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Showing posts from January, 2013

As You Like It

Heritage Creek, Dundas Valley ‎ "And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything." - William Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

Forward With Integrity

Projects funded through McMaster President Patrick Deane's Forward With Integrity ( FWI ) initiative that relate to Cootes Paradise. Good to see things happening in this area, hopefully more in the future . Title:   Mapping Paradise: an Environmentally Responsible Art Initiative              Applicant:   Judy Major-Girardin                                                                     Faculty/Area:   School of the Arts                                                                         Summary:   The project supports student creativity in collaboration with the Cootes to Escarpment Park System Initiative.  Students will be exposed to leaders from the Arts, Engineering, History and from within the community (RBG).  Students will be preparing a map that is linked to a focus on environmentally responsible art practices which will be displayed during an exhibition and public reception in February.  The funding will support an undergraduate assistant and the worksho

30 Metres of Appreciation

Letter to:  Dr. Patrick Deane, President and Vice Chancellor, McMaster University Roger Couldrey, VP Administration Terry Sullivan, Director Security and Parking January 24, 2013. I just want to take this opportunity to thank you for supporting Restore Cootes' desire to see the 30metre naturalized buffer installed between  Lot M parking and Ancaster Creek. For the obvious reasons of environmental integrity, this is a necessary step in the right direction, but more than that, it is accommodating a bold move forward for sustainability. It is clear that the University Administration, through the efforts of many but especially Messrs. Couldrey and Sullivan, with implicit support from the President's Office, listened and responded to the concerns of stakeholders like Restore Cootes, and the PACCP. It is refreshing to see McMaster take positive action to address the campus' relationship with surrounding natural lands. This action is significant in the midst of McM

Maps telling stories

Two academic exercises in mapping environmental issues come to bear on our little corner of the ecosystem: first, a project with the clever acronym GLEAM:  GREAT LAKES ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT AND MAPPING PROJECT (Website: ) - University of Windsor biology professor Jan Ciborowski contributed to the map. He told CBC Hamilton that Lake Ontario and Hamilton Harbour are among the highest stress areas due to a combination of stressors: "[It's] not only population but also loss of habitat, the historical discharge of chemicals, and invasive species like zebra mussels and round gobi fish." It's a huge job, made up of many smaller parts. Fixing it means adding up the smaller parts. "It's the 'death by 1,000 cuts' idea: just restoring one thing may not be enough," Ciborowski said. "You have to fix one thing at a time, but just getting of one stressor won't fix the whole area." This attention

Turtles Tonight! Turtles Tomorrow! Turtles Forever!

"Road safety is a big hurdle — in particular,   a stretch of Cootes Drive   where “plenty of animals, not just turtles, are squelched” every year."  City’s turtles need your help, not your raccoons BABY TURTLE Photo courtesy Royal Botanical Gardens A threatened Blanding's turtle born in summer of 2012 in a Burlington subdivision. 1 of 2 Sidebar PUBLIC MEETING WHAT:  Turtle recovery plan open house WHEN:  Thursday, Jan. 10, 6:30 to 9 p.m. WHERE:  RBG Centre, CafĂ© Annex, 680 Plains Rd. W., Burlington Threatened turtles around the harbour need your help — and maybe even your garden. A Burlington homeowner helped nearly double the area’s population of threatened Blanding’s turtles last summer by allowing Royal Botanical Gardens biologists to protect and monitor a nest that popped up in a flower bed. “We tracked the mother to the nesting area, protected it, and we were actually on hand when (the eggs) hatched,” said Tys T

Protecting Pleasant View

Contribute Conservation Cash to Cootes

Hamilton Spectator, Tuesday, January 8, 2013 Fundraising begins for urban eco-park An ambitious plan to grow one of Canada’s largest urban parks is in need of about $5 million in fundraising fertilizer. A long-standing vision to protect and connect more than 2,500 hectares of natural land between Cootes Paradise and the escarpment has coalesced into a formal proposal for a “ Dundas EcoPark .” Supporters envision a protected patchwork stretching between Dundas and Highway 6, an area home to more than a quarter of Canada’s native plants and a variety of endangered and threatened species. What the vision needs now is cash. [ go directly to HCA donation page for the Dundas Eco Park here .] The Hamilton Conservation Foundation is seeking about $2 million for land acquisition, $2 million for restoration of the Desjardins Canal lands and $1 million for wetland preservation and trail development. Much of the money will be immediately directed at buying land in the Pleasan

Public Consultation on a Proposed Amendment to the Greenbelt Plan Proposal

Today is the deadline for comments on Ontario's "Growing The Greenbelt"  Consultation. Please contribute if you have a few minutes today: Restore  Cootes wrote in support of the inclusion of Glenorchy Lands and Urban River Valleys in an enlarged Green Belt.  We are especially interested in Urban River Valleys since they act as wildlife corridors and practical places to protect given their importance in supporting diverse adjacent habitats.  Cities will come to appreciate these natural lands all the more as urban intensification brings more people into proximity with these urban wild spaces.  Some recognition must be made to acknowledge the degree to which many of the stream and river valleys have been altered over the last 200 years, so that remediation can become a priority as we seek to improve the ecological health of these special regions.

The reincarnation of "Maria's Walk"

A new blog post at  dundas walks: The reincarnation of "Maria's Walk"  describes "A lovely New Year's Day, sunny, snow packed trails, lots of people out enjoying the sub-zero weather" and a "self-appointed mission" to find some lost trails over in Coldspring Valley. The exploratory hike ended up providing more than anticipated...