Final phase of Courtcliffe Park redevelopment project gets underway next week

News Feb 14, 2018 by Matt Gergyek Flamborough Review

The fourth and final phase of the Courtcliffe Park redevelopment project on Carlisle Road will start and finish next week, bringing the environmental restoration of Bronte and Mountsberg creeks to completion.

The fourth phase involves the removal of a pedestrian bridge over Bronte Creek to prevent flooding of the park path and jamming or erosion of the creek’s flow.

Some trails will be closed or diverted due to this construction.

The $875,000 project, led by Conservation Halton and Trout Unlimited Canada, kicked off in 2013 and was partially funded through donations and grants.

The aim of the project is to save and stabilize the declining brook trout or speckled trout population by restoring the creeks. The species used to call Courtcliffe Park home, but has not been seen in the area for almost 30 years.

“We hear some of the elder residents in the community talk about how they used to catch Brook Trout in Bronte Creek, and that’s just not something that happens anymore,” said Kent Rundle, a watershed stewardship co-ordinator with Conservation Halton.

Declining water conditions and habitat disruption forced the fish to flea.

“The creeks had been channelized, over-widened, straightened out, … large ponds had been built,” said Rundle. “These activities degraded the creek, so we had stagnant and significantly warmer water.”

Rundle compares the trout to “the canary in the coal mine,” a measure of environmental stability and security.

“They’re just so sensitive to degraded habitat. If they’re comfortable, other cold water species would be comfortable too,” Rundle said.

The final phase of the restoration project was funded by the Ontario Community Environmental Fund, which provides money collected from environmental penalties to support improvement projects in the watershed where a violation took place.

Phase one of the project involved the construction of a bridge over Bronte Creek and the removal of a man-made side channel, while phases two and three involved the installation of three more bridges and the repair of Mountsberg Creek to bring it back to its natural flow.

Rundle spoke to the importance of restoration projects like Courtcliffe Park.

“We want to leave a positive legacy behind, leaving natural spaces as healthy as we found them or in a better condition if possible,” Rundle said. “It’s important to help people see the value and beauty in their natural ecosystems.”

The restoration project is part of Conservation Halton’s Brookies in Bronte Forever! and Trout Unlimited Canada’s Reconnecting Canada initiatives, in collaboration with the Courtcliffe Park committee and the City of Hamilton.

“A project of this scale would just not be feasible without great partnerships with all the organizations involved … they’re critical to the success,” Rundle said.

Next up on Conservation Halton’s plan for the area is a wetland restoration project at Centre Park located just north of the 6th Concession Road East on Centre Road, but Rundle noted the plans are not solid as of yet.

“Local residents of that park know the turf is always sopping wet and unusable [so] we’d like to try and restore that,” he said.

Meanwhile, Conservation Halton will continue to “provide guidance” while the creeks begin to restore themselves. With hope, the trout will return home.

Final phase of Courtcliffe Park redevelopment project gets underway next week

Creek restoration work aims to bolster brook trout population

News Feb 14, 2018 by Matt Gergyek Flamborough Review

The fourth and final phase of the Courtcliffe Park redevelopment project on Carlisle Road will start and finish next week, bringing the environmental restoration of Bronte and Mountsberg creeks to completion.

The fourth phase involves the removal of a pedestrian bridge over Bronte Creek to prevent flooding of the park path and jamming or erosion of the creek’s flow.

Some trails will be closed or diverted due to this construction.

The $875,000 project, led by Conservation Halton and Trout Unlimited Canada, kicked off in 2013 and was partially funded through donations and grants.

The aim of the project is to save and stabilize the declining brook trout or speckled trout population by restoring the creeks. The species used to call Courtcliffe Park home, but has not been seen in the area for almost 30 years.

“We hear some of the elder residents in the community talk about how they used to catch Brook Trout in Bronte Creek, and that’s just not something that happens anymore,” said Kent Rundle, a watershed stewardship co-ordinator with Conservation Halton.

Declining water conditions and habitat disruption forced the fish to flea.

“The creeks had been channelized, over-widened, straightened out, … large ponds had been built,” said Rundle. “These activities degraded the creek, so we had stagnant and significantly warmer water.”

Rundle compares the trout to “the canary in the coal mine,” a measure of environmental stability and security.

“They’re just so sensitive to degraded habitat. If they’re comfortable, other cold water species would be comfortable too,” Rundle said.

