Eramosa Karst Volunteer Plantings help buffer natural areas from housing developments and educate neighbours on the value of meadow habitat

As Hamilton’s population and housing needs grow, more and more pressure is placed on our watershed’s natural areas. The Friends of the Eramosa Karst (FOTEK) are making things easier on the natural world.

When neighbours of the Eramosa Karst CA Feeder Lands started mowing the areas behind their properties, they likely thought they were just cleaning up the weeds. The Feeder Lands, which surround the Conservation Area to the North, East and South, host vital habitat for butterflies, breeding birds and a number of Species at Risk.

Foundation Board Member Margaret Reid (left) explains the planting efforts to local volunteers, underlining their significance to the larger ecosystem in the face of growing development in Upper Stoney Creek and East Hamilton Mountain.

In order to help residents understand the value of the land next to their back yards, the Friends of the Eramosa Karst started a public education campaign this Spring. By mailing neighbours, knocking on doors and holding open houses with Hamilton Conservation Authority, those neighbours have a whole new understanding and appreciation for the land.

Those neighbours were invited to plantings in May and October of this year to create a new buffer of trees and shrubs on the edge of the Feeder Lands properties. This not only has the benefit of creating a natural buffer between private residences and conservation lands, it also adds some visual appeal to the lands, helping others to see their value as well.

Funding for the plantings was generously provided by the Heritage Green Community Trust.