Kathryn and Mike Boothby had a vision to welcome wildlife to their small farm north of Lake Erie in rural Southwestern Ontario. Over many happy hours of planning and work, the couple has naturalized about 25 acres (10 hectares) of their farm with forest habitat, pollinator-friendly borders and a small wetland.
“Every day is a new delight here now that we’ve created something for wildlife,” says Kathryn Boothby. “I’m a country girl at heart. I grew up on a beautiful orchard and fruit farm in England. After working for 30 years in cities around the world, including Canada, it was time to find that early part of my life and get back to nature.”
The couple spent their first year on the farm learning about the land before they connected with the expertise that would help them fulfill their vision. One of those expert groups is DUC, which helped them create a new wetland on the property.
A “whole new world” arrived with the wetland
“The wetland brings a whole new world to the landscape. It’s become a beautiful resting spot for ducks and migratory birds in the spring and fall,” says Boothby. “We have a stream that runs through the ravine which we’ve been helping to re-forest and the wetland brings a new variety of species.
“The number of dragonflies is quite remarkable. And to see the purple martins come down, scoop them up and take them back to their young at the nest is just outstanding. It’s very peaceful and tranquil down by the pond and I think that it’s really something that’s good for the soul.”
Join Kathryn Boothby and DUC conservation specialist Jeff Krete on a tour of the Boothbys’ small farm in southern Ontario: