The Wilfrid G Crozier reserve has played an important role in preserving the beauty and ecology of the Niagara Escarpments. The 4-hectare reserve straddles a section of the escarpment near Milton. Donated to the Ontario Federation of Naturalists in 1972 by Wilfrid G. Crozier, the reserve allowed the Federation to appear before hearings on the Niagara Escarpment Plan as not only an interested party, but also as a landowner.
This reserve, though small in size, straddles the Niagara Escarpment, from the field which fronts on Highway 25 below the bluff, to the bluff itself, to a field above the rock edge. The cliff at this point is not high, but it is typical of escarpment outcrops in this region. Much of the surrounding land above the escarpment is forested, and the Bruce Trail passes through the middle of the property. [Hilts 1984]
The escarpment face, except for the top five metres or so, is mostly buried behind a talus slope. Plants that have managed to gain a foothold in crevasses and on ledges include such uncommon species as
Slender Cliff-brake and Walking Fern. Spikenard, Selkirk’s Violet and Spotted St. Johnswort are other interesting plants found on the property. Here, the escarpment rim is dominated by Eastern Hemlock with a scattering of Sugar Maple, Paper Birch, Eastern White Cedar, White Ash, and Red Oak. The cliff-edge forest extends about 12 metres back from the face and then opens into old field again.
Above and below the short cliffs that divide the reserve in half are old fields that have been tilled. In the recent past, these fields have been used mostly for grazing and hay mowing. Now they are good examples of old-field succession communities. A very open cover of young trees such as White Ash and White Elm gives way to mostly shrub cover – Hawthorn, Staghorn Sumac, Chokecherry, Raspberry and the like – as the visitor moves away from the base of the slope.
Geocachers can help ensure places like the Wilfrid G Crozier reserve exist by supporting organizations like the Ontario Federation of Naturalists.
|Latitude:||N 43 33.996|
|Longitude:||W 79 57.728|