Monthly Archives: March 2014

Thank you for helping us keep turtles off Cootes Drive!

Thank you so much to everyone who helped us reach and surpass our goal of $900! Together you raised $1,008 for Hamilton’s turtles in one week! We’ll be setting a date in the next two weeks to put up the turtle fence and we’ll be sure to let everyone know when that is. Thank you cards and rewards will be fulfilled later this week. In the meantime, please accept our sincere thanks for your incredible support!

Help us keep turtles off Cootes Drive this spring as they move from Cootes Paradise to nesting beds along Spencer Creek and back again! Our partners at the Royal Botanical Gardens installed silt fencing along the Cootes Paradise side of Cootes Drive in 2012 with great success.

Now we’re looking for donations so that staff and volunteers can install silt fencing along the Spencer Creek side of the road. This fencing will help new turtle families find their way back to Cootes Paradise under the Spencer Creek bridge and keep them off of Cootes Drive.

With $900, we’ll be able to buy materials to build an eco-friendly and effective barrier that helps turtles complete their journey from Cootes Paradise to their Spencer Creek nesting beds and back again!

Why this is so important!

These are long lived turtles, some reaching 70 years of age or more and like us they are not mature enough to breed until they are teenagers. The loss of one adult turtle has a devastating effect on the population as a whole. Volunteer data from Dundas Turtle Watch shows that between 2009 and 2012 over 25 turtles have been killed along this section of Cootes Drive seriously hampering collective efforts to protect Hamilton’s biodiversity.

Why now?

We need your support by April 4th so that we can have the silt fencing installed before nesting season begins at the end of April! Otherwise this means another season of turtle mortality on Cootes Drive.

What happens if we exceed our campaign goal?

Any donations received above and beyond our fundraising goal will go to the Dundas Valley Conservation Fund which supports other local wildlife habitat restoration and monitoring projects.

Project Map

Silt fencing:

Image of six turtles following silt fence to safety.
Image Source: Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Species at Risk Branch

Silt fencing provides an affordable, unobtrusive and eco-friendly way to keep reptiles and amphibians out of hazard areas.

Braden’s Hot Chocolate Festival brings thousands out to celebrate the Valley

With a little bit of sunshine and a whole lot of hot chocolate, thousands of visitors, donors and volunteers came out to celebrate Family Day at the Dundas Valley Trail Centre.


Everyone enjoyed the musical acts and gourmet cuisine from local food trucks. The event, now in its third year, drew an estimated 2,000 visitors and raised approximately $14,000 for the Foundation’s Dundas Valley Conservation Fund!

A few lucky visitors even got to dress up in our Foundation Wildlife photo booth where we had masks featuring the species that will benefit from the event’s proceeds. Between the red fox, eastern bluebird, raccoon, great horned owl and eastern cottontail, we had a busy (and extremely cute!) little booth! You can see the photos on our Facebook page at

2014 is shaping up to be a banner year for Hamilton’s favourite green spaces

Armed with tons of data from the Natural Areas Inventory project that finished in 2013 and your generous donations, the Conservation Authority is launching a whole slew of habitat improvement and species monitoring projects this field season!

We’ll be launching pilot projects to get rid of invasive species such as Buckthorn and Dog-strangling Vine, restoring natural stream channels at Christie Lake CA and naturalizing the Maplewood property in the Dundas Valley CA.

In fact, we’re looking forward to launching ecology projects in every one of our major Conservation Areas! You can help us do even more at your favourite CA by selecting it from the drop-down menu the next time you’re on our donation page.

We’ll be sure to take lots of pictures and videos of the work as it happens and let you know how your support is making our green spaces even better!

Westfield is turning 50!

One of Southern Ontario’s great heritage institutions hits an important milestone this summer; Westfield Heritage Village is turning 50!

We’re hoping you’ll join us on June 15th to toast Westfield! What started as a collection of four heritage buildings at Westfield’s official opening in 1964 has evolved into a living, breathing, pioneer village with 35 buildings, over 200 volunteers and thousands of artefacts.

IMG 1870

Thousands of visitors every year are transported by Westfield’s wealth of 18th, 19th and early 20th Century heritage which is brought to life by volunteer costumed interpreters. Those volunteers fundraise every year to bring new buildings to Westfield through the Friends of Westfield organization with the Foundation as their charitable partner.

All told, Westfield has cemented itself as the cornerstone of Southern Ontario’s rich cultural heritage over the last 50 years, an achievement we can’t wait to celebrate. Details of the celebration will be posted in April on the Westfield website at

New Foundation Executive Director combines fundraising savvy with love of nature

Experienced fundraiser Grace Correia has joined the Hamilton Conservation Foundation as Executive Director.

With nearly 25 years of fundraising experience, Grace was most recently the Campaign Director for United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin where she managed a series of successful multi-million dollar annual campaigns since 2009.


Grace is quick to counter, however, that it’s her love of nature above all else that makes her a perfect fit at the Foundation: “Every weekend I’m hiking at a different spot in Hamilton, even if I need to strap on my ice cleats! What better job could there be than connecting donors with these green spaces that enrich our lives so much?”

Grace started at the Foundation on January 20th and is based out of the Conservation Authority’s head office at 838 Mineral Springs Road in Ancaster. She takes over from Joan Bell, who retired at the end of January. You can call Grace at 905-525-2181 ext. 111 or email her at