Skip to main content

Mac agrees to ‘small but significant’ buffer


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 several months. The parking lot apparently predates the minimum natural zone along the creek, so the authority could not enforce the requirement on the University.
Randy Kay of the Ontario Public Interest Research Group at McMaster, has been pushing for the minimum buffer under the Restore Cootes campaign.
Kay began the campaign after learning of the minimum 30-metre buffer in the university’s 2012 [corr. 2002] Campus Master Plan.
“While scaling back parking means 318 less parking spaces….a surplus of available parking at peak demand of over 1,000 spaces means no drivers will lose the ability to park on campus,” Kay said in a press release Monday.
The campaign caught some attention, and grew to the point of a group of McMaster professors calling on the university to go beyond 30-metre buffer by eliminating at least double the parking spaces and reclaiming the natural wetland that existed before Parking Lot M was built.
“That’s a challenge for the university to do,” Arbeau said, suggesting there is still a demand for parking in that area of the campus.
Kay said the 30-metre buffer is small, but significant, step toward the goal of full rehabilitation of the floodplain previously known as Coldspring Valley Nature Sanctuary.
Professors on the McMaster Marsh group suggest naturalizing the parking lot to its previous condition would create a one-of-a-kind outdoor research lab, in addition to improving the natural area surrounding McMaster University’s campus.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Taking a different direction to protect turtles in Cootes

Here's an easy thing you can do that will benefit at local risk-turtles immediately. It's as simple as taking a different route to bypass Cootes and Olympic Drive. This small choice will mean turtles and other wildlife in Cootes Paradise will have a better chance of surviving from being crushed under your vehicle tires.

Take the pledge: http://bit.ly/ProtectTurtlesCootes
Often you might not even be aware you've hit a young turtle, or a snake, for example, yet in the case of turtles, each death means this at-risk group is one death closer to extirpation. Turtles take a long time to reach maturity, and most hatchlings never make it to adulthood so you can see the dilemma.

Please take a minute to pledge your commitment to use an alternate route, and help Restore Cootes and other groups do their part to protect our reptile friends. A previous survey showed that 70% of respondents would do this for the turtles. Hopefully you will join them!

Thanks in advance for your support!


Loa…

The Social Sciences Take on Lot M!

Guest Blogger: Carly Stephens 
Since its inception, Parking to Paradise has been a platform for interdisciplinary collaboration. Many readers are familiar with the Ancaster Creek riparian buffer and restoration work along the Northwest border of the parking lot. Interested parties across many faculties and disciplines have worked together to restore this ecosystem and raise awareness about the impacts urbanization on the natural environment. Nurtured by the time, commitment and hard work donated by volunteers and students, the land has grown into a site of green infrastructure, ecosystem restoration, and sustainable development. Read about Reyna Matties' Master’s work on retrofitting storm water management systems on the lot in the December 7, 2015 post below. Now, it’s the social sciences turn to learn where green infrastructure developments - as with the case of Lot M - fits into our social world.

My research involves exploring the various roles that green space plays in our urb…

Coldspring Valley History Hike: Water Innovation Week

We're heading back out to share the history of this former floodplain/nature sanctuary, and take a look at the rehabilitated future of this contested site in McMaster's west campus. Can we really depave Paradise? It's happening!

Register on Eventbrite: http://bit.ly/waterweekwalk2017 (by donation)