Generations of students have learned about nature on Hamilton’s beautiful and diverse conservation lands.
From 1970 to 1996, over 300,000 students visited HCA education classes with funding from the provincial government. The program was cut in the late 1990s and re-established with grant funding and donations in spring of 2002. Today it is operated out of the Dundas Valley and hosts an average of 9,000 students per year.
With an initial grant of $10,000, the Edith H Turner Foundation Fund at the Hamilton Community Foundation helped cover transportation costs for a few Hamilton schools in low-income neighbourhoods. Those schools, which once represented just a small percentage of program attendees, account for over half of this year’s classes so far.
While $5 for a school bus trip may not seem like much to most of our readers, for many Hamilton families, there just isn’t room in the budget. This simple problem meant many of Hamilton’s public schools simply couldn’t afford the cost of a school bus to get to the Hamilton Conservation Authority’s Education programs. While schools have their environmental field trip costs covered by the school board’s budget and donations to the Foundation, just getting enough money to book a school bus was a huge barrier.
In order to help solve this problem, the Foundation put a proposal together for the Edith H. Turner Foundation Fund at the Hamilton Community Foundation. The Community Foundation was immediately receptive and provided an initial grant of $10,000 for the Foundation to reimburse schools with financial barriers for their transportation costs.
Five years later, the reimbursement program continues to receive funding from the Edith. H. Turner Foundation Fund. To date it has helped to connect over 10,000 students who otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity to spend a day in the Dundas Valley. For many of these students, this is their first real taste of the great outdoors.
Teachers clearly see the value in the reimbursement program too. Our 2017 program budget had already been spent by September. Donations are being put to work to bridge the gap and ensure every class who wants to visit the Dundas Valley gets a chance to do so.
The program is now such a success that so far this year, over 50% of kids taking part came from schools participating in the reimbursement program.
Over 70 volunteers helped to plant 150 native trees and shrubs at the end of September.
Volunteers from the Friends of the Eramosa Karst, Alectra Utilities and ArcelorMittal Dofasco donated their time on a chilly Saturday morning. This latest planting, focused along Second Road helped to naturalize the Eramosa Karst Feeder Lands.
The Friends of the Eramosa Karst volunteer group has now raised more than $25,000 for the Foundation’s Eramosa Karst CA Fund and contributed countless volunteer hours in order to protect and promote awareness of the Karst’s unique geographic features.
An enthusiastic group of donors and community members attended an October 14th celebration revealing the name.
The core of the Saltfleet Conservation Area, located south of the Dofasco 2000 Trail on the east side of First Road East in Stoney Creek is a 99 hectare parcel of land. Unlike most of HCA’s conservation areas, this area does not yet feature trails, pavilions and recreational amenities.
The area was formed in the early stages of what is a decade-long $10 million project which will see engineered wetlands and stream restoration projects along Battlefield and Upper Stoney Creeks upstream from the Niagara Escarpment.
When government funding for Outdoor Environmental Education ended in the late 1990s, many thought the Dundas Valley Conservation Area had hosted its final classes. Two decades later, the program is stronger and more vital than ever thanks to the generosity of people like you.
To cope with increased demand for time spent in nature, our education program has partnered once again with the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board to dramatically increase the number of school trips available to Hamilton’s public schools.
These programs are supported by the school board’s budget and donations to the Foundation’s Outdoor Environmental Education Fund. This increased demand means that we are putting more donor dollars to work than ever before. Our fundraising target for the 2018 Outdoor Environmental Education program will rise to $125,000 from its 2010-2017 level of $55,000.
With increased screen time, poor physical activity levels and changing lifestyles, time spent outdoors is more important to healthy child development than ever before.
We are extraordinarily fortunate to have donors who care about this program. Your support is more important and more impactful than ever before.
Hamilton Conservation Authority (HCA) has a new conservation area in the upper Stoney Creek mountain area and is asking the local Stoney Creek community to help name the property located on Green Mountain Road East, between 1st and 2nd Roads East.
178 acres in size, the new area has a lot of exciting natural features, including woodlands, agricultural lands, meadows and significant karst features including small caves and sinkholes. Karsts are geological features that are caused by water dissolving rock, found in limestone formations like the Niagara Escarpment.
The area also joins up with the Dofasco 2000 Trail and the Devil’s Punchbowl
The most exciting thing for HCA is that besides providing a beautiful new area for people to walk through and enjoy, this conservation area also protects sections of Battlefield Creek. 831 metres of Battlefield Creek run through the property, with smaller creeks branching off it.
