Muskoka Conservancy and the federal government are saying thanks to local friends of the environment. Muskoka resident Jim Grand donated 252 acres of property in Muskoka Lakes to the conservancy back in 2011, and is now getting national recognition. As part of a Canada 150 initiative to credit those working on habitat conservation, the feds gave the Grand family an award for their efforts to preserve the land. A new sign was at unveiled at the nature reserve earlier this month to honour the Grand family and their award.

The Grand Family Nature Reserve is home to mixed forests of Hemlock and Oak, as well at wetland areas. The conservancy says the land is an ideal habitat for the Massassauga rattlesnake, which is an endangered species. It also has potential for deer wintering areas, and the Canada warbler, Eastern ribbon snake, and the Milk snake have all been seen in the area, which the conservancy says are species of concern.

In total, the conservancy oversees 2,400 acres of land which includes 37 different properties. Its goal is to create and protect nature reserves, while providing education for the public.