Donations complete vital EcoPark land purchase

Purchase of York Road Acreage a major win for the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System and Hamilton as a whole.

A flurry of donations over the winter have helped to clear the final funding hurdle for the first major purchase of land in the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System by the Hamilton Conservation Authority. Thanks to the generosity of The Young Fund and the Frank Charles Miller Fund, both at the Hamilton Community Foundation, along with a pledge from the Echo Foundation and hundreds of smaller donations, 52 acres of land on York Road will remain natural in the face of ever-increasing development pressure.

monarch caterpillar
The York Road Acreage is important, not just as a wildlife corridor, but also as meadow habitat for pollinators such as this Monarch caterpillar!

The purchase was declared “a huge win for biodiversity here in Hamilton,” by Dr. David Galbraith, Head of Science at Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) and Chair of the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System Management Committee who explained that the nearby RBG lands are home to the greatest plant diversity in all of Canada, a treasure whose importance to Hamilton’s long-term success cannot be overstated.

Fundraising efforts for the Foundation’s EcoPark Campaign will now shift to raising funds to acquire two adjacent properties, an effort boosted by a further $200,000 contribution from the City of Hamilton’s Natural Heritage Fund. The municipal contribution is the start of what is expected to be a renewed campaign with the help of the partners in the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System.