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Showing posts from November, 2013

One more time, just to be clear: Nature first.

6.0 Conclusions and Recommendations Based on the information presented on this report, it is recommended that the Maplewood Facility be demolished and the area naturalized for the following reasons:

1. The Maplewood facility is in need of $560,500 revenue for immediate upgrades due to its age and requirements to meet regulatory standards.

2. Due to its location on the end of steep winding gravel road with limited water service and on-site sewage system and no access to natural gas, the facilities annual operation and maintenance costs are high.

3. The return on investment if the required upgrades are implemented will be low or nonexistent. This will negatively impact the HCA budget and will also limit the attractiveness of the facility to a private operator.

4. Previous attempts to change the facility to another more financially stable operation under a private operator have met with substantial public opposition resulting in the withdrawal or denial of the changes.

5. The location of the…

A Letter and the Vision

Below, a letter to the editor in the Hamilton Spectator regarding the future of Maplewood in Dundas Valley from non other than the first chair of the Hamilton Conservation Authority (who just happens to remember buying that piece of land and why they bought it.)

If that doesn't make things clear, then a Hamilton Spectator report from April on the 50 Year Vision for Dundas Valley - no mentions of leasing public lands to private interests, and a lot about protecting natural habitat, reflected in the title "Preservation Sought for Dundas Valley".

I sat on the committee for the 50 Year Vision, and can attest to the direction we felt the HCA should go, toward protecting nature, not playing games with it.

rk
HCA must not lose Dundas Valley land
School operator says project will enhance Dundas Valley (Nov. 6) A proposal to lease Maplewood to a Montessori school has been put forward to the conservation authority. At first glance that might seem a reasonable way to solve the dilemma…

Preserve and enhance connectivity of ecosystems in the Dundas Valley: remove Maplewood

To: Chair and Board of Directors of the HCA, Members of the Conservation Advisory Board

Re: Future of Maplewood


Private school director Tony Evans has said of his Montessori school “We have a profound respect for the environment... This is who we are.” I have a difficult time understanding how Evans’ desire to use Dundas Valley Conservation Area’s Maplewood Hall for his school site fits with this self-image.

Children being driven to school along country roads and up a long driveway through an Environmentally Sensitive Area doesn’t teach respect for the environment, it teaches car- dependency.

Introducing farm animals and vegetable gardens into the very heart of Dundas Valley’s natural ecosystem only deepens the disconnect between professed conservation goals and true protection of nature.


View Maplewood in a larger map

Despite Evans’ professed “feeling [that] the benefits of educating another generation about the environment outweigh the negatives,” it really sends the opposite messag…

Student Research: Reducing Parking Demand at McMaster

I found this on google when I was looking for articles on McMarsh (alternative earlier spelling MacMarsh) - I was interviewed by Victoria earlier in the semester for her research, and glad to see she has make a presentation available online.

Maybe I'll be able to get her to contribute more on the blog about her findings and her impressions of what is possible at McMaster to cut down single-occupancy vehicle trips to campus so we can convert parking into Paradise!

Busy? What Peak Parking Looks Like at McMaster

According to Parking Services at McMaster, the busiest time for parking demand on campus is Tuesdays at around 1:00 pm. Stats provided by Parking show a demand for 2,803 spaces out of a campus supply of almost 4,000 spaces.

Having access to real time data would be helpful (and an app that showed drivers where the available lot capacity was would be kind of neat, along with a revamped parking fee structure to allow more flexibility and time of day pricing, etc, but that's another day)

I happened to be in the west campus already, realized it was the busy parking time, so I rode around on my bike snapping photos on my iPod touch. Here's some of what I saw that indicates the lot (at peak) has excess capacity:




Much still needs to happen if we are to reduce parking demand, but to a large degree, it's happening without us. Just take a look around and see for yourself.

Coldspring Valley 1960

Looks like some trail building C1960 from this view apparently taken in Coldspring Valley in 1960.  Thanks to Tys at the Royal Botanical Gardens who sent me this photo in May 2011. 
We hope to see some construction soon as McMaster prepares to remove asphalt parking spaces in the former nature sanctuary which was paved for McMaster Parking Lot M since 1968. 
If anyone recognizes any details related to this image, please feel free to leave a comment here so we can add information.

Missed the PIC?

If you are like me and couldn't make it to the Public Information Centre (PIC) about the future of Maplewood you can still comment on the issue online with this form:
http://www.conservationhamilton.ca/component/rsform/form/16-future-of-maplewood-facility

Background info including the staff recommendation which suggests returning the area to its natural function can be found here: http://www.conservationhamilton.ca/maplewood

Our take: http://restorecootes.blogspot.ca/2013/10/back-to-nature-at-maplewood.html