Monthly Archives: January 2020

Tribute Trees program honours loved ones with plantings across the Hamilton watershed.

A donation of $125 to the Foundation’s Tribute Trees is directed to our Planting Fund and is used to plant native trees and shrubs where they’re needed most on conservation lands in the Hamilton Watershed.

In addition, the name of the individual or organization being honoured is recognized on signage in the Beckett Forest in the Dundas Valley Conservation Area for a period of at least one year. An acknowledgement of the tribute is also be sent directly to the person or organization being recognized or to the family of the person being remembered.

To dedicate a tree, please visit

Wetland project shows growing importance of natural lands to climate emergency

This past March, the City of Hamilton declared a climate emergency, noting the escalating threats posed by increasingly extreme storm events. Our
Foundation is proud to put your donations to work at the Saltfleet Conservation Area, a showcase wetland project that is leading the fight to protect our communities with the help of Mother Nature.

The Saltfleet wetland project is part of a decade-long vision to build wetlands and natural stream channels to build the resilience of the Stoney and Battlefield Creeks. Construction on the first wetland is expected to begin once design plans are finished next year.

The Foundation is proud to have put over $150,000 from the RBC Foundation and our Land Securement Fund into the Saltfleet Conservation Area project’s design studies and cleanup costs. This is on top of the $4 million already contributed for land acquisition by the Heritage Green Community Trust and City of Hamilton.

Canal Park viewing platform completes conservation vision for former greenhouse property in Dundas

With grants from the Hamilton Future Fund and John Deere Foundation of Canada, a viewing platform now connects visitors to the edge of the Desjardins Canal.

On a chilly Saturday in September, Foundation donors and community volunteers gathered to celebrate the completion of a new viewing platform at Canal Park. The crowd was treated to an afternoon of classical guitar with local musician Gary Santucci.

The event, paid for by an anonymous donor, capped off the final stage in the long-term vision for the former Veldhuis Greenhouses proprety. The property is situated in an ideal location between urban downtown Dundas, the Royal Botanical Gardens natural lands and the larger Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System.

Volunteers Brian Baetz, Joanna Chapman and Ben Vanderbrug had a vision to turn what had become a derelict brownfield site into a large-scale naturalization project. They connected Hamilton Conservation Authority with the vision for this property and encouraged the fundraising campaign which brought it to fruition.

The property connects urban Dundas and Hamilton with the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System and its 3,900 hectares of natural lands.

While it may look like a haphazard collection of weeds, shrubs and trees, the site is actually the result of a landscape plan that sought to provide miniature examples of the grassland, wetland and oak savannah ecosystems which are found throughout the diverse lands that make up the EcoPark System.

Barn Swallow habitat project off to a flying start

Following the success of a spur-of-the-moment springtime fundraising effort, the habitat structure in the Meadowlands Conservation Area hosted its first nests just a few months after it was built. The structure will provide vital habitat for the barn swallow, a provincially-listed Species at Risk.

Readers may remember an earlier for call for donations to provide a much-needed habitat structure in the Meadowlands Conservation Area. Barn swallows, a provincially-listed Species at Risk, had begun nesting in nooks and crannies around the exterior of the houses that surround the Conservation Area. As a result, the Foundation put out a call in these pages for donations to help build a habitat structure.

Thanks to the community’s generosity and a grant from the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, we were able to get the structure built in the Conservation Area before nesting season began. The structure, built with help from Bird Studies Canada, mimics the conditions the swallows used to enjoy in the barns and outbuildings which occupied the land before it was developed into housing. A variety of cups, ledges and corners populate
the structure’s interior.

The summer was spent with Hamilton Conservation Authority staff nervously checking for signs of the elusive birds. One afternoon at the beginning of the Fall, our efforts were rewarded when two of the barn swallow’s distinctive mud nests were found tucked into the sturcture’s corners.

The Meadowlands Conservation Area, with its diversity of native shrubs and grasses, is an ideal hunting ground for the barn swallow. The swallows feed on a variety of insects and enjoy hunting in the large open spaces the Conservation Area offers.