By John Bacher
Image source: Friends of the Greenbelt
On Saturday, September 27th, at 2pm, a walk will be held to grow the Greenbelt as recommended by a motion of the City of Thorold Council. Walkers and cyclists will assemble at the outside the Indian Flame Bar and Grill, at 1300 Lundy’s Lane near the Allanburg Bridge. The route will take an hour and a half by walking and participants are encouraged to meet informally at the Indian Flame afterwards. In case of any extreme weather, the event will be held at 2pm on Sunday, September 28th at the same location.
The walk will explore part of the proposed Ontario Greenbelt expansion area. They are completely owned by various public agencies, such as Ontario Power Generation. The largely forested lands provide a natural habitat linkage between Short Hills Provincial Park and the Welland Canal. The route will loop along the scenic Decew-Allanburg trail, turning back at Beaverdams Road.
The Greenbelt expansion area is of considerable historical and ecological significance. It contains some of the most extensive ruins of the Third Welland Canal, with stone features such as past towers and bridges. The habitat is of considerable value to wildlife, including the herons and the Threatened Barn Swallow. It is an important reservoir for much of Niagara’s drinking water.
The extension of the Greenbelt as proposed by Thorold Council would build on a number of important environmental victories for well over a century, going back to the creation of the St. Catharines water works system in 1871. The proposed area to extend the Greenbelt is immediately adjacent to lands protected through an important 1979 hearing of the Ontario Municipal Board. This followed appeal by an Ontario legislator, Mel Swart, a local farmer, Russell Yungblut, the Preservation of Agricultural Lands Society, (PALS) and the Niagara South chapter of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture.
Event sponsored by Sierra Club of Ontario, Ontario Friends of the Greenbelt, Greening Niagara, Friends of Mel Swart Park.
For Further Information Contact David Griffiths Friends of Mel Swart Park at (905-688-5449)