The Sawyer Preservation Woodlot Association was established in 1989 and acts as a "trustee and
guardian" for a 28.61 acre wooded tract located in rural southwestern Ontario. The mandate is to manage the property so
as to maintain
the richness and diversity of the species within its boundaries and to encourage and promote stewardship of the declining wooded areas of this country. In so doing, the property is maintained as a demonstration woodlot and conservation area where the public is welcome.
Eastern Screech Owl Photo credit: Harold Burgin
The woodlot often hosts organized visits ranging from school children to the "Back Road Tours". Abundant
flora and fauna attracts a broad spectrum of individuals -- conservation specialists -- the serious nature
lover -- those simply wishing solitude. Each visit will provide a new experience. Every day is different -- each season
presents its own offering. Wildlife abounds. Residents and transients; common and rare. Each encounter provides that tingle
of excitement as one takes in what nature has to offer.
Seniors Exercise Group Introduced to the Sawyer Woodlot
July 22, 2016
Does this not look like an obviously happy group visiting the Sawyer Preservation Woodlot? For some, it was their first exposure to this local natural environment where exercise is an invigorating and enjoyable experience. Many did not know where it was or that it even existed — and that it actually was not distant from where they lived.
As part of their tour, the visitors learned of the woodlot's purpose, history and organization along with operational and management strategies and challenges. Not to be excluded were the sights, sounds and smells of the vibrant wooded environment on a summer's day. With membership being open, the visitors were encouraged to join the association's ranks and participate at whatever level fit their lifestyle.
The weather was ideal with the trails being in excellent condition. The bug annoyances were minimal with only a few mosquitos obtaining a snack. Unfortunately the youngest blood was the most tasty.
Left to right: Aileen Burgin, Marilyn Thompson, Joyce Switzer-Doupe,
Sharon Lynn, George Burgin, Clare Brandt, Barrie Temple, Mary Brandt
and Harold Burgin. Absent from photo: Exercise instructor Karen Brinke & her 4 children.
Photo credit: Janice Burgin-Wright
New Woodlot Threat
Dog Strangling Vine — Black Swallowwort and Pale Swallowwort
In the mid-1800's, these two look-alike members of the milkweed family were introduced to the northeastern United States for use in gardens. Recent years have seen the species propagate rapidly and now pose a major threat to areas in southern and central Ontario, as well as the northeastern United States.
The plants form large communities and collectively over-run and choke out native vegetation along fence lines, stream banks, roadsides and wooded areas. Due to their similarity to milkweed, the Monarch Butterfly will lay their eggs on the plant, but these eggs will not survive — thus having a highly negative effect on the Monarch population.
The local hot spot is the Thames River Valley in and around St. Marys which means that it will soon (if not already) be in our woodlot. It is spread easily by the wind, but more significantly by human contact -- such as attaching to boots, clothing, ATV's etc. It also sends up new shoots from roots and damaged areas. Although chemicals such as Roundup are fairly effective, the plants locations do cause control challenges.
For more information, download the Dog Strangling Vine Factsheet.(2 pages — 681 kbytes)