Skip to main content

Mac agrees to ‘small but significant’ buffer


By Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News
McMaster University says it will eliminate 380 parking spots in a lot west of Cootes Drive to create a natural buffer between the concrete and Ancaster Creek.
The move would meet the minimum buffer required by the Hamilton Conservation Authority, but falls short of a a separate request to eliminate more parking and rehabilitate the entire floodplain.
Gord Arbeau, the university’s director of public relations, said the plan is to create a continuous 30-metre landscaped strip between the entire creek and the parking lot – as recommended in the university’s campus master plan. He said work will begin in the spring.
“The vision includes some naturalized swales,” Arbeau said, explaining runoff from the parking lot would flow into those swales.
He said the next step is to tender the project and find a partner to work with.
McMaster University and the Hamilton Conservation Authority have been discussing the 30-metre buffer for several months. The parking lot apparently predates the minimum natural zone along the creek, so the authority could not enforce the requirement on the University.
Randy Kay of the Ontario Public Interest Research Group at McMaster, has been pushing for the minimum buffer under the Restore Cootes campaign.
Kay began the campaign after learning of the minimum 30-metre buffer in the university’s 2012 [corr. 2002] Campus Master Plan.
“While scaling back parking means 318 less parking spaces….a surplus of available parking at peak demand of over 1,000 spaces means no drivers will lose the ability to park on campus,” Kay said in a press release Monday.
The campaign caught some attention, and grew to the point of a group of McMaster professors calling on the university to go beyond 30-metre buffer by eliminating at least double the parking spaces and reclaiming the natural wetland that existed before Parking Lot M was built.
“That’s a challenge for the university to do,” Arbeau said, suggesting there is still a demand for parking in that area of the campus.
Kay said the 30-metre buffer is small, but significant, step toward the goal of full rehabilitation of the floodplain previously known as Coldspring Valley Nature Sanctuary.
Professors on the McMaster Marsh group suggest naturalizing the parking lot to its previous condition would create a one-of-a-kind outdoor research lab, in addition to improving the natural area surrounding McMaster University’s campus.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Urquhart Butterfly Garden speaker series

A lovely butterfly garden is the perfect setting for this annual speaker series.
August 4, 2018, Guest speaker: Doreen Nicoll You cannot have Monarch Butterflies without milkweed.  Doreen Nicoll has recently become a heroine for monarch butterflies, by insisting on her rights to grow milkweed in her naturalized garden in Burlington.

Doreen  Nicoll has long understood that garden with nature and not against her is the best thing for our planet. She also knows that native plants are great at attracting butterflies and bees of all species.

Doreen will be the first presenter in the Summer Series at the Urquhart Butterfly Garden and her topic will be Monarchs and Their Milkweed and naturalized gardening. She has wealth of information and is fun as well!

The session will begin at 11 am Saturday on August 4 and last approximately one hour.  Please bring a chair.

If it rains the session will be cancelled.


For more information about the Urquhart Butterfly Garden please visit urquhartbutterfly.c…

History Hike in West Campus Tuesday, September 11 at 2pm

We're going on a hike to introduce McMaster students (and any other interested participants) to this former RBG Coldspring Valley Nature Sanctuary and coldwater creek floodplain  - currently a parking lot - to examine the past, present and future of this place that is undergoing an important ecological transformation.
Tour Leaders Dan Coleman (English Professor and author of Yardwork: A Biography of an Urban Place)Randy Kay (Restore Cootes)Judy Major-Girardin (School of the Arts)

Salamander Safety!

http://www.insidehalton.com/news-story/4430337-city-closing-king-road-for-salamanders-starting-march-27/

King Road will close from the base of the Niagara Escarpment to Mountain Brow Road from March 27-April 17 to allow the endangered Jefferson salamander safe passage during its annual migration to lay eggs.

Beginning in 2012, the City of Burlington has closed the same section of road completely for a three-week period.

“The closure is a significant conservation measure because the annual migration puts salamanders at risk,” said Bruce Zvaniga, the city’s director of transportation services, in a press release.

“There is good evidence that the effort has allowed the Jefferson salamanders to travel safely across King Road, helping preserve a unique part of Burlington’s biodiversity.”

The Jefferson salamander is a protected species and is nationally and provincially endangered.

In Canada, the Jefferson salamander is found in Southern Ontario in select areas of deciduous forest, mostly along t…