On a sunny Thursday evening in late September, community members from Lakeville, N.B. gathered on a small grassy area next to Williamstown Lake.
In front of a backdrop of changing leaves, DUC staff and local volunteers Merlin and Sharon Dow prepared to unveil a new monument rededicating the project, which is DUC’s first restoration project in Atlantic Canada.
Completed in 1960, the project was an enormous conservation success, thanks to the cooperation of local conservationists, the New Brunswick government and DUC. Williamstown Lake was once an important migration stop for ring-necks, green-winged teals and black ducks (among many others). It was a popular hunting location for waterfowlers and a favourite spot for swimmers and boaters. But the lake’s original logging dam was failing and the water level was dropping. That’s why the local Williamstown Lake Conservation Group got in touch with government officials and DUC’s head office in Manitoba, looking for help to save the lake.
Because of this collaboration and the dedication of the community, Williamstown Lake is now one of the most biologically diverse places in the province. The project has one of the largest collections of rare plants in New Brunswick, and the forest is flourishing. What’s more, the conservation community has thrived along with the habitat project. To this day, community members are working together to make sure Williamstown Lake remains a rare and beautiful place for generations.