VOLUNTEER AT A “GREEN UP” EVENT
In addition to BurlingtonGreen's restoration projects, there are many other organizations in the community that are actively cleaning and greening our natural areas. This section highlights these groups and gives you an opportunity to volunteer and get involved!
If you haven't participated in these types of events before, we'll bet you'll be surprised how good you feel afterward. You feel like you've made a real difference, and you've had a chance to connect with the community. You also get an inside look at some special parts of Burlington that you've maybe only observed from a distance before, which makes you feel like a part of them now.
Periodically check BurlingtonGreen's Calendar of Events or Facebook Event Page to discover upcoming projects in our community. Thank you to all the other agencies in our community that offer such inspiring and fun volunteer opportunities. Check out the local agencies below to discover stewardship projects that need your help.
Bay Area Restoration Council
The Bay Area Restoration Council (BARC) is a community not-for-profit group that assesses and promotes clean-up projects in Hamilton Harbour and its watershed. BARC works with all levels of government and the private sector to keep Harbour restoration issues at the forefront of community discussions and decision-making.
- Citizen Science – help BARC promote a public understanding of social, physical and natural issues.
- Share with the online community your research or class project.
- Engage the community at their waterfront outreach centre and/or share BARC’s mandate with your classroom, colleagues, community group, friends and family.
- Volunteer at a marsh planting.
Each year, BARC partners with the Royal Botanical Gardens to directly engage community volunteers in the restoration of Cootes Paradise Marsh. Marsh Volunteer Planting (MVP) events are co-led by BARC and RBG staff. Community volunteers strap on hip waders and head into Cootes Paradise to plant native cattails. The cattails provide a stable framework where other plant species can grow, help to reduce erosion and sedimentation and increase fish and wildlife habitat.
BARC organizes three to five MVP events each year, usually in July. Due to the nature of the planting sites this program is not suitable for volunteers under the age of 16.
The Stewards of Cootes Watershed group seeks to improve the health and biodiversity of Cootes Paradise and the creeks that flow into it. From March to December they hold watershed cleanups almost every weekend that all are welcome to join in. To date, Stewards of Cootes Watershed volunteers have removed over 50,000 lbs of debris from the watershed.
Friends of Kerncliff Park
Led by Guy Granka, (2011 Environmental Citizen of the Year award winner) this group of citizens hosts bi-annual clean-ups at the beautiful Kerncliff Park in Burlington. Each Spring around the 1st or 2nd week of May and in the Fall in late October or early November, groups of enthusiastic volunteers gather to clean up litter, remove invasive plants and plant native ones in an attempt to protect and restore this beautiful natural area.
“Using nothing more than 10-gallon pails, gloves, boots, insect repellent and elbow grease, the group has removed fridges, stoves, sofas, computer monitors, propane tanks and according to Granka, “too many tires to count.”
Royal Botanical Gardens
Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) is the largest botanical garden in Canada, a National Historic Site, and registered charitable organization with a mandate to bring together people, plants and nature. There are many volunteer opportunities at various RBG events throughout the year. Check out their events and volunteer pages for details here.
Trout Unlimited Canada
Trout Unlimited Canada is a registered Canadian not-for-profit organization. Their mission is to conserve, protect and restore Canada's freshwater ecosystems and their cold-water resources for current and future generations. All of the work Trout Unlimited Canada does is directed toward achieving this mission. Their Ted Knott Chapter covers the Halton/Hamilton regions.
The Bronte Creek Restoration project:
Bronte Creek is a beautiful 304 sq. km watershed that is located in north Burlington. Of particular significance is the abundance of groundwater inputs that provide clean, cold water for local residents and allow for a cold-water ecosystem originally dominated by Brook trout and Atlantic salmon.
Over the years, Trout Unlimited Canada has done much restoration of Bronte Creek, in particular where it passes through Lowville Park in north Burlington and Courtcliffe Park in Carlisle. This large-scale restoration project is near to completion, and the work areas will continue to be monitored over the coming years. As opportunities arise, community volunteer work days will be advertised on their Bronte Creek Renewal Blog.
The organization also operates the Yellow Fish Road storm drain painting awareness program.
Ontario Office Coordinator
519-824-4120 ext 56588
Field and Stream Rescue Team
Field and Stream Rescue Team hosts several project events each year where they count on community volunteers to help with general stream cleanup and rehabilitation, and native tree and shrub plantings. They have the goal of educating the community through hands-on activities and creating a cleaner, more natural environment.
Sign up for an upcoming project, or if you happen to notice a messy creek or ravine area, consider contacting them with the details and join them to help clean it up. They also have special equipment (eg. carts, pulley system) to get those heavy items up steep slopes.
Halton-Peel Biodiversity Network and P.O.W.E.R.
Halton-Peel Biodiversity Network, or HPBDN, is an environmental non-government organization with a goal to mainstream the benefits of biodiversity and to raise awareness of the Canadian Biodiversity Network (CBD).
Evergreen believes that we can solve even the most pressing urban environmental issues by bringing diverse people together, inspiring them with possibilities and engaging them in identifying solutions and taking action. The need has never been more urgent.
You can choose to support Evergreen in a variety of volunteer roles, depending on your interests and availability. Learn about the general types of opportunities.
Hamilton Conservation Authority
Hamilton Conservation Authority (HCA) is Hamilton’s largest environmental agency with a focus on water resource management. The Authority engages in flood forecasting and monitoring, environmental planning, permits and regulations, water quality and drinking water source protection, protection of natural areas, outdoor education and recreation. HCA’s jurisdiction covers 56,800 hectares (140,355 acres) of watershed area of which HCA owns or manages nearly 4400 hectares of land. Their conservation areas include two recreational lakes, two rail trails, 120 kilometres of park trails, one ecological preserve, 12 significant wetlands, 25 waterfalls, 14 Niagara Escarpment properties, seven major recreational parks and one 18,000 year old muskeg bog.
For volunteer and employment opportunities, visit their website.
Hamilton-Halton Watershed Stewardship Program
The purpose of the Hamilton-Halton Watershed Stewardship Program (HHWSP) is to protect, enhance and restore environmentally significant natural areas and watercourses in the watersheds of Hamilton Conservation Authority and Conservation Halton through developing an educated, empowered group of private landowners. The program works with landowners of natural areas and watercourses encouraging them to be good stewards of their land and helps them to undertake projects to improve habitat and water quality.
Over 190 landowners with properties of all different sizes have undertaken habitat and/or water quality improvement projects. Examples of projects include planting and/or naturalization to enhance or establish stream-side buffers, floodplain or wetland or upland habitat, fencing livestock from watercourses, constructing livestock manure storage facilities, removing barriers to fish passage in streams, as well as controlling invasive plant species. Landowners may apply for technical, financial, and in some cases, volunteer assistance, to implement these projects. The HHWSP also responds to requests from landowners for free on-site consultation service and recommends to landowners best management practices to lessen their impact on the natural environment.
If you are interested in learning more about the HHWSP or want to become involved, pleasevisit their website.