The Lower Maitland River Valley Natural Area is one of the largest areas of natural cover in southern Ontario. It is a physically diverse landscape of cliffs, forests and seepage areas providing habitat for many species, including some of which that are globally and/or provincially rare. NCC has acquired a number of properties in the area in an effort to conserve and maintain these features, including the 66.8 ha (165 acre) Riverbend property. The Riverbend property is situated on a large oxbow in the river and hosts a significant amount of shoreline, cliff, and mixed forest habitat. The site is primarily forested with a mix of species that perfectly demonstrates the meeting of northern and southern ecosystems that occurs in the Maitland valley. Cliffs host old, slow-growing cedars, while deciduous communities that contain southern species, such as common hackberry and northern spice-bush, grow in areas of richer soil.
Decodon, pontederia and buttonbush (Photo by Caroline Tanguay/NCC)