Kortright Centre for Conservation
Kortright Centre for Conservation is also owned and operated by TRCA and located in the Woodbridge area of Vaughan, Ontario. Named for conservationist Dr. Francis Kortright, posthumously when the park opened in 1979, seven years after his death in 1972. The park is bounded by Rutherford Road and Major Mackenzie Drive West to the south and north, respectively, and by Pine Valley Drive to the east. In total, the area is 325 hectares, consisting of maple trees and pine trees in the Pine Valley.
The maple trees yield sap in the spring, from which maple syrup is produced in March and April each year. The annual Maple Syrup Festival demonstrations about traditional and modern maple syrup production methods, with samples given and bottles of maple syrup for sale. There are also wagon rides, balloon animals, face painting and magic shows during the event.
A small indoor theatre shows documentary films about nature conservation in the Greater Toronto Area. A small gift shop and event area also exist, as does the sugar shack where the maple syrup is produced. Kortright Centre also hosts Earth Rangers, a non-profit youth education organization which teaches students about environmental stewardship and conservation.
Nashville Conservation Reserve
Nashville Conservation Reserve completes the trifecta of conservation areas in Vaughan, Ontario. Located just outside the village of Kleinburg, it makes up part of the Humber River watershed. Part of the reserve is also in King Township. It is not entirely contained within Vaughan city limits. The NCR is over 2250 acres in total.
Boyd Conservation Area and Boyd Park
Boyd Conservation Area is a land preserve located along the Humber River valley in the Woodbridge area of Vaughan, Ontario. It is owned and operated by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA). The park’s unofficial motto is “Naturo exorno omnis nos postulo”. The park operates from April to October annually, while residents of Vaughan and surrounding areas visiting the park also avail themselves of the land during winter months when the park is not officially open. Visitors do have the option of purchasing individual or family memberships to all areas of the TRCA.
The park area features picnic pavilions, bocce courts, soccer fields, basketball courts, volleyball courts and children’s playgrounds. Many Vaughan area groups reserve space in the park for club or corporate picnic events. Boyd Park also hosts an outdoor youth soccer league on its soccer fields during the summer. The sheltered outdoor sites are aptly used for summertime concerts as well. Many visitors frequent the conservation area to enjoy nature hiking and birdwatching. The many hiking paths facilitate cross-country running races, and Vaughan has hosted OFSAA Cross Country at Boyd several times.
Park staff are employees of TRCA, thus are easily identified by their powder blue shirts with TRCA crest over dark blue pants and safety boots. Employees have the option of wearing TRCA caps or cowboy hats. In the winter, staff work at Kortright Centre for Conservation. Hiking trails that contribute to the Humber River Trail (William Granger Greenway) connect Boyd Conversation Area in Woodbridge to Binder Twine Park in Kleinburg.