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Showing posts from June, 2010

NATURE WIN!

Very welcome news for Cootes Paradise! 

Public wins Pleasantview fight
Jun 16, 2010
The city and local residents have successfully preserved the Pleasantview area of Dundas from urban development. The provincial government has now refused a developer-sought amendment to the Parkway Belt West plan and is tranferring the rural Dundas lands to the protection of the Niagara Escarpment Commission.
A June 2 provincial cabinet decision signed by the Minister of Natural Resources Linda Jeffrey adds the Pleasantview lands and five other parcels in other parts of Ontario to the Niagara Escarpment Planning Area. The shift takes effect on July 1 and affects “the lands lying west of the westerly limit of King’s Highway No. 6 and north of the northerly limit of King’s Highway 403 to the easterly limits of Olympic Drive and the northerly limits of Cootes Drive” between those boundaries and the current escarpment plan area. Tim McCabe, the city’s head of economic development and planning …

BEWARE: HOGWEED GIANT ON THE LOOSE!

If you are scratching your head while leafing through your wild plant guide, don't be worried if you can't find mention of this one. It seems Dundas has been invaded by a plant, originally from Asia, called Giant Hogweed. As with many non-native plants, they can often spread quickly with no natural predators to keep them in check, but this plant is different: "its sap can leave burns that last for up to six years" when exposed to sunlight.
The local daily reports that City workers are applying herbicides to control the spread.  So far they have found
six along Spencer Creek near Cootes Drive.15 in Warren Parka couple of plants on Old Guelph Road."It seems to be travelling up the creek bed," said Sue Gilpin, a city superintendent."

If you find some on city property, call 905-546-CITY to report it

plenty of life in the layers

Dig this ... ancient riverbed
Archeologists stumble on find

Jenni Dunning, The Hamilton Spectator, (Jun 9, 2010) 

Underneath an old lilac garden, researchers have found an ancient riverbed which the area's earliest residents may have called home.
McMaster University archeology students recently uncovered a riverbed -- 10,000 to 30,000 years old -- on the north shore of Lake Ontario in Cootes Paradise, said the group's instructor Meghan Burchell. "It's sheer blind luck. It was a random sampling," she said.
"People don't know there's so much archeology in Hamilton. This is really a living landscape."
The team discovered traces of a deteriorated wood post along the river's edge -- the first evidence of a clear structure, now buried about 25 centimetres underground, Burchell said.
It's likely the remains of a trap or drying rack for fish, she added.
Researchers hope to use a ground penetrating radar in the next couple o…

reason to expand natural areas: eagles!

Photo Courtesy of Jamie Smith Bald eagles at Cootes are a rare pairTheSpec.com - Local - Bald eagles at Cootes are a rare pair At-risk species making a comeback in area landscape

Jenni Dunning
The Hamilton Spectator

(Jun 7, 2010) 

A pair of bald eagles is sticking around Hamilton for a third summer, a sign the area's natural lands are improving, experts say.
If the birds breed, that would make them the first mating pair of bald eagles on Lake Ontario in 50 years.
Their presence in Cootes Paradise, along with growing numbers of at-risk species making a comeback, is encouraging for local conservationists.
"One of the main things it means is we're doing something right," said Lee Oliver, communications manager at the Royal Botanical Gardens.
"We're trying to bring back an ecological balance."
Along with the two bald eagles, there are nine or 10 male Blanding's turtles, which look similar to tortoises and are very rare, Oliver said.
"It's l…

No plan for this place?

Two weeks ago, Restore Cootes was asking "How well thought out is this plan?" to put a Velodrome on Olympic Park. The question was mostly rhetorical, and our concern is borne out in this latest news from the Dundas Star.

Zoning and soil do not support velodrome at Olympic Park, say city, RBG officials

Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News Staff

Published on Jun 03, 2010

Olympic Sports Park is on top of a former landfill and not capable of supporting a building, according to one conservation expert.

City of Hamilton planning staff would not elaborate on the comment made by Tys Theysmeyer, head of conservation and natural lands for the Royal Botanical Gardens, which owns property not far from the Olympic Drive natural area. But according to the city’s planning department, the property’s zoning only permits outdoor recreation.

The National Cycling Centre of Hamilton says a feasibility study it completed on building a cycling velodrome in the city concluded the Dundas park, currently …