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Showing posts from December, 2012

Oak Quote

"I said that I would not like to go again inside the buildings to participate in the setting up of so-called artworks. I wished to go completely outside and to make a symbolic start for my enterprise of regenerating the life of humankind within the body of society and to prepare a positive future in this context.

I think the tree is an element of regeneration which in itself is a concept of time. The oak is especially so because it is a slowly growing tree with a kind of really solid heartwood. It has always been a form of sculpture, a symbol for this planet ever since the Druids, who are called after the oak."

Joseph Beuys

The Ghost of Coldspring Valley

We have learned a lot about the history of Coldspring Valley in recent years. The desecration of this nature sanctuary belonging to the Royal Botanical Gardens as it was paved to create parking lots for McMaster University started in earnest in 1963, the year McMaster University purchased the land from the RBG.

The land was taken from the RBG under duress, as the RBG's Annual Report of 1962 reveals:
"Negotiations pertaining to...land requirements of McMaster University for its projected expansion programme, have caused much soul searching on the part of the Board of the Royal Botanical Gardens. The Board is well aware that it was not established by Provincial Statute in 1941 to witness the disintegration of this property. Indeed it is particularly sensitive about this at a time when governments at all levels are striving to amplify rather than reduce such holdings."
What we are highlighting here are the available hand drawn maps of the former trail system, unfortunately…

Looking for Stewards of the Cootes Watershed?

A recent successful litter/garbage removal from Cootes Paradise got some nice media in the local daily, but somehow they put Restore Cootes in there as the place to go for more info. That would be wrong, because Stewards of the Cootes Watershed is something we at RC admire and support, but to get them you would need the following info:
e-mail - cooteswatershed@gmail.com  or our facebook page: Stewards of Cootes Watershed
http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/851191--cootes-cleanup-culvert-be-gone

Litter Lows

Low water level exposes litter in Cootes Paradise Cootes Paradise boosters are looking for last-minute volunteers for a weekend cleanup of years of accumulated trash.

Water levels in the fish sanctuary at the west end of the harbour remain at historic lows.

That gives volunteers the chance to walk in and root out the equivalent of 100 bags worth of trash that has blown into a corner of the environmentally sensitive area for years, said Alan Hansell, co-ordinator for the Stewards of Cootes Watershed.

His group is organizing litter pickups between noon and 4 p.m. this Sunday and Dec. 16. Volunteers will meet at the front gate of the Royal Botanical Gardens arboretum on Old Guelph Road. For more information, call 289-239-7649.

The Hamilton Spectator

Cross Connections

Hamilton SpectatorMatthew Van DongenThu Dec 06 2012 20:19:00
High bacteria levels in Chedoke Creek The city has more work to do rooting out illegal sewer connections along Chedoke Creek, a university student study suggests. Analytical chemistry students at Ancaster’s Redeemer University College presented tests results Thursday to city and Royal Botanical Gardens officials showing high bacteria levels near Mountview Falls relative to four other test sites along the west-end creek. “Our hypothesis is it was probably coming from underground, likely in sewage,” said second-year student Matthew Horvath, one of 10 students in on the study. “There were high levels at a few locations, but the Mountview location really stood out.” That’s quite possible, said Mark Bainbridge, the city’s harbour cleanup point person. He said the city is doing “cross-connection” tests as part of a pollution-seeking project in Dundas, the Red Hill Valley and along Chedoke Creek. Cross-connections are illegal hookup…

Give something to grow

Lot M or Ward Avenue?

View Satellite Parking in a larger map
The way to free up parking in Lot M to allow for more wetland recovery on Ancaster Creek's floodplain is to better use existing campus parking lots.

McMaster wants to repave 200 spots on the floodplain in Lot M, which this map shows is almost exactly the distance from the almost vacant 490-space parking lot on Ward Avenue, which McMaster's data shows with 409 EMPTY spaces at peak demand!

Moving permit holders from one lot to another could be managed to allow for wetland restoration on Lot M.

Canal land plan 1968

Another contested site in Dundas, near the Desjardin's Canal, was marked for its recreational potential back in 1968. It is an interesting area, with things still not settled as conflicting uses continue to vie for space there. Will it become an ecological park and eco-gateway to Dundas as more recently envisioned, building on this historical precedent? Or will other less ecologically sensitive uses be brought into the mix? You know where we stand...

Dec. 18, 1968 Dundas Star News

Recommendation had followed meeting of the Hamilton Region Conservation Authority and Royal Botanical Gardens board members to make Desjardins' Canal and the water in Cootes Paradise navigable for non-power boats, such as canoes. Also recommended was opening up nature trails, eliminating erosion problems by dredging, and general rehabilitation of the whole area.

Included in the plan would be long range objectives such as deepening Spencer Creek, construction of a parking space, wilderness areas, upst…

Mac agrees to ‘small but significant’ buffer

Thursday, November, 29, 2012 By Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News McMaster University says it will eliminate 380 parking spots in a lot west of Cootes Drive to create a natural buffer between the concrete and Ancaster Creek. The move would meet the minimum buffer required by the Hamilton Conservation Authority, but falls short of a a separate request to eliminate more parking and rehabilitate the entire floodplain. Gord Arbeau, the university’s director of public relations, said the plan is to create a continuous 30-metre landscaped strip between the entire creek and the parking lot – as recommended in the university’s campus master plan. He said work will begin in the spring. “The vision includes some naturalized swales,” Arbeau said, explaining runoff from the parking lot would flow into those swales. He said the next step is to tender the project and find a partner to work with. McMaster University and the Hamilton Conservation Authority have been discussing the 30-metre buffer for …