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.