The Georgian Bay Land Trust says a 10-year vision has reached the finish line.

Volunteer Eric Woodley holds a juvenile Eastern Milksnake found living on the property this past summer. (GBLT)


The Dattels Reserve in Pointe au Baril has been expanded by 5.4 acres and now covers an entire 10-acre island in Hemlock Channel.

First created in 2009, the land for the Dattels Reserve was donated to the GBLT by conservationist Jennifer Dattels after she bought the eastern side of the island. A decade later the western half of the island hit the market.

Dattels says “my dreams were realized last year when the western half of the island came up for sale, allowing for a further purchase and donation to the GBLT. This made the Dattels Reserve complete at last. It is my pleasure to have protected the island from development, and to have preserved the natural beauty of Hemlock Channel.”

The Dattels Reserve is home to at least six species at risk. Those are the Eastern Musk Turtle, the Midland Painted Turtle, the Eastern Whip-poor-will, the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake, the Eastern Foxsnake, and the Eastern Milksnake.

The GBLT says it’s quite likely that other species at risk, in addition to many non-threatened species, also make use of the island’s habitat, which includes rock barrens, mixed forest, and a coastal marsh.