This nature reserve at 265 Blackburn Road surrounds about two-thirds of Blackburn Lake, which is at the center of Salt Spring Island.
Public Trails: There are mowed walking trails throughout this reserve. NO DOGS are allowed. Why no dogs? This nature reserve is a haven for waterfowl, herons, ground-nesting birds, small mammals and frogs. These all need a safe habitat for feeding, migration and breeding. Dogs can disturb wildlife and their feces contaminate the water.
Swimming: Want to swim in Blackburn Lake? There is a public access point off Fulford-Ganges Road (North of Horel Road). Note that there is no lake access from the nature reserve.
Ecology: Blackburn Lake — one of the island’s 8 freshwater lakes – is 3-4 hectares in size (similar to Ford Lake) and is critical to the health of the Cusheon Lake watershed. Over 70 percent of the water arriving to Cusheon Lake (which has been experiencing water quality challenges) flows through Blackburn Lake. This reserve includes about two-thirds of the lakeshore, three streams, considerable wetlands, some tree cover on the edges, and numerous open meadows. The property is a remarkable haven for 21 Species At Risk including: Little Brown Myotis, Townsend’s Big-eared Bat, Band-tailed Pigeon, Barn Swallow, Common Nighthawk, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Peregrine Falcon, Northern Pygmy-owl, Black Swift, Northern Red-legged Frog, Pacific Sideband, Swamp Fingernailclam, Blue Dasher, Common Woodnymph, Propertius Duskywing, Green-sheathed Sedge, Ozette Coralroot, Peacock Vinyl, and Common Bladder-moss.
The reserve also harbours many waterfowl and over 100 species of birds, many waterfowl, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, gastropods and invertebrates. The property also features rare habitat for juvenile coho salmon and cutthroat trout.
September 2013 – After 14 months of intense effort, the Conservancy took title to the 32.6 acre lot at 265 Blackburn Road, encompassing about half the land around Blackburn Lake. Over 400 community contributors and volunteers supported the purchase campaign. A major grant from Environment Canada’s Habitat Stewardship Program for Species At Risk was a big boost, as well as grants from the Salt Spring Island Foundation and the Islands Trust Fund, plus more than $350,000 in individual contributions and considerable support from the Conservancy’s annual budget and land acquisition fund.