The Froese Family Conservation Agreement Donation

helloLand Donations, Riparian, Uplands

In the heart of Manitoba’s corn country remains a treasured piece of natural habitat along the Dead-horse Creek, a tributary of the Red River. Through the conservation efforts of the Froese family, in partnership with the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation, a block of riparian forest that plays a key role in recharging a local aquifer, will remain a part of the landscape forevermore.
In 2010, the Froese family approached MHHC for assistance in providing permanent protection for a 42 acre (17 hec-tare) parcel of river bottom forest. This habitat type, comprised of mixed-hardwoods, once dominated the banks of the Red River and its tributaries. These corridors of forests provided habitat for a variety of flora and fauna while enhancing the water quality within the Red River valley, functions that remaining forests continue to this day. The Froeses have enjoyed this patch and habitat for four generations. The woods were originally retained to provide a place for rejuvenation and enjoyment for the family, but today the Froeses share their love of this habitat, and its wildlife, with others by allowing members of the local community to cross-country ski on several trails throughout the property. While the Froese family wanted to protect the land for its contribution to wildlife, their contribution is also positively impacting the drinking water supply for over 10,000 people.
The woodland, now permanently protected, is located within the Winkler Aquifer’s primary recharge zone, an area of only three square miles. The City of Winkler, surrounding communities, and rural residents, rely on this aquifer as their main source of drinking water. The retention and preservation of natural cover on the landscape improves both the quality and the quantity of water reaching this aquifer.
The habitat that the Froeses have voluntarily donated represents 17% of the remaining woodlands within the recharge zone. This habitat type is particularly effective at recharging the aquifer as it traps snow and slows the flow of water through the area. In turn, this enhances water percolation and recharges the aquifer with clean, fresh, water. Through this process, the project directly addresses the maintenance, protection and restoration of surface and ground water quality. The project also aligns with key beneficial management activities as outlined by the Winkler Aquifer Management Plan.
This project was completed by The Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation; a provincial Crown Corporation with a mandate to conserve, restore, and enhance the fish and wildlife habitat within Manitoba. To date, MHHC has conserved over 100,000 acres of habitat through more than 600 partnerships with rural landowners. Of this total, 12,505 acres of habitat were received by way of donation, including this project.