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Too many (parking) spaces, not enough green!

Proof that McMaster is overbuilt with parking comes via this recent (April 2011) consultants' report on McMaster Campus Capacity: at the peak of parking demand, 2,803 spaces are required out of a possible 4,276 spaces - that's 1,473 unused spaces at peak usage. That's a lot of concrete and asphalt wasted even at peak, with of course far less demand the majority of time. 

There are 1,349 spaces in lot M at present, the site of the parking lot that abuts Ancaster Creek and the focus of our concern at Restore Cootes. Where we are pushing for at least a 30m buffer between parking and the creek, it turns out a lot more could be done. In fact, given the data, the possibility exists to remove the majority of spaces there, enabling us to realistically act on the potential to re-establish a natural area so important to the health of the local watershed, including the Cootes Paradise marsh which Ancaster Creek feeds into.

As we know, the parking lots located west of Cootes Drive are built on land that up until 1965 was owned by the Royal Botanical Gardens and known as Coldspring Valley trails, home to Binkley's Pond and several hiking trails that traversed the floodplain of Coldspring Creek (AKA Ancaster Creek) - a spot of beauty and habitat to species including endangered turtles and amphibians, as well as deer, coyote and beaver. 

Over four decades ago, McMaster prioritized parking over nature. We have a wonderful opportunity to reverse that priority by addressing innovative ways to restore the natural beauty that was buried for car parking. 


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Taking a different direction to protect turtles in Cootes

Here's an easy thing you can do that will benefit at local risk-turtles immediately. It's as simple as taking a different route to bypass Cootes and Olympic Drive. This small choice will mean turtles and other wildlife in Cootes Paradise will have a better chance of surviving from being crushed under your vehicle tires.

Take the pledge: http://bit.ly/ProtectTurtlesCootes
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Please take a minute to pledge your commitment to use an alternate route, and help Restore Cootes and other groups do their part to protect our reptile friends. A previous survey showed that 70% of respondents would do this for the turtles. Hopefully you will join them!

Thanks in advance for your support!


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Coldspring Valley History Hike: Water Innovation Week

We're heading back out to share the history of this former floodplain/nature sanctuary, and take a look at the rehabilitated future of this contested site in McMaster's west campus. Can we really depave Paradise? It's happening!

Register on Eventbrite: http://bit.ly/waterweekwalk2017 (by donation)




Another look at McMaster Parking Lot M after the depaving (video)

I went back to the same spot to grab a time-lapse of Lot M, post asphalt removal to create the 30m minimum required buffer between the parking lot and Ancaster Creek, a cold water creek that was moved to allow more parking in the 1960s.

There's hope for the future of this space, which formerly was a Royal Botanical Gardens nature sanctuary known as Coldspring Valley. We will have some updates to announce soon!

With your help, we can keep moving forward to see more of this area returned to nature. Please sign-up to keep informed about developments and campaigns from Restore Cootes!