Kimbercote Farm – Conserving Land in the Beaver Valley
Caledon Contemporaries is an organization dedicated to practicing and promoting environmental stewardship, social responsibility and spiritual exploration. The group purchased Kimbercote Farm, a beautiful piece of land in the Beaver Valley, in 1975 to create a hub for communities to gather and grow. Caledon Contemporaries donated a conservation agreement to EBC back in 2001 in order to protect the natural areas on the property. Since then, we have worked together to protect this beautiful place on the escarpment.
Caledon Contemporaries contacted EBC in 2015 with a new proposition. The organization was closing its doors and wanted to ensure that the land would go to an organization that would continue to steward the property and use it as a place for gathering. They decided to sever the property and give the vacant land to EBC and the farm and residence to Elephant Thoughts, a local charity. Elephant Thoughts enables teachers to create change in Canada and abroad. They work with schools in Ontario, in First Nations and Inuit Communities across Canada and in several developing countries. They organize and deliver programs to these groups on a variety of topics. With their interest in education, community and the environment, Elephant Thoughts was a perfect match to take on ownership of the Kimbercote Farm Retreat Centre.
Over the past few years, we have been working with Caledon Contemporaries and Elephant Thoughts to finalize the severance of the land and complete the transfer. Finally, the wait is over! EBC is now the owner of approximately 80 acres of this property and Elephant Thoughts owns the front 25 acres. EBC and Elephant Thoughts will now work together to continue the efforts of the Caledon Contemporaries. EBC has encouraged Elephant Thoughts to use the entire property for their programs and allow visitors to explore the land.
The property is very scenic and includes features typical of the Beaver Valley and the Niagara Escarpment. A trail has been maintained on the property running from east to west along a steep gradient climbing upward toward the western boundary. The trail goes through a regenerating field dominated by young white ash and scattered red maple, black cherry and apple. The trail continues across a small stream and ends at the base of a mature mixed forest. This area leads to a valley where a tributary of the Beaver River flows across the land and onto the adjacent properties. If you continue north along the forest line and connect to the Bruce Trial which follows an unopened road allowance on the northern property boundary.
In addition to scenic beauty, the features of this property provide suitable habitat for a variety of wildlife including species at risk. The Eastern Meadowlark and Bobolink have been observed in the regenerating fields on the land. Both species are grassland, ground nesting birds and are designated as Threatened in Ontario. Bat species are often found along waterways and in open areas sheltered by tree lines like those that occur on this property. Monitoring of this property in 2016 yielded reports of several bat species, some at risk, that use this property as a feeding ground in the evenings. This property provides a safe area for these species to thrive and will continue to support these populations with the help of EBC and Elephant Thoughts.