Protecting and restoring these creeks and wetlands will slow the flow of water through that area and down the escarpment. Why is that important? If water runs through the creeks and drainage systems too quickly, it can cause flooding in the neighbourhoods below.
So now you know a little bit about this new area, help us think of a name that fits! Think of your neighbourhood and the things that make this new conservation area special and suggest a name.
The winning name will be announced at an event this fall and will featured on on-site signage and the HCA’s website for years to come!
Click here to access our submission package..
When: Saturday, October 1st, 2016 – 10:00 am (rain or shine)
Where: Eramosa Karst Conservaiton Area Feeder Lands
Park at Rymal Road Community Church, 1967 Rymal Road
- Help us plant trees and shrubs on the Feeder Lands along Rymal Road
- Join us on guided hikes with cave tours
- Learn more about the karst features that make the area unique
- See plans for a new East Escarpment Conservation Area
- Enjoy a free family pizza lunch
Join us Saturday, October 1st at the Eramosa Karst Conservation Area Feeder Lands. We’ll be planting trees to build up the hedgerow along Rymal Road. Even if planting isn’t your thing, we’d love it if you could join us! We’ll have a guided hike so that you can learn more about the Conservation Area’s unique karst features. We’ll also be showing off plans to put donations to work building a new East Escarpment Conservation Area along Stoney and Battlefield Creeks. Registration is free and all are welcome!
This event is made possible by donations from the City of Hamilton, Friends of the Eramosa Karst, Heritage Green Community Trust, RBC Royal Bank and Stantec Consulting.
When: Saturday, October 17th, 2015 – 1:00 to 3:00 pm (rain or shine)
Where: Christie Lake Conservation Area, 1000 Hwy 5 W, Dundas
Over the last year, we’ve had the privilege of investing $40,000 in donations from the General Conservation Fund into dramatically improving the ecological function of the Christie Lake CA. As our way of saying thank you to the amazing supporters who made this happen, we’d like to invite you to join us Saturday, October 17th for a guided fall colour hike. This is your chance to learn more about how donations are put to work for the benefit of our watershed and future generations.
- Explore restored stream channels with Conservation Authority experts!
- Enjoy the fall colours!
- Children’s games and crafts!
- Free barbecue, snacks and door prizes!
This event is free for all donors, volunteers, pass-holders and their guests who register in advance.
Registration is closed.
Saturday, September 20, 2014 9:30am to 12:30pm (rain date September 27)
Desjardins Canal Parklands, Access through Centennial Park, Cootes Drive, Dundas
Help us celebrate the transformation of the former Veldhuis greenhouses into a beautiful nature park by planting trees! There is no need to apply or RSVP. Simply show up at Centennial Park on Cootes Drive at 9:30 a.m., September 20, 2014 and join us!
The event is, of course, free and snacks will be provided! Bring sturdy boots, shovels and gloves if you can!
Rain date September 27. In the event of cancellation please check this page!
Please note that an event shuttle will run from McMaster University and King Street West in Westdale. Shuttle details will be posted in the days leading up to the event.
This event is made possible by TD Bank and is presented in partnership with Earth Day Hamilton-Burlington.
Cherish it. Protect it.
Within our industrial city’s borders are places of incredible natural beauty. These trails, forests, meadows, streams and waterfalls are among the last “green spaces” available for us, and for future generations, to experience and enjoy. We have a unique opportunity to protect and conserve the natural lands, waterways and cultural heritage sites that add so much to our quality of life. It’s in our power to make a difference by safeguarding the habitat of birds, animals, fish and plants.
Your nature – your legacy.
The Hamilton Conservation Foundation raises awareness, funds and resources for the important work of Hamilton Conservation Authority. We invite those who cherish Hamilton’s natural wonders to join us in protecting and enhancing them. Together we can leave a legacy for generations to come.
The 3,000-acre Dundas Valley Conservation Area, located between Dundas and Ancaster is a spectacular destination and protected natural environment in the UNESCO designated Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve. The Dundas Valley’s Carolinian forests, meadows, cold-water streams and rolling landscape are home to an array of rare plants, birds, butterflies, amphibians and wildlife.
The Dundas Valley’s 40-kilometre multi-use trail system, waterfalls, spectacular fall colours, trail centre and access to Hamilton-Brantford Rail Trail make these conservation lands a popular destination for hikers, dog-walkers, cyclists and equestrians.
Find out more about what the Dundas Valley has to offer.