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Floodplain Forensics

If you are planning on coming to this hike, please consider using public transit, cycling or walking to the meeting place. We will depart at 6pm sharp to make full use of the remaining daylight. A limited number of species checklists based on historical accounts of the valley will be available. Bring a pencil/pen and please dress for the weather and terrain (some uneven paths and, unfortunately, lots of pavement). We will return to the starting point at 7:00pm. 


Wanted: sleuths for a Cootes Paradise cold case
Hamilton Spectator online, October 8, 2012


Randy Kay is inviting naturalists to investigate a half-century-old cold case.

On Tuesday evening, the author of the Restore Cootes blog plans to explore a vanished valley on the western edge of McMaster University’s campus along Ancaster Creek.

The wetlands that formed a large part of the former Coldspring Valley are now better known as university parking lot M.

But in the early 1960s, the valley was criss-crossed with trails that ran through hardwood forest, willows and grassland, according to a map Kay found in the archives of the Royal Botanical Gardens, which once owned the area.

“Not too many people really know the history,” said Kay. “We’re hoping to explore the remnants of the valley based on the map and see what features remain … what could be done to bring it back to life.”

[McMaster] Spokesperson Gord Arbeau told The Spectator this year the parking lot is still needed, but some spots have been removed and the university plans to add permeable paving and more natural landscaping.

Kay said he will likely start the exploratory hike near the old Binkley cemetery and keep an eye out for tiny creek remnants, trails and stands of hemlock, sassafras and elm marked on the map.

Explorers are meeting at Lakelet Drive and Binkley Crescent at 6 p.m. for the hour-long hike. For information, visit www.restorecootes.blogspot.ca or call 905-525-9140, ext.26026.

mvandongen@thespec.com

905-526-3241 | @Mattatthespec

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