|Ken and Glen, taking Restore Cootes on a history hike today in Lot M.|
|Binkley's Pond, looking south-westerly from what is now McMaster Parking.|
Image from "West Hamilton: A village and a Church" by David N. Jardine
Do we know where Binkley's Pond was? Now we do. It most definitely was fed by the springs still bringing water to the surface on the southern hills sloping toward the parking lots. The pond was partially man-made by using some earthwork to hold the spring water from the streams forming to the south of the wetland/now parking. Later, when the Royal Botanical Gardens owned the land, the pond was diminished in size as the spring fed streams were allowed to return to a more natural flow, snaking northward into Coldspring/Ancaster creek, but as Glen recalls, there was still enough of a pond to skate on in the winter, even with the changes.
We also learned a lot about the Binkley pioneer family's many farm holdings, which shared water resources based both on the Dundas side of Binkley Hollow (i.e. west and north of lot M) and the Hamilton side (i.e. south of Lot M), and Glen helped us to see the former roadways leading from the original Binkley Farm (on Sanders Blvd) above the parking lots and behind the houses on Binkley Cresent.
Ken and Glen join many others from the community and the campus with an interest in seeing McMaster rehabilitate the natural environment in what is now Lot M. It was great of them to share the time and history with us today as we piece together the story of this former wetland.
An update on progress regarding Lot M is coming soon. There's some good news, and (potentially) not-so-good news as well...stay tuned!