Work is underway to create treed wetland in Flamborough Centre Park. The park has a seasonally high water table, limited recreational opportunities and challenging maintenance requirements. Conservation Halton has been in discussions with the City identifying options for restoring the natural environment on a small portion of the property, which used to be a treed deciduous swamp, before the land was cleared. The initiative will see approximately one hectare (2.4 acres) of the underutilized City of Hamilton recreational park transformed to productive treed wetland and marsh ecosystems. This project involves removing a portion of the topsoil from the area, creating a shallow wetland and pit and mound features, and planting the area with native species that are tolerant of wet ground conditions.
Estimates suggest that the coverage of wetlands has been reduced by 85% in Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe. Wetlands provide valuable ecosystem services such as controlling erosion, conserving and purifying water and providing wildlife habitat and recreation to their surrounding plant, animal and human communities. Through an ecosystem approach to restoration we can increase the cover of wetlands in the area and add to the nearby 190 hectare Provincially Significant Wetland complex.
Conservation Halton’s website says “this project underscores the critical role of wetlands in providing natural flood control infrastructure and building community resilience to climate change. Part of a larger flood prone area that drains into the upper reaches of Grindstone Creek, the project will add flood storage capacity and is expected to reduce water flows downstream.
Restoration of wetland ecosystems (pit and mound swamp forest, wet mixed open marsh) and wildlife habitat features (woody and herbaceous plants) will also provide co-benefits to the community including:
- Improved water quality into Hamilton Harbour;
- Increased natural buffers;
- Natural heritage connectivity;
- Diversity of flora and fauna at the site; and,
- Improved quality of the remaining publicly accessible portion of the site.