The Brock Lands: Restoring Habitats in the Duffins Creek Watershed

The Brock Lands: Restoring Habitats in the Duffins Creek Watershed
April 16, 2021 Debbie Pokornik

The Brock Lands, a sprawling ecologically sensitive area located in the Northern parts of Ajax and Pickering, is one of the most significant natural heritage parcels and recreational destinations in Durham Region. The 392 hectares (969 acres) of land offers the possibility to connect two major natural corridors within the Duffins Creek Watershed, which has historically been disturbed through intensive land use activities which altered the topography and functionality of the site. TRCA’s long-term goal for the site is to protect and restore ecological function and resilience across the wide range of environments present, including intact mixed forests, open meadows, and wetland communities.

Through a continued partnership with the Town of Ajax and City of Pickering, TRCA has developed a 25-year restoration plan that will achieve a self-sustaining natural system that contributes to the overall health of the Duffins Creek watershed. As part of this plan, TRCA will be focusing on the Brock South Restoration Area in 2021 and has committed to planting 8,000 native plants this year. There is also potential for additional plantings of 4,500 native plants, as our restoration teams are always looking for new opportunities to maximize the impact of these types of projects.

TRCA will continue stewarding its strong partnerships to further the enhancement of these lands. Through careful planning, ongoing monitoring and site management, these lands will become a public destination, offering a variety of recreational and cultural experiences that are appropriately integrated on the landscape to ensure natural and human heritage resources are protected. These lands will facilitate important regional trail linkages and provide connectivity to the planned Seaton Natural Heritage System west of the property and the Greenwood Conservation Area to the east, resulting in 3,313 hectares (8,187 acres) of connected natural greenspace.