The final phase of the restoration project was funded by the Ontario Community Environmental Fund, which provides money collected from environmental penalties to support improvement projects in the watershed where a violation took place.

Phase one of the project involved the construction of a bridge over Bronte Creek and the removal of a man-made side channel, while phases two and three involved the installation of three more bridges and the repair of Mountsberg Creek to bring it back to its natural flow.

Rundle spoke to the importance of restoration projects like Courtcliffe Park.

“We want to leave a positive legacy behind, leaving natural spaces as healthy as we found them or in a better condition if possible,” Rundle said. “It’s important to help people see the value and beauty in their natural ecosystems.”

The restoration project is part of Conservation Halton’s Brookies in Bronte Forever! and Trout Unlimited Canada’s Reconnecting Canada initiatives, in collaboration with the Courtcliffe Park committee and the City of Hamilton.

“A project of this scale would just not be feasible without great partnerships with all the organizations involved … they’re critical to the success,” Rundle said.

Next up on Conservation Halton’s plan for the area is a wetland restoration project at Centre Park located just north of the 6th Concession Road East on Centre Road, but Rundle noted the plans are not solid as of yet.

“Local residents of that park know the turf is always sopping wet and unusable [so] we’d like to try and restore that,” he said.

Meanwhile, Conservation Halton will continue to “provide guidance” while the creeks begin to restore themselves. With hope, the trout will return home.

Final phase of Courtcliffe Park redevelopment project gets underway next week

Creek restoration work aims to bolster brook trout population

News Feb 14, 2018 by Matt Gergyek Flamborough Review

The fourth and final phase of the Courtcliffe Park redevelopment project on Carlisle Road will start and finish next week, bringing the environmental restoration of Bronte and Mountsberg creeks to completion.

The fourth phase involves the removal of a pedestrian bridge over Bronte Creek to prevent flooding of the park path and jamming or erosion of the creek’s flow.

Some trails will be closed or diverted due to this construction.

The $875,000 project, led by Conservation Halton and Trout Unlimited Canada, kicked off in 2013 and was partially funded through donations and grants.

The aim of the project is to save and stabilize the declining brook trout or speckled trout population by restoring the creeks. The species used to call Courtcliffe Park home, but has not been seen in the area for almost 30 years.

“We hear some of the elder residents in the community talk about how they used to catch Brook Trout in Bronte Creek, and that’s just not something that happens anymore,” said Kent Rundle, a watershed stewardship co-ordinator with Conservation Halton.

Declining water conditions and habitat disruption forced the fish to flea.

“The creeks had been channelized, over-widened, straightened out, … large ponds had been built,” said Rundle. “These activities degraded the creek, so we had stagnant and significantly warmer water.”

Rundle compares the trout to “the canary in the coal mine,” a measure of environmental stability and security.

“They’re just so sensitive to degraded habitat. If they’re comfortable, other cold water species would be comfortable too,” Rundle said.

The final phase of the restoration project was funded by the Ontario Community Environmental Fund, which provides money collected from environmental penalties to support improvement projects in the watershed where a violation took place.

Phase one of the project involved the construction of a bridge over Bronte Creek and the removal of a man-made side channel, while phases two and three involved the installation of three more bridges and the repair of Mountsberg Creek to bring it back to its natural flow.

Rundle spoke to the importance of restoration projects like Courtcliffe Park.

“We want to leave a positive legacy behind, leaving natural spaces as healthy as we found them or in a better condition if possible,” Rundle said. “It’s important to help people see the value and beauty in their natural ecosystems.”

The restoration project is part of Conservation Halton’s Brookies in Bronte Forever! and Trout Unlimited Canada’s Reconnecting Canada initiatives, in collaboration with the Courtcliffe Park committee and the City of Hamilton.

“A project of this scale would just not be feasible without great partnerships with all the organizations involved … they’re critical to the success,” Rundle said.

Next up on Conservation Halton’s plan for the area is a wetland restoration project at Centre Park located just north of the 6th Concession Road East on Centre Road, but Rundle noted the plans are not solid as of yet.

“Local residents of that park know the turf is always sopping wet and unusable [so] we’d like to try and restore that,” he said.

Meanwhile, Conservation Halton will continue to “provide guidance” while the creeks begin to restore themselves. With hope, the trout will return home.