“he loved nature so much”
The Roots of this Legacy…
Dr. John Lawson was born in Scotland, raised in England and graduated from Edinburgh University in 1941. He served as a medical officer during World War II and later opened a medical practice in England. In 1957 he moved his family to Ingersoll and opened a doctor’s office on King Street West. Local residents often reflect on his friendly and gentle demeanour. Routinely he would be seen riding about town on his bicycle heading off to make patient house calls, all the while waving and smiling at those he passed by. He was a well-respected resident of Ingersoll and the Lawson family often opened their home for Federation of Ontario Naturalists meetings (now known as Ontario Nature).
In 1976, Dr. Lawson purchased the tract of land now known as the Lawson Nature Reserve. It had always been his intention to reclaim, restore and conserve this natural area for his family and future generations to enjoy. He wanted to open the property to the public and lead interpretive walks. He tried to instill a strong appreciation for nature within the Ingersoll community. In Dr. Lawson’s younger years, it was his desire to become a forester… to quote many… “he loved nature so much”.
In 1995, the property was generously donated to Ontario Nature by Dr. Lawson’s family. The Ingersoll District Nature Club has continued his conservation vision by creating a wetland, planting Carolinian species, and restoring its open spaces. This provincially significant property is one of Ontario Nature’s 21 nature reserves. In 2004, the Tract was granted full Nature Reserve status.