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Showing posts from April, 2009

out of control?

An image of Princess Point after a contolled burn by the Royal Botanical Gardens, part of their effort to maintain now rare Oak Savannah habitat. The area of Cootes Paradise is beautiful, and these ongoing restoration and conservation projects are necessary and good; but we must ignore the loud and poisonous highways adjacent to this natural area. The sound of traffic penetrates even the remotest parts of the Cootes sanctuary, detracting from the tranquility that would otherwise offer respite.

Reducing speeds might be a way to reduce the noise pollution on highway 403 at the eastern end of the marsh. "The Noise Pollution Clearinghouse recently reported that when we raised the speed limit from fifty-five to sixty-five miles per hour, it was the noise equivalent of doubling the number of cars on the road." (Hundred Dollar Holiday, Bill McKibben).

Closing Cootes Drive and restoring the wetland at the west end of the marsh would obviously do much for this area's natural poten…

Cootes as Provincial Park?

Ministry and Royal Botanical Gardens differ on whether Cootes Park is dead
Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News Staff
Published on Apr 10, 2009

Ontario Parks and Ministry of Natural Resources officials say the vision of a Cootes Paradise Provincial Park is dead, while Royal Botanical Gardens executive director Mark Runciman maintains the door hasn’t been closed.

“We’d like to have more discussions,” Mr. Runciman said last week, after Ontario Parls spokesperson Greg Maude suggested the RBG itself backed out of provincial park discussions in March 2008.

“The RBG confirmed they had no interest in pursuing provincial park status,” Mr. Maude told the Dundas Star News. “We met, discussed the concept and a decision was made not to pursue it.”

Last week, Mr. Runciman said talks with ministry staff last year were based on a general concept, following up on the once proposed idea of a National Park, but there was never anything firm. And while he hopes the idea isn’t dead, he suggested the province and R…

upstream factors

MOE probes Biedermann plant permit

Eric McGuinness, The Hamilton Spectator, DUNDAS (Apr 17, 2009)


The Ontario Environment Ministry is reviewing an air emissions permit for the Biedermann pesticides packaging plant, where a huge fire in July 2007 flushed toxic chemicals into Spencer Creek, killing thousands of fish.

The review results from a request filed under the Environmental Bill of Rights by Environment Hamilton, which continues to press for greater regulation and scrutiny of the Head Street plant that packages insecticides, rat poison and fertilizers.

At issue is a certificate of approval for a dust collector on machinery that handles a variety of toxic chemicals. Environment Hamilton is asking specifically for stack tests to ensure nothing hazardous is being released into the air.

Calling the review "nothing unusual," Biedermann technical director Brian Peirce said: "We keep our equipment very well maintained. There's nothing we're hiding."

Biologist Joe …

history of Cootes Drive

Tour paradise for speaker series finale

Published on Apr 03, 2009, Dundas Star News

The Dundas Valley Historical Society concludes this season's Speaker Series with writer and historian Randy Kay presenting Drive-through Paradise, A History of Cootes Drive at the Dundas Museum & Archives, 139 Park St. W. on Wednesday, April 8.

Cootes Drive was the first dual carriageway road built in Canada, having been completed in 1936 with cutting-edge construction methods. It runs 3.1 kilometres from Main Street in Hamilton through the western-most area of Cootes Paradise and concludes at York Road in Dundas. Originally known as the Dundas Diversion, Cootes Drive has not been without controversy during its existence. This presentation will cover the history and controversies of the former Highway 102.

Mr. Kay lives in Dundas with his wife and their three daughters. As a freelance writer and reporter he has published in the Hamilton Spectator, Hamilton Magazine, H Magazine and several others.

Mr…