An urban nature sanctuary rises on the banks of the Desjardins Canal

Progress is being made at the site of the former Veldhuis greenhouses where a soil cap has literally raised the site to cap contaminants in anticipation of native species plantings later this year.

A soil cap has been placed throughout the property to help contain the remaining soil contaminants from the original site. Plantings will begin in the coming months and over time the vegetation will filter the contaminants naturally. The site is home to the last remains of the Veldhuis greenhouses: the chimney which has been preserved and reinforced to protect habitat for chimney swifts.

Pilings for the boardwalk can be seen in the image below but the most innovative feature is the addition of floating islands of vegetation designed to flourish by gobbling up the surplus nutrients and may reduce the algae along with all the problems algal blooms can cause to the canal’s ecosystem.

veldhuis islands
Workers inspect floating wildlife islands which will feed on excess nutrients in the Desjardins Canal and provide a much needed boost for the canal’s water quality.