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Showing posts from April, 2013

Back to Coldspring Valley

Lunch Hour History Hike: Ponds to Parking in West CampusMay 15, 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Meet at OPIRG Office, McMaster University Student Centre room 229


Organizers Restore Cootes and OPIRG McMaster


Walk back in time and explore the founding of McMaster University in Hamilton, the relationship between McMaster and the Royal Botanical Gardens' properties, Canada's first modern highway, electric railways, pioneer cemeteries, lost ponds, and "ghost" trails.

This roughly one hour walk through west campus will also focus on changes to the parking area to create a naturalized buffer between the ashphalt lots and the beautiful Ancaster/Coldspring Creek that passes through McMaster's property.

There is no cost for this popular hike, bring a friend and explore the campus in a new way.

Your guide is Randy Kay of community group RESTORE COOTES, and OPIRG McMaster's Coordinator of Volunteers.

You can register for the hike by e-mailing Randy here

Looking Ahead

The land where the Royal Botanical Gardens created a nature sanctuary known as Coldspring Valley, was known as the Binkley Estate and Binkley Hollow, which McMaster ruined in the late 1960s to create surface parking lots, was purchased at the behest of non other than T.B. McQuesten.
"McQuesten took the lead in other matters, realizing that it was time the board made progress on several fronts. For example, opportunities for land acquisition continued to arise. At his urging, the board approved the acquisition of two significant parcels: the Binkley Estate west of McMaster Campus, and a strip of land along the Valley Inn arm of Hamilton Harbour. Each acquisition in 1944-1945 helped to round out RBG holdings in these areas. McQuesten advised his colleagues at this same May 18, 1944 meeting…" Love, Sweat and Soil: A History of Royal Botanical Gardens from 1930 to 1981, by Dr. Leslie Laking

Drive Through Paradise

Here is a central historical work that relates to our Restore Cootes' philosophy, in a new easy to read format.

Our hope is that if we understand how Cootes Drive came to be, we can question the rationale, and look to ameliorate the current negative impacts of an overbuilt road through a major wetland.

The future issue may boil down to Trucks? or Turtles? Cars? or Cootes Paradise?