Monthly Archives: January 2013

Ottawa funds $502,274 of $5 million EcoPark “natural oasis”

The federal government is the first major contributor to the Hamilton Conservation Foundation $5 million fundraising campaign to start the Dundas EcoPark Project.

Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale MP David Sweet announced the funding to begin the overall project to protect, restore and enhance significant natural lands between Cootes Paradise in Dundas and the Niagara Escarpment.EcoPark Project.

The $502,274 Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund grant will be used by Hamilton Conservation Authority (HCA) to support infrastructure improvements at the Veldhuis site on King Street East in Dundas as part of the larger Dundas EcoPark project.

David-Sweet-MP-James-Howlett

The 1,346 hectare (3,325 acre) Dundas EcoPark is part of the Cootes to Escarpment Park System Project which provides the only continuous habitat connection from Lake Ontario to the Niagara Escarpment not broken by a series 400 highway. The area will include restored and rehabilitated lands along the north shore of the Desjardins Canal, including the former Ben Veldhuis Greenhouse complex.

“This project will make a difference to the people and community of Dundas,” said Sweet. “It will significantly increase the quality of life for local residents, protect habitat for the endangered chimney swift and other species, and will prove to be a great asset to the community and the province.”

Jim Howlett, HCA Vice-chair noted, “This project pulls together many different groups and organizations, with a common goal of working together to produce one of the largest urban parks in Canada. The Dundas EcoPark will provide the greater community with the opportunity to experience a natural oasis, revitalized from a former brownfield site, which will be left as a legacy for generations to come. When completed, the site will allow the public to experience and enjoy first-hand their tax dollars at work.”

HCA is one of several partners helping develop the Cootes to Escarpment Park System under the leadership of the Royal Botanical Gardens. Additional partners include Conservation Halton, City of Hamilton, City of Burlington, Region of Halton, Bruce Trail Conservancy, Hamilton Naturalist’s Club and McMaster University.

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Ontario Heritage Trust Supports Protection of Pleasant View Lands.

The Ontario Heritage Trust this week announced its support for Hamilton Conservation Authority’s (HCA) efforts to secure environmentally significant lands in the Pleasant View area of Dundas.

In a letter to Chris Firth-Eagland, CAO, the Ontario Heritage Trust wrote “(we are) pleased to support the Hamilton Conservation Authority in this strategic natural heritage acquisition with an allocation of $208,000.00 through the Natural Spaces Land Acquisition and Stewardship Program. Natural Spaces is administered by the Trust in conjunction with the Ministry of Natural Resources. It conserves provincially significant natural heritage systems through the acquisition of property.

The acquisition of the 52-acre… property assists in maintaining a functioning ecological link between existing green spaces, while providing habitat to 13 rare and declining bird species.

“We are pleased to join in the growing number of local and regional partners in what is truly a collaborative effort to secure and steward this site for the benefit of all Ontarians,” the Trust wrote.

This donation was secured by a grant application from the Hamilton Conservation Foundation, contributing to the $800,000 acquisition of this property; a significant parcel which links existing protected areas on the Niagara Escarpment to Cootes Paradise.

Nearly half the required funds have now been raised for this particular campaign, a component of a larger $5 million campaign to secure remaining significant natural lands in the area through acquisition, partnerships and landowner stewardship.

HCA is one of several partners helping develop the Cootes to Escarpment Park System under the leadership of the Royal Botanical Gardens. Additional partners include Conservation Halton, City of Hamilton, City of Burlington, Region of Halton, Bruce Trail Conservancy, Hamilton Naturalist’s Club, McMaster University and Hamilton Harbour RAP. The Cootes to Escarpment Park System was also endorsed by the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce

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