Humber River Naturalization Projects
by Richard Hunt
BDHS is committed to continue its Humber River Naturalization Project in Bolton Mill Park (between Humber Lea Road and Regional Road 50) that was initiated in 1998 in co-operation with the Bolton Community Action Site Committee (BCASC) and with the full support of the Town of Caledon, the Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), the Humber Valley Heritage Trail Association (HVHTA) and the Bolton & District Rotary Club.
The goals of this multi-year project are to reduce erosion and improve water quality in the Humber River by re-establishing wetlands, restoring wildlife habitant and reintroducing native species trees, shrubs and wildflowers in the Humber River valley and, at the same time, reducing greenhouse gases. To-date, we have planted approximately 600 native species trees and shrubs plus 1600 native species wild flowers.
Prior to us creating the current Wetlands 11 years ago, there were virtually no frogs or toads in the Park. There is now an abundant and diverse number of species, e.g.; spring peepers, northern leopard frogs, bull frogs, American toad, etc. In addition, there are now many birds breeding on the site, such as the swamp sparrow and the red winged blackbird.
This project's objectives are;
- digging a channel along the base of the hill and diverting this water to the Wetlands
- excavating a no. of additional ponds and interconnecting these with earthen dikes and spill ways
- removing a no. of non-native invasive species of trees
- relocating a no. of native trees, shrubs and wild flowers that are currently on the site of the new ponds
- planting additional native species of trees, shrubs and wild flowers
This site has very convenient access to the Humber Valley Heritage Trail which is very well used by hikers, dog walkers, casual walkers (including many seniors) and students. It is, therefore, anticipated that, with future signage and extensive publicity in the local media, this environmentally significant site will draw the local residents and visitors attention and, make then even more environmentally conscious.
Monitoring and Evaluation Plan plus Meaningful Measurement Results BDHS will conduct Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter Flora and Fauna surveys of the Project Site by TRCA qualified and trained volunteer.
Support of the Toronto & Region Conservation Authorities’ Environmental Policies and the Town of Caledon’s Environmental Progress Action Plan and the Healthy Horticultural Landscapes By-Laws – BDHS is committed to supporting all aspects of these Policies, Plans and By-Laws, specifically; air quality, water quality in the watersheds, Greenhouse gas reduction, environmental awareness, education, implementation and monitoring.
Clear Environmental Focus – The primary goals of this proposed Project is to reduce erosion and improve water quality in the Humber River by re-establishing wetlands, restoring wildlife habitant and reintroducing native species trees, shrubs and wildflowers in the Humber River valley and, at the same time, reducing greenhouse gases.
In addition, upon our receipt of funding, we intend to approach the local schools and Scouting groups and organize site visits in the spring/early summer of 2009 to increase their environmental awareness. Local media will also be utilized to spread the word to encourage residents and visitors to visit this environmentally significant site to not only enjoy the beauty, but to raise their sensitivity to the importance of improving our environment.