Marilyn Wan and Dr. Kal Holsti donated the Valens Brook Nature Reserve in 2012. The nearly four hectare reserve protects a portion of its namesake waterway and diverse riparian forest. Salmon spawn here, as the creek runs through a lush, maturing forest of cedars, firs, ferns and sedges. The riparian ecosystem supports a great diversity of species, including red-legged frog, salamanders, Bald Eagles, Great Blue Herons and beavers.
For many years, Valens Brook has been part of an Urban Salmon Habitat Program and other salmon enhancement projects. Marilyn and Kal's donation of land represent a larger effort to permanently protect the creek from its headwaters to the sea, creating a green belt for habitat to thrive and others to enjoy.
The forest structure here tells us that the land now protected as Valens Brook Nature Reserve was never logged, but was likely burned in the past 100 years. Since then, the habitat on the reserve has rarely been disturbed. The primarily older second growth forest has a lush understory of sword fern and salal.
Dr. Kal Holsti purchased the property in 1969 when this area of Denman was a rural wilderness. Since then, properties have been subdivided and houses and septic fields built. Kal and Marilyn were worried about the effect crowding, habitat destruction and increased septic leaks were having on Valens Brook and the salmon that spawn here. In 2012, the couple subdivided their property under Section 99 of the Land Title Act, donating the natural portion of their property as a nature reserve while retaining a small portion of their property for their own personal use.
Valens Brook Nature Reserve's primary purpose is to provide a green buffer for its namesake waterway - a salmon-bearing creek. The Islands Trust Fund does not maintain trails on this nature reserve in order to best protect the sensitive nature of the riparian habitat and the wildlife it supports. A future management plan will explore the reserve's suitability to host light walking and nature appreciation. Until that time, we ask visitors to refrain from venturing into this nature reserve.