In 1989, Otis Sawyer severed a 28.61 acre wooded parcel from his 150 acre family farm -- the first
step toward the establishment of the Sawyer Preservation Woodlot. With the financial resources of a trust fund, and the guidance
of an association of dedicated individuals, subsequent years have seen the site become a tribute to his legacy.
Otis' love of the outdoors, nature, and the woods, is today being shared with all who find their
way into the Sawyer Preservation Woodlot. It is a little off the beaten track but well worth the effort to get there. The site is alive with
flora and fauna. As you travel the trails that criss-cross the property, you quickly become aware of the richness of the
setting. Bring your binoculars and camera, and immerse yourself in the beauty and serenity.
Listen carefully to the sounds around you -- nature, wildlife -- your own heartbeat. In time, you may even hear the faint strains
of music -- a violin, perhaps? A bit off-key??? It's just Otis -- or perhaps your memories of the man.
Otis & Gladys Sawyer
Tree Farm 1957-1958 ... Stratford Beacon Herald
London Free Press Article 1979-11-04
The Sawyer Preservation Woodlot Association is a registered non-profit corporation dedicated to serving as a
"trustee and guardian" for the 28.61 acre Sawyer Woodlot. At the present time, the general membership numbers
about 80 individuals -- from which a board of directors is appointed to oversee the day-to-day operations. Additionally,
various committees support the directors by focussing on specific aspects of woodlot management, operations, public relations
and other initiatives. All positions are voluntary -- no salaries are paid. The association is guided by the vision of the founder
and benefactor, Otis Sawyer (1899-1996).
The primary responsibility of the group is to manage this woodlot so as to ensure its health and well-being while making it
an educational and people-friendly place. Priority efforts are to perpetuate the diverse composition of this woodlot -- one
typical of those dotting our countryside for the past hundred or more years. Many woodlots are in decline due to
mismanagement, lack of management and attack by humans and disease. Our woodlots cannot be allowed to disappear
-- they must be preserved and enhanced for future generations.
Education is a major direction for the association. School children participate in organized visits to the woodlot as
part of their science and environmental studies. Specific attention is paid to the various species and the interaction between
each, and the importance of woodlots (large and small) to our planet. As a demonstration woodlot, various adult groups and
individuals are invited to tour the property. In our promotion of
stewardship, they gain insight on what we are doing, with the hopes that more protected natural properties will
evolve across the country.
If your group would like to visit the Sawyer Preservation Woodlot for a guided tour, we ask that you
contact us to make arrangements. We would be pleased to be your host.
Managed Forest Plan 2019-2038
SPWA Managed Forest Plan 2019-2038 (1,925 KB, 20 pages)
In keeping with the philosophy guiding the operation of the Sawyer Preservation Woodlot Association, the Managed Forest Woodlot Plan is integral. Through the assistance of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, this ongoing document serves to not only provide direction going forward, but also provide a record of our environmental asset. It serves to keep us on track, provide a checklist, and stay focussed on our direction.
The stewardship plan covers a 20 year span and includes both short and long term objectives. It was prepared with the assistance of Marvin Smith, a registered forester, after a detailed tour of the property accompanied by several association members. In order for the Managed Forest Plan to remain valid, an ongoing record must be retained of objective progress and reported every 5 years. At the 10 year mark, the plan must be updated and renewed. A side benefit of this plan is that it qualifies the Association for a reduction of 75% in local property tax.