Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark: Protecting our Natural Heritage:
Thanks for joining me this week for another Inspire Burlington event. We were fortunate to welcome Dr. David Galbraith of the Royal Botanical Gardens to talk about the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark system, which is a collection of existing parks and natural lands in the Burlington-Hamilton region.
Beginning in 2008 the City of Burlington, along with the Royal Botanical Gardens and other partner organizations developed the Cootes to Escarpment Park System Conservation and Land Management Strategy.
This project focused on the conservation and management of approximately 1,560 hectares of publicly owned natural lands in the Aldershot and West Hamilton area. The central natural features of the area include a portion of the Niagara Escarpment and the lands and waters associated with the Cootes Paradise Marsh and Grindstone Creek.
Dr. Galbraith talks about the project at Inspire Burlington event on Feb. 19, 2014
This was an “Information Report” for Council. It did not contain any formal recommendations for action. The report includes options for council’s consideration and advises which options are supported by staff, based on research and public consultation.
The final decision regarding a tree bylaw will be made in the fall. However, from this report we know that staff will not be bringing forward a recommendation for a private tree bylaw, based on research done and the results of public engagement.
Our staff have done an excellent job creating opportunities for input on the issues of trees and gathering feedback on the potential for a private tree bylaw through online surveys, telephone surveys and a community workshop.
During several meetings with both Council and the Regional Council, the Burlington Airpark has been a topic of great discussion and contention. We have heard from many residents who live near the airpark regarding the impacts of the Airport’s expansion program currently underway – impacts to both the neighbouring properties and the local environment.
Over the last 5-6 years, tens of thousands of truck loads of fill have been transported onto the airpark site for the apparent purpose of enhancing and expanding aviation activity. The negative impact to residents in the area has been significant. There are many unanswered questions including: what are the airport’s long term plans, are there any issues with the quality of the fill, is there any impact on the wells in the area, how long will the fill operations continue? There has been much media attention on this issue:
This year MoneySense refined their ranking criteria to define the best overall quality of life for large cities, mid-sized cities like ours and small cities across the country. The new evaluation criteria, which better compares apples to apples, include employment, housing costs, healthcare, weather, crime rates, amenities, culture and property taxes. Visit MoneySense Magazine for more details about the list and methodology.
In Halton Region, Oakville was ranked as the 2nd best mid-Size City to live in Canada, and Milton and Halton Hills also ranked in the top ten Small Cities to live. We are very fortunate to live in a safe and prosperous region.