The Island Nature Trust is doing an inventory of all the species of plants and animals in P.E.I.'s first wilderness park and the area surrounding it.

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It is important for Bonshaw Wilderness Park planners to know what is there before they put in infrastructure, says Jackie Waddell. ((CBC))

The land was purchased by the province to make way for a new section of the Trans-Canada Highway west of Charlottetown. Some of the land is being made into a new park, in combination with existing provincial parks at Bonshaw and Strathgartney.

Government plans to build trails on some of the land while other areas will be left untouched, but officials need to know exactly what's there before they make those decisions.

"That basic information is going to be used in the development of management plans," said Island Nature Trust executive director Jackie Waddell.

"In some cases they're forest management plans, but they might be for different habitats. Like, there's some old fields that'll be kept in grassland for ground-nesting birds. Knowing what you had in the first place, and then doing an inventory every once in a while is essential to know how those lands are changing."

Island biologist Diane Griffin and her team started the inventory of the 325 hectares of land in May. They have not found any rare birds or plants so far.

The inventory should be done by September, with a management plan released for public input later this fall.

For mobile device users: Are you looking forward to the development of the Bonshaw Wilderness Park?