The Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark is taking shape with the March 15th purchase of the first parcel of land on York Road in the Pleasantview area of Dundas. Last September, the Hamilton Conservation Authority signed an agreement to purchase the initial 52 acres of land once earmarked for development.
When completed, the EcoPark plan will be the biggest acquisition of natural lands for the citizens of Hamilton since the establishment of the 1,200-hectare Dundas Valley Conservation Area in the 1970’s! The EcoPark is anchored by the former Veldhuis greenhouse property on the Desjardins Canal in Dundas.
In January, the federal government announced a $502,274 contribution, the City of Hamilton
contributed $250,000 from its 2012 Natural Heritage Fund and the Ontario Heritage Trust committed $208,000 to the EcoPark project. To finalize the purchase of the first York Road property, the Hamilton Conservation Authority contributed almost $400,000 in bridge financing and Foundation donors contributed a further $100,000.
The Dundas EcoPark Campaign goal is approximately $5 million: $2 million to naturally restore the Desjardins Canal lands, $2 million for York Road acreage, and $1 million for marsh restoration and trail linkages. This month, McMaster students have committed to raising $25,000 for the EcoPark.
When we think of protecting sensitive natural lands we tend to think about wetlands, waterfalls, scenic vistas and dense forest cover. We don’t tend to think about meadows. But this is something that the Friends of the Eramosa Karst have started to change. After more than 5 years of advocacy they’ve helped to protect 37.5 hectares (92.67 acres) of ecologically significant land which provides important habitat for butterflies and breeding birds along with the beautiful wildflowers that surround them.
Ecologists aren’t the only ones fighting to protect the remaining lands that these species call home. The most recent Friends of The Eramosa Karst Dinner and Dance held in early March was attended by well over 400 people who came together to celebrate the protection of 37.5 hectares (92.67 acres) of meadow habitat adjacent to the Eramosa Karst Conservation Area. After more than 5 years of advocacy, the Friends of the Eramosa Karst group has helped the Hamilton Conservation Authority to secure a long-term lease for these lands from the Ontario Realty Corporation. This means protecting space for species like the Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark and Monarch Butterfly, which will continue to be an integral part of our city’s ecological diversity for years to come.
Since 1994, the Hamilton-Halton Watershed Stewardship Program (HHWSP), through the development of an educated and empowered group of landowners, has worked to protect, enhance and restore environmentally significant natural areas, watercourses and drinking water sources in the Hamilton and Halton watersheds. Funds donated to the HHWSP are used to undertake terrestrial and aquatic habitat enhancement projects. Directing your donation to support the HHWSP is a great option for anyone who wants to make a difference for natural lands and watercourses on both public and private property. For more information about the HHWSP please click here.
Garlic Mustard Pesto Festival!
Dundas Valley Trail Centre, 650 Governor’s Road
Saturday, June 15, 2013 – 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Let us thank you and get to know you better! The Hamilton Conservation Foundation invites supporters, donors, volunteers, friends of the Conservation Authority and Watershed Steward Award Recipients to join us to learn more about Invasive Species.
Free admission for registered Foundation guests only.
Displays from Community Groups
Garlic Mustard Pesto Tasting
Family “Adventure” Activities
To register please call or email email@example.com
Want to become a Foundation donor or volunteer? Call 905-525-2181 x143.