In June 2007, the Kawartha Field Naturalists became the official stewards of a second piece of property donated by Rudolph Altberg. We are currently the only group that stewards more than one nature reserve.
From the southwest end of South Bay on Balsam Lake, a large wetland complex spreads up the valleys of two creeks. This mosaic of swamp forests and marsh forms a Class I wetland. Ontario Nature owns a 39 hectare piece of this wetland.
This reserve is nestled in a gently rolling plain, just south and west of Balsam Lake and the Trent Canal system. Almost all of the reserve is swamp forest, some of which is thicket swamp and some dominated by large maples with very little undergrowth but lots of water. Balsam poplar, trembling aspen and red-osier dogwood dominate closest to the road. Farther east, silver maple, ash, spruce and balsam fir are present. At the property’s south end and adjacent to the road, are fields through which access can be gained to the reserve.
At present, the reserve is being inventoried. There are no trails or boardwalks developed and walking through the reserve is very challenging particularly in the swamp forests where the water can be waist deep!
The Kawartha Field Naturalists and Ontario Nature are working together to decide the future direction for this land.
In 2008 a group of students from Fleming College in Lindsay in conjunction with Ontario Nature completed a small mammal survey in the wetland. As well, Ontario Nature has completed a comprehensive botanical inventory and ELC mapping project for the Altberg Wetland. To see the results of this survey click here. This brings up a file with 5 spreadsheets to it: Collections, Flora, Fungi, Communites and Fauna. These choices are found in the bottom left of the page. You just select which spreadsheet you want to view. Also there is a map of the vegetation community types in the wetland. Click here to access it.
This property is located at 898 Fenel Road in the City of Kawartha Lakes.
More pictures of this fascinating place can be found in our Media Gallery called Altberg Wetland.