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Showing posts from July, 2017

Butterfly and Birds guided walk at Urquhart Butterfly Garden Saturday

Butterfly and Bird Identification is fun, and something that can be enjoyed by young and old.  Learn all about it on a guided walk led by experienced naturalist Matt Mills on Saturday, July 29th from 11 am to  12 noon at the  Urquhart Butterfly Garden, Centennial Park, Dundas.  The walk will be cancelled if it rains.

On the last guided walk participants were lucky enough to see the Buckeye Butterfly which is uncommon in Ontario and a rare visitor to this area.  Lots of other butterflies were nectaring in the sunshine as well.

The recent rain has brought out the birds who are nesting in the foliage, and can be seem flitting back and forth to feed their young.  Matt knows them all and will point them out.

You are requested to wear a hat and bring a chair.

Lots of free parking available, transit stop nearby, and adjacent to the Cootes Drive bicycle path.

The Summer Series will be held every Saturday until September 2.  For more information please visit urquhartbutterfly.com.

The Summer Seri…

Our Youtube Playlist

Every so often I shoot some video to illustrate events going on in our area of interest, geographically speaking, in and around Cootes Paradise.

A series of (currently nine) short videos touching on changes in McMaster parking lot M, turtles crossing Cootes Drive, Spencer Creek Trail, and McMaster artists contributions to the cause, are all in the playlist on my Youtube channel.

I hope you can check some of them out, and if you have any questions or advice I'd love to hear from you!

Randy

Lost Nature Trail at McMaster Video

The longest remaining intact trail fragment from the former Coldspring Valley Nature Sanctuary of the Royal Botanical Gardens (1958-1963) lies just out of sight behind a sign directing cars to parking lots in west campus - the former nature sanctuary long buried beneath asphalt since McMaster University bought the property from the RBG for cheap parking, built later that decade (1968), and persists today.

Known as Maria's Walk on old RBG trail maps, it was one of the several trails that weaved through diverse habitat and across the (former) floodplain: the shortest trail of the former system, now the longest remaining footpath.

In fact, it's still, a nice trail used by people moving between campus and parking, and other destinations.

I hope you stay connected with us at Restore Cootes as we try to get McMaster to improve trail access, and recognize this lovely footpath for its historical role in the area's natural and human history.
HISTORY HIKES Restore Cootes offers gui…

Cootes at Half Capacity

Watching the flashing "Turtle Crossing" warning signs on Cootes, I remain skeptical about the effect on traffic speed.



The only thing I've seen that actually slowed traffic along here was when the lanes are reduced to half capacity, and moved to one side of the centre median (see video). This temporary road engineering creates conditions that strongly discourage speeding, and I think it would be a much-needed safety improvement on the regular divided highway layout.



Such a roard treatement would also have the added benefit - if we truly want to help turtles survive - of decreasing the crossing distance for wildlife by well over half the current road width.



The best solution likely remains temporary road closures during turtle nesting times, as the city of Burlington does for Jefferson Salamanders on King Road. As long as the closure is well advertised in advance, drivers could adjust their trips accordingly.



We will watch to see what emerges as an effective protection t…

Urquhart Butterfly Garden Summer Series 2017

The free Summer series at the Urquhart Butterfly Garden kicks off on Saturday July 15 with Matt Mills leading a Guided Butterfly & Bird Identification Walk. Matt is an experienced naturalist, with a vast store of knowledge and an engaging manner.

The Garden is humming with life, “I am never disappointed by what I see at the Urquhart Butterfly Garden”, Matt said recently. If there are rare butterflies to be seen Matt will find them, as well as locating all the bird life hiding in the bushes or flitting among the trees.

The Guided Walk takes about an hour and begins at 11 am on Saturday, July 15. You are requested to wear a sun hat and bring a chair.
“I am never disappointed by what I see at the Urquhart Butterfly Garden” - Matt Mills If it rains the walk will be cancelled.

The Summer Programme will be held every Saturday until September 2.

The Urquhart Butterfly Garden is located at the end of Centennial Park in Dundas. All ages are welcome. Lots of free parking available.

For more…

Urquhart Butterfly Garden Photo Contest 2017

The Monarch butterflies are already arriving, and when the sun shines there are quite a number many species butterflies to be seen at the Urquhart Butterfly Garden, plus lots of other wildlife action.

This year Photo Contest began a month earlier than usual, and continue until after Labour Day in September. Photographers of all ages are eligible for both cash and certificate awards in four categories:
Butterflies and MothsInsects, Spiders and BugsBirds and other wildlifePlants and Flowers Fancy camera equipment is not needed, some great photos have been taken on cell phones. What is required is patience and a good eye for an interesting shot.

The Photo Contest opened on Monday, June 5 and ends on Tuesday, September 5. Entry information & rules can be picked up at the Urquhart Butterfly Garden or can be viewed on the UBG website.

The Urquhart Butterfly Garden is located at the end of the Desjardins Canal. Parking is available on King Street East, close to the Air Force Club.

For fur…

The Social Sciences Take on Lot M!

Guest Blogger: Carly Stephens 
Since its inception, Parking to Paradise has been a platform for interdisciplinary collaboration. Many readers are familiar with the Ancaster Creek riparian buffer and restoration work along the Northwest border of the parking lot. Interested parties across many faculties and disciplines have worked together to restore this ecosystem and raise awareness about the impacts urbanization on the natural environment. Nurtured by the time, commitment and hard work donated by volunteers and students, the land has grown into a site of green infrastructure, ecosystem restoration, and sustainable development. Read about Reyna Matties' Master’s work on retrofitting storm water management systems on the lot in the December 7, 2015 post below. Now, it’s the social sciences turn to learn where green infrastructure developments - as with the case of Lot M - fits into our social world.

My research involves exploring the various roles that green space plays in our urb…