BURLINGTON, ON, June 21, 2013 /CNW/ - Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) announced today, the official establishment of the Cootes to Escarpment Ecopark System. Together with the Bruce Trail Conservancy, City of Burlington, Conservation Halton, Halton Region, City of Hamilton, Hamilton Conservation Authority, Hamilton Naturalists' Club, and McMaster University, RBG signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), creating a unique partnership that will work to reconnect, restore and protect valuable, environmentally sensitive lands while creating a lasting legacy for current and future generations.
The Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System initiative has been under way since 2006, when the partner organizations began to explore how they can best protect, restore and connect almost 1,900 hectares (4,700 acres) of natural lands and open space they own and manage at the western end of Lake Ontario. This is one of the most biologically rich areas of Canada, home to more than 1,500 plant and animal species, including more than 50 species-at-risk. It is also the last intact ecological corridor between Lake Ontario wetlands and the Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.
A public launch celebration event for the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System will be held at RBG Centre, 680 Plains Rd. West, Burlington, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm on June 22nd with a brief introduction to the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System and remarks from dignitaries, followed by an informal BBQ, family activities in Hendrie Park, and guided hikes showcasing the natural and cultural/historical heritage of the area. The event will include remarks from The Honourable Ted McMeekin, Minister of Community and Social Services and MPP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale; Bob Bratina, Mayor of Hamilton; Rick Goldring, Mayor of Burlington; and Patrick Deane, President of McMaster University, along with representatives of other partner organizations. This event is open to members of the public.
The project is made possible through funding from the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation and the Ontario Trillium Foundation, along with financial and in-kind contributions from the nine partner organizations and the Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan Office.
SOURCE: Royal Botanical Gardens
For further information:
Dr. David Galbraith
Chair, Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System Steering Committee and Head of Science
Royal Botanical Gardens
Tel: 905-527-1158 (1-800-694-4769), ext.#309 e-mail: [email protected]
Manager of Communications
Royal Botanical Gardens
Tel: 905-527-1158 (1-800-694-4769), ext.#223 e-mail: [email protected]