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Nature Conservancy completes Freshwater Bay project

Hikers on the Freshwater Bay conservation project. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY DENNIS MINTY
Hikers on the Freshwater Bay conservation project. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY DENNIS MINTY - Contributed

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) says it has completed its Freshwater Bay conservation project near St John’s.

 The 98-hectare (243-acre) Freshwater Bay property, valued at $2.2 million, was donated to NCC by the Crosbie Group for conservation and community use.

“We are thrilled to confirm that the Freshwater Bay property has been fully conserved,” Megan Lafferty, program director for Nature Conservancy of Canada in Newfoundland and Labrador, said in a news release.

Other contributions to the project came from the federal government, Sisters of Mercy, Presentation Sisters, Patten Family Foundation, Cahill Group, ExxonMobil Canada and individual donors.

Freshwater Bay is a scenic, popular spot for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, with a section of the East Coast Trail running through it on the way to Cape Spear, the conservancy noted.

 NCC said it has been working for two years to raise the necessary funds to ensure the nature reserve can be cared for over the long term, a requirement for all of NCC’s projects.

The new coastal nature reserve is mainly forested, with older native species of black and white spruce and balsam fir. It provides an important land buffer for nearby seabird colonies of black-legged kittiwakes, black guillemots, herring gulls and great black-backed gulls, which nest along the cliffs between Freshwater Bay and Sprigg’s Point.

As with most of the charitable land trust’s nature reserves, the area will continue to be accessible for activities like berry picking, hunting and hiking, the conservancy said.

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