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The species diversity of rare is significant for one-third of the plants of Waterloo Region are found here together with 70% of the birds, 60% of the amphibians and reptiles and 50% of the mammals. As well, about two dozen species of fish inhabit the rivers and streams of rare. This diversity reflects its location along the boundary formed by the Carolinian forest zone of southern Ontario with the Northern Hardwood forest zone of the province.

Conservation is rare’s priority and the organization has developed a unique method based on 3 fundamental principles:

  • undertake research to further science and equally value and support Indigenous ways of knowing and being that will result in best practices for use around the world;
  • train the next generation of land stewards who will perpetuate these values; and
  • create an entire community of support for them and for shared goals between scientists and Indigenous communities.

With 24 different habitats and more than 4,000 species on its first three properties the goal of rare is to preserve its sites and their ecosystems intact in perpetuity, for the community to enjoy in their natural states. Through sustainable management, sensitive lands and research sites are protected while the public can enjoy 8 km of trails, extensive community gardens and regular interpretive events.

Our emphasis on community education and engagement, based on living together in reciprocity, comes from our belief that sustainability is an attainable goal that can be reached if we recognize people as part of the environment and work together towards responsible stewardship.

– Photo by Amanda Newell