The Nature Conservancy of Canada has purchased two new properties in one of the Greater Toronto Area's most biologically rich areas.
It says the Happy Valley Forest in King Township, Ont., is one of the largest remaining intact upland deciduous forests on the Oak Ridges Moraine.
The Glen Echo and Deep Woods properties add 47 hectares to the existing protected space, and feature ancient trees and are home to many provincially and federally identified rare species.
The conservancy says it has been working to conserve the Happy Valley Forest over the past 15 years, and has helped assemble 302 hectares of protected land that is open to the public for low impact activities, such as hiking.
The land was purchased through donations and more than $2 million from the federal government under the natural areas conservation program.
Regional vice president James Duncan says the acquisitions represent a significant step forward toward the conservancy's goal of protecting the core of the Happy Valley Forest for "the benefit of current and future generations."