Canada Has Officially Recognized the Rock Dunder Nature Reserve in Rideau Lakes Township as a Protected Area

Rock Dunder Nature Reserve landscape shot.

Pan-Canadian standards officially recognized the Rock Dunder Nature Reserve in Rideau Lakes Township as a “protected area.” This news brings Canada closer to its international commitment to protect 30% of land and water by 2030, known as “30 by 30”. With its unique natural beauty, biodiversity and hiking trails, Rock Dunder is a valuable addition to the list of protected areas in Ontario.

The reserve is home to at least 274 species, including 10 species at risk, such as the wood thrush, eastern wood peewee, and eastern whip-poor-will. In 1983, the Ministry of Natural Resources designated the site as an “Area of Natural and Scientific Interest,” highlighting its importance for conservation, heritage, and education.

The Rideau Waterway Land Trust (RWLT) and the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Network (FABN) made Rock Dunder Nature Reserve’s protected area status possible through their collaboration. FABN received funding from Environment and Climate Change Canada in 2022 to work with local conservation groups to assess and report areas meeting the pan-Canadian standards.

The two popular hiking trails at Rock Dunder not only offer stunning views but also benefit the regeneration of terrestrial orchids, such as nodding ladies’ tresses and pink lady’s slippers. The UNESCO Frontenac Arch Biosphere Region recognizes Rock Dunder for its exceptional natural and cultural value.

In conclusion, Rock Dunder’s protected area status is a step towards preserving our planet’s natural beauty, biodiversity and a sustainable future. If you have lands that you feel would be eligible for assessment, you can contact FABN at Join the efforts of RWLT and FABN in supporting sustainable community development and celebrating the interconnectedness of nature, livelihood, well-being, and culture for this and future generations.

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