Flamborough Centre Park Wetland Restoration Project

Project Update: We will be providing regular project updates and answering frequently asked questions through a project update newsletter. To access the project newsletters, please select one below:

July 2020: Project Newsletter
August 2020: 
Project Newsletter
October 2020: Project Newsletter 
January 2021: Project Newsletter

Project Media:
June 25, 2020: Flamborough Review
July 30, 2020: Greenbelt Foundation Funding Announcement
September 11, 2020: The Bay Observer

What is the Flamborough Centre Park Restoration Project?

Flamborough Centre Park, which is located at 969 Centre Road and is owned by the City of Hamilton, has a seasonally high water table, limited recreational opportunities and challenging maintenance requirements. Conservation Halton has been in discussions with the City identifying options for restoring the natural environment on a small portion of the property, which used to be a treed deciduous swamp, before the land was cleared. The initiative will see approximately one hectare (2.4 acres) of the underutilized City of Hamilton recreational park transformed to productive treed wetland and marsh ecosystems. This project involves removing a portion of the topsoil from the area, creating a shallow wetland and pit and mound features, and planting the area with native species that are tolerant of wet ground conditions. If you’d like to print the fact sheet, click here to see the Flamborough Park Restoration Fact Sheet.

Who else is involved?

This project will be managed by Conservation Halton, in consultation with the City of Hamilton.

What needs help?

Estimates suggest that the coverage of wetlands has been reduced by 85% in Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe. Wetlands provide valuable ecosystem services such as controlling erosion, conserving and purifying water and providing wildlife habitat and recreation to their surrounding plant, animal and human communities. Through an ecosystem approach to restoration we can increase the cover of wetlands in the area and add to the nearby 190 hectare Provincially Significant Wetland complex.

The Big Picture

This project underscores the critical role of wetlands in providing natural flood control infrastructure and building community resilience to climate change. Part of a larger flood prone area that drains into the upper reaches of Grindstone Creek, the project will add flood storage capacity and is expected to reduce water flows downstream.

Restoration of wetland ecosystems (pit and mound swamp forest, wet mixed open marsh) and wildlife habitat features (woody and herbaceous plants) will also provide co-benefits to the community including:

  • Improved water quality into Hamilton Harbour;
  • Increased natural buffers;
  • Natural heritage connectivity;
  • Diversity of flora and fauna at the site; and,
  • Improved quality of the remaining publicly accessible portion of the site.

Project Milestones

The Flamborough Centre Park Restoration Project will be executed in two phases.

PHASE ONE

i) Pit and Mound Reforestation – September 2020
The first phase of restoration includes the creation of 0.5 hectares (1.2 acres) of pit and mound reforestation. A pit and mound technique involves creating uneven topography to mimic the conditions of a natural old growth forest floor that would take decades to re-establish on its own. This undulating landscape would naturally be created by shallow-rooted trees falling over in a storm, the result being a raised mass of roots and soil and an associated pit that often fills with water. To create a pit and mound habitat, a series of 30 shallow pit and mounds and two larger pits will be constructed. The pits will vary slightly in shape and size to provide a more natural appearance.

ii) Wildlife Habitat - September 2020
After the pit and mounds have been created, a series of wildlife habitat features will be installed. Salvaged woody debris such as logs will be placed around the pit and mound features. Smaller woody debris, such as branches, will also be placed. The woody debris will provide organic matter and act as natural habitat for a variety of wildlife and increase complexity on the landscape. Several avian perching poles will be installed to attract birds to the site to rest and feed.

iii) Vegetation Planting - September – October 2020
A wide variety of native trees and shrubs will then be planted across the site to provide cover and foraging opportunities for wildlife.

Tree Species

Shrub Species

Wildflowers

Nut Planting

Silver Maple

Highbush Cranberry

Swamp Milkweed

Swamp White Oak

Eastern White Cedar

Spicebush

Cardinal Flower

Burr Oak

American Sycamore

Nannyberry

Wild Bergamot

Swamp White x Burr Hybrid

Trembling Aspen

Red Osier Dogwood

Spotted Joe-Pye Weed

 

Red Maple

Various Willows

Blue Flag Iris

 

PHASE TWO

i) Shallow Wetland – Summer 2021
The outcomes of this phase will include a 0.5 hectares (1.2 acres) area converted from former sports field into marsh ecosystems. This deeper wetland will hold water for a longer period in the summer but will dry out as the groundwater table draws down. Habitat features such as sunning logs and brush piles will provide opportunities native species to rest, lay eggs, and hide from predators. The native trees and shrubs that will be planted in the area, surrounding the wetland will host beneficial insects, which in turn will feed amphibians, birds, and turtles.
Large woody debris (i.e. tree trunks) will provide habitat for a range of organisms including plants, mosses, lichens, small animals, and insects. Decaying wood is an organic material that has the following benefits for the soil and plants:

  • stores nutrients
  • improves drainage
  • holds moisture
  • balances the pH levels
  • home for insects beneficial environment (fungus, bacteria, and other microbes)

What is the timeline? 

Phase One

Phase Two

2020

2021

  • Restore 0.5 hectares of recreational park into a productive forested wetland

  • Construct approximately 30 pit and mound features (2 meters x 2 meters) and two larger wetland cells

  • Plant hundreds of native trees, shrubs and plants that are tolerant of wet conditions

  • Restore 0.5 hectares of former recreational park into a marsh ecosystem

  • Remove a portion of the topsoil from the area to increase flood storage

  • Plant hundreds of native trees, shrubs and plants that are tolerant of wet conditions

Why should you participate in this public consultation opportunity?

By participating in this public consultation, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Share your current use of the study area.
  • Share your perspective the surrounding ecosystem.
  • Learn more about what will change.

How to participate?

An initial survey was sent out to residents near the Flamborough Centre Park and was open from June 4 to August 10, 2020. Another survey will be made available to the public to share draft designs of the Phase Two Wetland.

How will we use your feedback?

The input we collect through public consultations will inform the preliminary design and designs for the restoration project. As a participant in the public consultation process, we will keep you informed, listen to your concerns and aspirations and share how input was used.

Contact Information

Please contact us if you have questions, comments,or would like to be added to the project mailing list.

Alex Meeker, Project Coordinator
Nigel Finney, Project Manager

restoration@hrca.on.ca or 905.336.1158 x 2305

Conservation Authority Regulations

The project proposal would not change any Conservation Authority regulations in the adjacent area and would not impact what you can or cannot do on your property. The work would not impact any floodplain or wetland boundaries or associated setbacks.

Partners