News & Updates

Saltfleet Conservation Area showcases conservation at work

What not too long ago was just an open field, has transformed into a striking wetland that has already begun to flourish.

It was a milestone year at Saltfleet Conservation Area, with the completion of the first wetland, and the area reopening to the public in late September 2022. Located on First Road East, Saltfleet features a new trail, the Heritage Green Community Trust Trail, that meanders around the wetland, and also connects to the Dofasco 2000 Trail and Devil’s Punchbowl Conservation Area.

Saltfleet reopening in September 2022.

HCA ecology staff have been conducting weekly monitoring, including bird surveys for migrating waterfowl and shore birds, and to see how the biodiversity at Saltfleet changes over time. It has been encouraging to see waterfowl like Canada Geese, Bufflehead, Northern Shoveler, and Mallards enjoying the wetlands, as well as shorebirds like Dunlin, Killdeer, and Spotted and Solitary Sandpipers.

The speed of the transformation at Saltfleet would not have been possible without the Heritage Green Community Trust and their initial donation of $2‐million towards land acquisition and the Trust’s subsequent pledge of an additional $2-million for the creation of this first wetland.

In all, HCA plans to create four wetlands, with construction on the second expected to begin in late 2023. It will be located off of Fifth Road East and Green Mountain Road East. This wetland will be smaller than originally planned due to archaeological finds in the area, but will still greatly contribute to controlling flooding and erosion in the lower Stoney Creek and Battlefield watersheds.

The third proposed wetland is already in the early design phases and will be constructed at the recently acquired land on Ridge Road, where the Punchbowl Market by the Devil’s Punchbowl was located. Land for the fourth wetland is yet to be acquired, but HCA continues its efforts to secure the last parcel of land needed.

As we have seen, wetlands are needed, and need protection more than ever. In addition to other projects, the Foundation’s fundraising efforts for 2023 will again focus on funding future work at Saltfleet Conservation Area. This project demonstrates how wetlands can address the risk of flooding and erosion, restore and enhance natural heritage features, adapt and mitigate the impacts of climate change, and provide recreation opportunities for the public.

If you haven’t made the visit, it is one you won’t regret, seeing how dollars turn into real conservation efforts.

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