Ecological connectivity between the Niagara Escarpment and Cootes Paradise in Hamilton and Halton has received a boost thanks to a $3.5 million investment from the Government of Canada to the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System.
The Bruce Trail Conservancy and Iroquoia Bruce Trail Club are proud partners in the EcoPark System – a voluntary alliance of nine government and not-for-profit agencies that collectively protect nearly 2,200 ha of open space and nature sanctuary between Cootes Paradise Marsh, Hamilton Harbour, and the Niagara Escarpment.
On January 26, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, announced over $3.5 million to support the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System Ecological Corridor Pilot Project. The project is one of the first initiatives funded by the Parks Canada National Program for Ecological Corridors, formally launched in 2022.
Protected and conserved areas play an important role in fighting the dual crises of biodiversity loss and climate change, but to be fully effective, these areas must be connected. Ensuring that our cities and infrastructure allow animals and plants to thrive through well planned and strategically placed ecological corridors is integral to effective nature protection and conservation.
Ecological corridors support the uninhibited movement of species between conserved areas, allowing them to interact and find habitat. They also allow other natural processes, like pollination, to occur across the broader landscape and provide opportunities for people and communities to access greenspaces close to home and to co-exist responsibly and sustainably with nature.
As a partner of the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System, the Bruce Trail Conservancy collaborates to preserve and enhance the natural lands in this important ecological corridor by using sustainable approaches to protect biodiversity and enable responsible human connection to nature.
– Parks Canada News Release: Government of Canada to protect nature in Ontario
– Parks Canada National Program for Ecological Corridors
– Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System
– Ecological Connectivity: Pathways for Nature; winter 2022-23 issue of Bruce Trail Conservancy Magazine (pages 12-13)