle to replace itself with one new turtle. Therefore, turtles killed on roads or taken out of the wilderness are a threat to the population. The Land Between bioregion, from the Ottawa valley to the Georgian Bay coast is home to more than 1/3 of all of Ontario’s turtles. It is turtle country! If there is hope to save these species it is here and this hope is well placed in the hands of our kids; our next generations.
Turtle Walks were held across four towns this summer at the height of turtle nesting season (at the flowering moon). Here kids and folks dressed in their best turtle-y gear and dawning home made signs walked to raise awareness and hope, and some walked to raise funds. Pledges totalling more than $5000.00 were collected and will go to the Turtle Tunnels and Trauma Campaign, supporting prevention (fencing and culverts that direct these vulnerables species under roads) and cure (trauma care at Canada’s only turtle hospital at the OTCC in Peterborough).
“It will become our family tradition” said some attendees. Kids from 2 years to teens called out (even when no cars were present) “No more turtle soup!” and “S
ave turtles!” and “Turtles clean our water!”
You can still support the turtle tunnel and trauma campaign, and also see this year’s walk album by visiting www.turtlewalk.ca
To find out more about turtle conservation and how to help turtles, visit www.turtleguardians.ca
Beautiful and biodiverse – Shoreline gardens are functional, fantastic and fun. They can be tailored to match your style, maintain your views, and increase privacy- and they will help to attract birds, bees, and wildlife, while deterring nuisance geese and invasive warm water fishes. Naturalized shorelines also filter water. Keep your lake clean and healthy for future generations with a native shoreline garden. Walk away with custom designs and plant lists for your shoreline. Now you can take home your design using Watersheds Canada’s Natural Edge App!
Even local groups come to us for advice!
Abbey Gardens shoreline/restoration ecology staff have attended our workshop in Haliburton and took away lessons in goose control, soil science and inquired about designs related to the Gull River.
Our staff/contractors have designed keystone shoreline gardens and goose deterrent projects for: Halls/Hawk Lake park in Algonquin Highlands; Rivera Park in Lindsay; Big Bald Lake Association; for Mr. Paul MacInnis’ property, president of the Coalition of Haliburton Property Owners Associations; at Head Lake in Dysart et al and for Haliburton Lake Association’s Public Beach; and many private landscapers and contractors too…
Landowners enjoy and learn too!
“I was expecting a dry presentation, cold hard facts, but you added such colour, your enthusiasm was evident, your energy palpable. I thoroughly enjoyed myself! And I learned stuff!!!!” Sharon Petrini, Haliburton County
We look forward to working with you to preserve the health and well-being of your lake and the Land Between bioregion.
Saturdays from 10 am to noon at locations across the region:
June 9th – Buckhorn Community Centre: 10 to noon
June 16th – Bobcaygeon Community Centre: 10 to noon
July 7th- Hastings Highlands Public Library, Maynooth: 9 am to 11
August 11th– Haliburton Highlands Outdoors Association: 10 to noon
August 25th – Huntsville Library, the Annex Room 10-noon
Sept 8th – Curve Lake First Nation Community Centre 10-noon
Register for a chance to win!
This year’s shoreline garden attendees will be entered into a draw to win one of five prizes of $200.00 in plants.
Cost $20.00; Space is limited. Reserved seating for Lakeland owners.
Please bring pictures of your shoreline to the workshop. Coffee and snacks are provided.
Order your own Shoreline Garden Starter Kit tailored for your shore’s soil and sun. Cost per kit is $80.00 with 12 specialized plants and shrubs covering approx. 3 square metres of shore.
Please note that while these sessions discuss erosion control issues, we do not condone the designing of erosion controls without on-site expert consultation. Therefore, no designs to mitigate erosion will be created in this class.
(If you have erosion control issues, you can book onsite evaluations and consultations with our experts under contract with separate fees)
This program is an annual offer from TLB. This year’s program has been generously supported by The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change’s Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund
What to Bring
*Please note that erosion control may be discussed at sessions, but erosion control designs will not be developed without site visits and our hydrologist attending.