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Showing posts from April, 2010


A patch of scorched earth at Princess Point, Hamilton ON, after a prescribed controlled burn conducted for the Royal Botanical Gardens. The annual fire helps native plant life gain a foothold over invasive species, fire being a natural part of the ecosystem that now needs human intervention to strike the match of regeneration.

I found it strangely beautiful, the scent of the old fire and the way the earth looked alive in a new way.

Photo by Bronwyn Kay

Fish First!

Very welcome news for Spencer Creek - it will be interesting to watch these man-made barriers to fish removed and rehabilitated as they move west upstream.

Breaking down barriers for - Local - Breaking down barriers for fish Project to ease creek passage should result in greater number, variety

Eric McGuinness, The Hamilton Spectator, DUNDAS (Apr 16, 2010)

Rainbow trout and salmon that now can reach only the downstream edge of downtown Dundas may one day be able to swim all the way up Spencer Creek to Webster's Falls.Tys Theysmeyer of the Royal Botanical Gardens believes that will be possible once nine barriers to fish passage are removed.The first to go -- early this fall -- is a steel wall that acts like a fish fence across the creek under the bridge carrying Osler Drive over the fast-moving water.The project is significant because experts say it will increase the number and variety of fish in Hamilton Harbour and western Lake Ontario, and because the nee…

Hip waders and waist deep in glory!

An excellent turn-out in primo spring weather for the Volunteer Marsh litter clean-up today.
A group of Katimavik youth began their clean-up by prying a long-dumped couch out of the soggy banks of the marsh, while McMaster students from the Biodiversity Guild waded into the deeper waters of the marsh to pull out everything from fire-extinguishers (five of them!) to rusted paint cans and more.

Families from Dundas also joined the fray, and with the assistance of Steve and Ron with their trucks, moving the long-stashed garbage and recyclables to the end of the lane where city workers will remove to the waste transfer station on Monday was a breeze.

Special thanks to Joanna Chapman and the office of Russ Powers for supplying bags and gloves.

Random catches:
40 people helped2 hours
Well over 50 bags of garbage removed, plus recycling and household hazardous waste
19 Car tires5 fire extinguishers1 microwave1 pregnancy testervarious furniture
Photos by Bronwyn Kay

clear for cleaning

Forecast for Saturday's Marsh litter clean-up is:
Sunny. Increasing cloudiness in the evening. Wind becoming southwest 30 km/h late in the morning. High 10.Looking good.

Here's the poster:

Burn Postponed

Targets invasive species near Cootes
April 06, 2010 The Hamilton Spectator
(Apr 6, 2010) Mother Nature has rained on The Royal Botanical Gardens' plan to burn off unwanted invasive plants at three locations around Cootes Paradise today.Prescribed burns were to have taken along York Boulevard between Old Guelph Road and the Rock Garden, at Princess Point in Westdale and at nearby Sassafras Point.But this morning's rain means that there will be no burn. An RBG official said they will wait for three dry days before trying again.The idea is to burn off invasive species that sprout in early spring, making room for native grasses that emerge later. The aim is to restore tallgrass prairie and oak savannah plant communities.

burnin' for restoration

Royal Botanical Gardens prescribed burns are scheduled forTuesday April 6th.Tuesday’s burn schedule is currently as follows:10:00am Briefing, York Boulevard Prairie (locatedon York Blvd.between Old Guelph Rdand the rock garden)11:00am York Boulevard Prairie Prescribed Burn12:00/12:30pm Princess Point Prescribed Burn12:30/1:00pm Sassafras Point Prescribed Burn*all times are approximateBurning is an important component in tallgrass prairie and oak savannah restoration. There are viewing areas located at York Boulevard and Princess Point.Everyone is invitedto come out and see what we’re doing to help these rare plant communities!Lindsay Burtenshaw Terrestrial Ecologist, Royal Botanical GardensMORE ON THE BURN HERE