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Showing posts from March, 2013

Lot by Lot Parking Breakdown

A look at the lot

McMaster University's peak demand for parking is 2,803 vehicles, or 69% of capacity (est. 3963 total) according to their campus capacity study of April 2011.

To create a required 30 metre naturalized buffer zone between the existing parking and Ancaster Creek, McMaster has committed to remove up to 480 parking spaces along the creek edge this spring (2013), which means the total supply drops to 3,483 spots.

Due to campus construction of a new building in place of Wentworth House on main campus, the university requires that Lot O, adjacent to Lot M, be used to place temporary "portables" during construction, meaning another 122 spaces out of commission for now, bringing total parking supply to 3,361. Assuming the same demand of 2,803 vehicles, the lots would function at 83% of capacity: that translates into 558 more spaces than required for the peak hour demand.

Nevertheless, McMaster is planning on re-paving a section at the south western edge of Lot M to create roughly…

A Creek By Any Other Name Would Flow As Sweet

Ancaster Creek, just north of McMaster parking, flowing toward a juncture with Spencer Creek before blending their waters and moving together into Cootes Paradise marsh.

This creek has gone by various names over the years, including Red Creek, Coldwater Creek, Coldspring Creek and is usually referred to today as Ancaster Creek.

The muddy shores reveal evidence of the creek overflowing it's banks already this spring, a natural and desirable action for specialized floodplain habitat.

Cootes Cleaning

Stewards of Cootes event: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stewards-of-Cootes-Watershed/428248847210298?fref=ts
Spring Clean Up of Felker’s Creek & Cootes Watershed Saturday, March 23 (12:30pm - 3:30pm) & Sunday, March 24 (1:00pm - 4:00pm)
Spring is the time of cleaning – inside and outside! Join the Bay Area Restoration Council and Earth Day Hamilton-Burlington in cleaning up Felker’s Creek and nearby parks and roadways on Sat. Mar. 23 from 12:30-3:30pm. Then head over to Cootes Paradise on Sun. Mar. 24 from 1:00-4:00pm to clean up the Cootes Watershed with the Stewards of Cootes Watershed.
Details at http://earthdayhamilton.ca/2011/events/waste-watchers/community-cleanups/

Expanding protection for River Valley

Enlarging the Greenbelt along river valleys makes a lot of sense. This recent report from the Greenbelt Alliance includes a look at Hamilton's river valleys, including "Coldwater Creek" AKA Ancaster Creek, and historically Red Creek, and Coldspring Creek.

Read their report here http://greenbeltalliance.ca/sites/default/files/reports/GreenbeltReport2013_FINAL_0.pdf

Endangered by Inaction

Burlington, Ontario has taken action to protect the Jefferson Salamander population for the past few years.

King Road will be blocked off with portable barricades and concrete barricades from the escarpment to Mountain Brow Road between March 18 to April 8, 2013.

This is a city initiative to ensure the survival of this endangered species, since their breeding habitat is divided by the road. Road kill is a significant threat to the survival of the estimated 100 Jefferson Salamanders, according to Conservation Halton.

The cost to close the road is marginal - estimated at $1500.00.

Now might be a good time to talk about the threatened species in Cootes Paradise, and ways to protect them from the road-kill fate on Cootes Drive between McMaster and Dundas.

[source: Hamilton Spectator, March 12, 2013)

A model wetland project

Olentangy River Wetland Research Park Look what they did with an old field in Ohio: Imagine what we could do in Lot M if McMaster administration agrees to support a project that would see the rehabilitation of the lost floodplain. More info on the ORWRP here: http://swamp.osu.edu (Thanks to Professor Mike Waddington for the resource)

Submerged in Lot M

The show just came down today, sad to see it go. We will not be sad to see the Lot M parking lot go, to be replaced by a restored functioning floodplain with trails and a research area for McMaster students and faculty.

Getting lost in the art of Mapping Paradise

For those of you unable to get to the Mapping Paradise show, I've added some images at the Facebook page (you don't need Facebook to access these pictures) - https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.229044487220700.1073741827.121004588024691&type=1&l=495a6ffa46

Rising Tide: Art examines Cootes to Escarpment

When it sinks in. When it sinks in that visiting artist Gregg Schlanger chose to focus his considerable talent on McMaster's Parking Lot "M" for his contribution to the Mapping Paradise show, it ignited a thrill in me: here is art speaking a new language on a current environmental issue.

That the issue is central to what I've been working on for the past several years felt like affirmation, yes, but more, like a new force has joined the cause, which has grown to include so many within just the last year.

Gregg's work entitled "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot" is the central defining artwork in a lively show of student work from Judy Major-Girardin's ART 2ER3 "Environmentally Responsible Studio" class at McMaster University.

The form is a low wood frame box filled with water in the middle of the gallery, with a raised, flat platform - like an oil rig in the sea -  standing over the water. The platform is at first unfamiliar, u…

Lot M, right in the middle...