A unique parcel of land on York Road in the Pleasant View area of Dundas with the power to create hundreds of acres of connected, natural corridors is now in the hands of Hamilton Conservation Authority (HCA) – almost.
(Excerpted from our Fall 2012 Vista Newsletter)
In late September, HCA signed an agreement to purchase 52 acres of land once earmarked for development. But the sale is conditional on Hamilton Conservation Foundation raising the $799,900 needed for the purchase by mid-March.
“It’s a big deadline!” acknowledges Jen Baker, Land Trust Coordinator for the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club and HCA. “But I have no doubt the community will support this. If people donate the money they would have contributed to another Ontario Municipal Board hearing to prevent development, we will have it.”
Formerly farmer’s fields, now grasslands, the parcel on York Road is described by Jen as a “hole surrounded by protected, publicly owned lands. When you stand on the land and look around, you can see it makes perfect sense – it connects to Borer’s Falls-Rock Chapel, the North Shore Trails of the Royal Botanical Gardens and more.”
But the land is privately owned and over the years, proposals for development – including one for a massive retirement home – have alarmed citizens, who feared losing an integral puzzle piece with the ability to create a continuous wildlife and plant habitat.
Though OMB rulings have prevented development to date, Jen is convinced the battle will be fought again as long as the land is privately owned. “Once we get it into Conservation Authority hands, we can rest and know it’s safe for future generations.”
“This area is very important to preserve for public open space because it’s large and ecologically significant,” says HCA general manager Steve Miazga. “I’m confident people will support the fundraising campaign.”