September 21, 2023
St. Thomas –Kettle Creek Conservation Authority is closing the Kirk Cousins Management Area and associated 3.1 km trail for the remainder of the season, planning to reopen the area in the Spring of 2024 following upgrades to the parking lot and invasive species management.
The Management Area and its associated trail will close as of October 2, 2023 and re-open in Spring 2024.
“The work we have planned for the parking lot and the trailhead will make the area more inviting,” says General Manager Elizabeth VanHooren. “Closures are not ideal – but we believe it will be worth the wait and will allow our staff to work in safe environment.”
Plans for the area include new signage, a new picnic area and a revamped parking lot which will maintain at least 22 parking spots. A berm around the parking lot will be removed and the trailhead clearly defined. The attached map details the planned work including areas of invasive species control.
In recent years, areas north of the parking lot on Scotland Drive have been overtaken by invasive Knotweed, Autumn Olive and European Buckthorn. Mowing, removing species by hand and some herbicide application will be required to remove these species. Repeat management may be required over several years to completely remove the seed bed. The goal will be to return the area seen on the map as Area 1 to tall grass prairie habitat. Staff will also be planting native species tree and shrub species around Area 2.
The improvements are being undertaken thanks to funding support provided by Trillium ROOTS Community Fund and the Invasive Species Action Fund.
KCCA properties are normally closed to the public from November 30 to April 1. Staff are confident that the area will re-open to the public on April 1, 2024.
Questions on this project can be directed to:
519-631-1270 ext. 222