Out of sight, but not out of hearing range, the 403 disrupts the quiet on the Ginger Valley Trail at the eastern edge of Cootes Paradise. Cootes Drive does the same at the western end. Walking along the Ginger Valley trail my 15-year-old daughter commented that she can't remember ever walking on a trail where she couldn't hear traffic. Roads bisect and disrupt the natural areas we have, fragmenting both habitat, and the experience of habitat. Even when out of sight, traffic interferes with the enjoyment of nature, and has become the background soundtrack to our lives. The ironic thing is, to escape, we must get in cars and drive hours away, and even then, must work to get away from vehicular noise. Is there a place locally that defies the constant hum or drone of motor vehicles?
This biographical piece about Herman "Jack Rabbit" Smith Johannsen by the NFB offers insight into the kind of thinking we need if we are to restore our human experience, that is, to reconnect with the earth that gives us all we need to live. Of course if we value money over the land, then the land will suffer. We will not imagine restoring Cootes if we do not share a relationship with the land. As Johannsen says in the film, getting closer to nature frees one from the cares of finances, and for him, offered the kind of life he wanted. We could, and should, do much more to make the natural world accessible to those who can't afford cottages or get-away weeks, by enlarging and restoring the natural gifts we have in this area.
Dundas councillor Russ Powers, originally a member of the board for the National Cycling Centre Hamilton , is back in the middle of the Velodrome discussion , now as one of the city's reps on the Hamilton Velodrome Advisory Committee - the other representatives from council are Whitehead, McHattie, and Pasuta. (the terms of reference require three councillors, but there appear to be four on the HVAC). The purpose of the HVAC is " to provide advice, input and support for the development of a permanent velodrome in Hamilton as part of the 2015 Pan Am initiative and legacy. The aims of the Hamilton Velodrome Advisory Committee are: • To review and provide input on the site location for the velodrome; • Review and provide expertise on the design of the velodrome. • To review and assist with the development of a funding plan for the future velodrome facility in Hamilton; • To review and provide input in the implementation of the business plan with respect to sustainabili