Courtcliffe Park Restoration
Restoration of Mountsberg Creek in Courtcliffe Park along with replacement of the undersized Bronte Creek crossing in Courtcliffe Park started in January 2017. Phase 2 of the project was completed in April 2017 and Phase 3 in July 2017. This complex restoration project is resulting in habitat improvements for Brook Trout and other native cold water fish species which live in Bronte and Mountsberg Creek. The creek is being returned to a more natural state like it would have looked prior to the disturbance to the site.
The Courtcliffe Park Restoration is a Brookies in Bronte, Forever! project.
In the spring, summer and fall of 2017 there will be several opportunities for community volunteers to get involved in elements of the project. There are several community planting days planned to restore vegetation along the banks of the creek as well as some in creek work days to work on narrowing the creek.
Here are some upcoming dates where volunteers will be required:
- Sunday, August 27, 9 a.m. to noon, Wetland Planting
- Saturday, September 9, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Community Tree Planting
- Sunday, October 15, 9 a.m. to noon, Tree Planting
If you’re interested in volunteering on the Courtcliffe Park Restoration project in 2017, please contact Beth Anne Fischer to express your interest, click here to send Beth Anne an e-mail.
Courtcliffe Park is located in the community of Carlisle in the City of Hamilton; 159 Carlisle Road, Carlisle, Hamilton, ON, L0R 1H0. Click here for Google Map of Courtcliffe Park
History and Background
Courtcliffe Park was acquired by the Town of Flamborough (now City of Hamilton) in 1997. Prior to municipal ownership, the Park was a seasonal camping area and campground, and prior to that, the land was used for agriculture. The natural features on the property have endured many alterations over years to the detriment of the environment and the wildlife that use it.
With the Town’s acquisition of the property came the formation of the Courtcliffe Park Committee, a volunteer community committee dedicated to the restoration of the property. Working with the City of Hamilton and Conservation Halton they have been able to restore grassland, forest and wetland habitat in the park as well as establish a network of walking trails and wildlife boxes.
In 2015, Trout Unlimited Canada led the implementation of the first phase of creek restoration works in the park. They replaced two undersized creek crossings with an arch style span bridge and decommissioned a straightened bypass channel that had been previously installed.
In 2015 and 2016, Conservation Halton, Trout Unlimited Canada and the Courtcliffe Park Committee have been working to install sediment mats in over widened sections of Bronte Creek. These features are composed primarily of used Christmas trees that are secured to the creek bank and capture sediment that is flowing down the stream. This work has been completed with volunteer contributions from Niagara College, Scouts Canada and the Ted Knott Chapter of Trout Unlimited Canada. This work will carry for the next few years as the creek continues to return to a more natural condition.
2017 Restoration Plans
- Work will commence with restoring the natural channel of Mountsberg Creek. This will involve re-contouring the creek banks, re-building the riffles and shaping the pools. This work are shown in blue on the air photo below.
- The natural channel work in Mountsberg Creek will see a concrete pad removed from the bottom of the pond. This was an old swimming pond. After that is removed, the pond will be restored to a creek channel (blue). A small floodplain wetland will be created to support frogs, fish, turtles and birds. This is shown in green below. There will be a viewing point created so that park visitors can view the wetland feature.
- Two span bridges will be installed over Mountsberg Creek to connect the trail system. These are shown in yellow below. One will be a new arch style span bridge that can support park maintenance vehicles, the other will be a re-purposed flat span bridge that will be for pedestrian traffic.
- The two culverts and stone bridge over Bronte Creek will be replaced with a new arch style span bridge. This is shown in red below. This will improve stream flows in Bronte Creek.
- In addition to the above, the next phases of the project to be completed, pending funding, include:
a) Flows to be flipped to restored channel. Shown in bright blue.
b) The straight manmade channel of Mountsberg Creek will be filled with soil and planted with trees and shrubs. The existing culvert crossing and pathway over the straightened channel of Mountsberg Creek will be removed Shown in orange.
c) A wetland, backwater feature will be constructed at the bottom end of the straightened manmade channel. Shown in purple.
d) The white pedestrian bridge over Bronte Creek will be removed, pending outcome of community consultation. Shown in bright green.
e) Repair to the approach of the recently installed arch style span bridge. Shown in magenta.
What can you Expect to Enjoy when the Project is Complete?
|Updated bridge and trail infrastructure – That means bridges like the one shown here that don’t hold back creek flows allowing the creek to function properly as well as have capacity for flooding|
|Improved recreational fishing opportunities – In a few years it is our hope that you’ll be able to come to Courtcliffe Park to catch and release beautiful Brook Trout that still live in Bronte Creek, but not in the sections of Bronte Creek and Mountsberg Creek in the park.|
Healthy environmental conditions – Healthy wetlands with happy amphibians and insects, tree and shrub lined creeks and cold, clean water.
The project is being completed in partnership with:
Conservation Halton, Trout Unlimited Canada, City of Hamilton, Courtcliffe Park Committee
The project is being funded and/or received in-kind contributions from:
The Government of Canada, the Government of Ontario, RBC Bluewater, Conservation Halton Foundation, Union Gas, Trout Unlimited Canada and the City of Hamilton.
The project has been designed by:
Water’s Edge Environmental Solutions Team
Interested in becoming a project funder?
Click here for details about the Stewardship Sponsorship Program.
Courtcliffe Park Restoration Project News:
- Natural Flows returned to Mountsberg Creek in Carlisle’s Courtcliffe Park (July 20, 2017)
- Project partners celebrate milestone at Courtcliffe Park in Carlisle (Apri 19, 2017)