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Malcolm Kirk Nature Reserve

A diverse reserve flourishing in a relatively isolated spot at the base of the Saugeen Bruce Peninsula.

Pines, Malcolm Kirk Nature Reserve © Erica Orbendorfer


Containing one of the most botanically rich segments of the 640-hectare Long Swamp, the 45-hectare (112-acre) Malcolm Kirk Nature Reserve flourishes at the base of the Saugeen Bruce Peninsula.

Long Swamp is a Provincially Significant Wetland and an Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI).

Northern blue iris © Linda Read


Ontario Nature purchased this biologically rich property in 1972 after it had been optioned by our former nature reserves committee member Malcolm Kirk.

Initially called Long Swamp Nature Reserve, the property was renamed in Kirk’s honour to recognize his tireless involvement in protecting natural areas.

Stream and marsh, Malcolm Kirk Nature Reserve © Cali Fox

“Being in the outdoors is life-giving on many fronts – especially in spring when the earth is awakening, migratory birds are on the wing and ephemeral plants are springing up out of the ground. The role of steward takes all of this into account – as you consider an inventory of what you’re seeing and hearing. It is deeply satisfying and important for the sustainable management of all nature reserves.”

– Beth Anne Currie, Steward


The western portion of the nature reserve is an open, minerotrophic fen on a floating sedge mat that extends into a small lake on an adjacent property. Most of the eastern section is wooded, with the wettest part being a combination of sphagnum mats and black spruce stands.

One of the few fens of this type on the Saugeen Bruce Peninsula, the property is home to sheep laurel, pale laurel, leatherleaf and small cranberry. The woods support red maple, paper birch, yellow birch, white cedar, balsam fir and hemlock.

Fungi and sphagnum moss, Malcolm Kirk Nature Reserve © Keeva Fitzpatrick

Malcolm Kirk Nature Reserve

The Malcolm Kirk Nature Reserve is generously supported by The Comart Foundation