The Upper Thames River Conservation Authority (UTRCA) began construction of Wildwood Dam and Reservoir in 1963 on Trout Creek, upstream of the Town of St. Marys. The official sod-turning ceremony took place on June 4, 1963 and the dam was finished in November 1965. Wildwood was named for a Post Office that was once located on the property.
The UTRCA started building the Conservation Area facilities in 1966. A road was built to the reservoir and an area marked off for bathers, and picnic tables were installed. The campground opened in 1968 with 62 campsites. By 1973, the campground had grown to 380 sites. There are now 413 campsites.
Wildwood Dam is one of three major flood control dams in the Upper Thames River watershed, the other two being at Fanshawe CA and Pittock CA. At approximately 1400 hectares, Wildwood has the largest land base of the three multi-use conservation areas. Wildwood's campground and day use area cover 50 ha. An estimated 150,000 people visit Wildwood each year. Wildwood operates with three full time staff and 22 seasonal staff.
Environmental Education Programs
If you see a bus driving through the campground, give a wave! If you hear a boisterous group of children making their way down the paths of the Dr. R.S. Murray Forest, smile! If you see the dedicated education staff, say hello!
For over 35 years, education staff at Wildwood Conservation Area have been providing curriculum-based environmental education programs to approximately 5000 students a year from preschool through high school.
The Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07, were created under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA). The standards came into effect on January 1, 2008. The regulation sets out the obligations for certain persons, businesses and other organizations to provide goods or services in a way that is accessible to people with disabilities in Ontario.
This policy will ensure that people with disabilities are given equal opportunity to obtain, use and benefit from the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority (UTRCA) programs and services.