Appreciate what we have
We are fortunate in Burlington to have a wide variety of natural habitats, but we often forget to stop and appreciate them due to our busy lives.
Burlington, like most cities in the world, consisted of forest and wetland. Agricultural and city development cleared away much of it, filled in wetland, and piped creeks underground, but if you look around you can still see “pockets of nature”, even in the most urban areas.
We must be vigilant in protecting these remaining natural areas from the push to build more houses, shopping centres and quarries, as our city of 186,000+ continues to grow. A balanced approach to development planning is essential to ensure the city’s natural areas are preserved so that wildlife and future generations can be afforded the opportunity to live in a healthy environment.
Some natural habitats in Burlington include:
- Patches of woodland in urban Burlington, including many of our backyards
- Rural forest areas in north Burlington
- Marsh areas below Dundas St., including the RBG/Cootes Paradise area, and more above Dundas St.
- The Lake Ontario and Burlington Bay shoreline – such as LaSalle Park, supporting the winter habitat of the majestic Trumpeter Swans
- Several creeks from Grindstone in the west, to Bronte in the east
- Various field environments that provide important habitats for local wildlife
- Halton Conservation Areas and some city parks with natural habitats
- and of course, a world biosphere reserve: the scenic Niagara Escarpment.
Did you know that the only dune habitat in Halton is located right here in Burlington at Beachway Park?
Check out the interpretive sign we created and installed there in the spring of 2015!
(view full size)
Why Protect our natural areas?
Burlington's natural areas are scenic and they contribute to the quality of our lives when we take time to visit them and hear the songbirds or see animals going about their daily business. They are intricate and fragile ecosystems, containing a wide variety of plant, animal, and microscopic life in a delicate balance – these are small communities.
Bees live there and pollenate our nearby crops and orchards to give us food. Marshes help clean pollutants out of our water sources. Trees help clean our air. Furthermore, wildlife need a home. When we take away too much of their habitat, they have no choice but to wander into our communities where they can then become considered "nuisance wildlife".
*Read BurlingtonGreen’s input regarding Coexistence with Coyotes here.
When one learns about these communities in a bit more detail, it becomes clear how special they are and how important it is to protect them.
An example is the potentially threatened habitat of the Trumpeter Swans at LaSalle Park. Learn about this important issue and how you can speak up on behalf of the Swans by visiting our Protect the Trumpeter Swans page.
How you can help:
- Keep abreast of proposed city developments that may threaten special habitats and make your voice heard.
- Get out and enjoy nearby natural areas; stop and read any trail placards to gain an appreciation for the area (please stay on established trails to reduce human impact and carry out all garbage you produce).
- Homeowners and businesses should keep property clear of litter and stray garbage to prevent it from finding its way to nearby creeks, fields, and woodlands. Plazas in particular are typically large generators of stray garbage, as are blue bins put out too soon on a windy night.
- Report any illegal dumping in progress to the police. If you happen to discover large amounts of garbage in a creek or ravine area, a great group of volunteers called the Field and Stream Rescue Team does spring and fall cleanups. Consider notifying them and volunteering to help with the clean up work.
- Sign up for BurlingtonGreen's annual Community Clean Up event held in April along with our popular Green Up Event typically held in May.
- Get involved with ‘Friends of' groups such as The Friends of Sheldon Creek and The Friends of Kerncliff Park, or consider starting your own group to monitor and protect a nearby creek or habitat.
- Check out our handy Creating Healthy Habitat resource pages to learn how you can plan and host your own community clean up, green up event, or volunteer with other groups hosting events.
Conservation on Your Own Land
Do you or someone you know own land containing special habitat or unique natural features? Please learn more about the Ontario Government's Conservation Land Tax Incentive Program for protecting special habitat on your property.
In addition, citizens in west Burlington owning land should consider land stewardship as part of the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark.
Have your say!
BurlingtonGreen needs your voice in the discussion:
COMPLETE OUR SUPER BRIEF SURVEY!
- Bay Area Restoration Council (BARC)
- Trout Unlimited and their Yellow Fish Road storm drain painting program
- Bruce Trail Conservancy
- City of Burlington's environment page
- Conservation Halton and their Stream of Dreams & Hamilton/Halton Watershed Stewardship program.
- Coalition on the Niagara Escarpment
- Nature Conservancy Canada
- Ontario Government reviewing wetland conservation policies. Read discussion paper (28-page PDF)
- Ontario Government's Plan to Conserve Biodiversity 2012-2020 (52-page document)
This page is part of BurlingtonGreen's Greenprint for the Future awareness and advocacy program.
The program, covering a number of local issues, is made possible
thanks to funding from MEC.