Located in the community of Flamborough within the City of Hamilton, Flamborough Centre Park is where Conservation Halton restored an under-used park into a treed wetland, as it would have appeared and functioned in its natural state. This project was designed to reduce flooding, provide wildlife habitat, increase opportunities for recreation and improve the quality of water flowing into Grindstone Creek.
Flamborough Centre Park, which is owned by the City of Hamilton, has a “seasonally high water table.” This means that the area is prone to flooding, which has made it difficult for the community to use the park for recreation, and it has been a challenge for the city to maintain the park. Before the area was turned into a park, it was a swamp, which is a wetland with specific kinds of trees—deciduous, in this case. Conservation Halton partnered with City of Hamilton to restore a small part of the area to this swamp ecosystem, in order to reduce flooding and create habitat for wildlife.
The restoration area at Flamborough Centre Park is 3 hectares (7.6 acres) of the park. In order to return the area to its natural state as a treed wetland, Conservation Halton removed a portion of the topsoil, created a number of shallow wetlands, added “pit and mound” features, and planted the area with native species that are tolerant of wet ground conditions.
Bosque de fosas y montículos
La primera fase de la restauración en el Parque Flamborough comenzó con la creación de 0,5 hectáreas (1,2 acres) de reforestación de "foso y montículo". El método de "foso y montículo" se utiliza para crear el tipo de topografía que se encontraría en el suelo de un bosque antiguo, que tardaría décadas en establecerse por sí mismo. Naturalmente, este paisaje se crearía cuando los árboles con raíces poco profundas fueran arrancados durante una tormenta. Como resultado, la masa elevada de raíces y tierra se convertiría en un montículo, y luego se llenaría de agua para formar una fosa. Conservación Halton creó 30 "fosas y montículos" pequeños y dos "fosas y montículos" más grandes, cada uno con una forma y un tamaño ligeramente diferentes para dar un aspecto más natural.
Hábitat de la fauna
After the “pit and mounds” were created, a series of wildlife habitat features were installed. Salvaged wood debris, such as logs and branches, were placed around the “pit and mound” features as amphibian egg attachment sites. This wood debris will serve as natural habitat for wildlife, and when it breaks down as organic matter, it will provide nutrients to the soil. Conservation Halton also installed a number of bird boxes and perching poles for birds to use for resting and feeding.
Humedal poco profundo
Phase 2 of restoration activities at Flamborough Park began in 2021. First, with the help of environmental consultants, a deeper wetland with a larger footprint was designed. During the summer, groundwater levels are usually low, so the wetland will be dry. During the spring and fall, groundwater levels are higher, and the wetland will be wet.
Habitat features, such as sunning logs and brush piles, were added to the wetland area for native species to rest, lay their eggs and hide from predators. The native trees and shrubs that were planted in the area around the wetland will attract insects, which will provide food for amphibians, birds, and turtles. Also, large wood debris, like tree trunks, branches and logs, will provide habitat for a range of organisms, including plants, mosses, lichens, insects and small animals.
Conservation Halton planted more than 1,200 native wetland plants, such as Marsh Marigold and White Turtlehead, and more than 1,500 trees and shrubs in the area surrounding the new wetland. These native species will help to further reduce flooding through the process of “evapotranspiration,” which is the release of water vapor by plants into the atmosphere.
To simulate the conditions of a natural wetland, organic material like wood debris and “biochar,” was added to the soil. Biochar is a charcoal-like substance made by burning organic material, which helps wetlands to support water-purifying microbes and does not decompose, so carbon remains locked into the soil.
Conservation Halton is working to restore an additional 1.6 hectares of Flamborough Centre Park into a treed wetland ecosystem over a two-year period. (This area is the front half of the park, where the former baseball diamond used to be.) As with previous phases, these will include the creation of a number of small wetlands and “pit and mound” features throughout the park to hold rainwater and groundwater. The wetlands and other features will be constructed at various depths to provide habitat conditions for wetland vegetation and wildlife.
Construction for Phase 3 will begin in Agosto 2022 and Phase 4 will begin Agosto 2023.
Two “roosting poles” for bats will be installed at Flamborough Centre Park as part of the restoration project. Habitat loss is a major threat to bat populations in Ontario, but these poles will help increase habitat available for them to raise their young. Bats play an important role in the ecosystem by helping to pollinate important food crops, spread seeds, and manage pests.
A variety of native trees, shrubs, wetland plants, nuts and seeds were planted throughout the site at Flamborough Centre Park. It is estimated that after construction is complete, there will be more than 7,500 plants and 65 kg of native seed used for the project.
|Trees||Shrubs||Wildflowers and Wetland Plants||Nuts|
|Arce plateado||Highbush Cranberry||Milkweed del pantano||Roble blanco del pantano|
|Cedro blanco oriental||Spicebush||Flor de Cardenal||Roble de la India|
|Sicómoro americano||Nannyberry||Bergamota salvaje||Híbrido Swamp White x Burr|
|Aspen tembloroso||Cornejo rojo de Osier||La hierba Joe-Pye manchada||Shagbark Hickory|
|Arce rojo||Varios Sauces||Iris de bandera azul|
|Aspen tembloroso||Black Chokeberry||Boneset|
|Bur Oak||Common Ninebark||Buttonbush|
|Shagbark Hickory||Winterberry||Blue Lobelia|
|Eastern Cottonwood||Elderberry||Lady Fern|
|Yellow Birch||White meadowsweet||Cinnamon Fern|
|Roble blanco del pantano||Swamp red currant||Marsh Marigold|
|Bitternut Hickory||Speckled Alder||Square-Stemmed Monkey Flower|
|Paper Birch||Bur Reed|
El panorama general
Se calcula que la cantidad de humedales en Ontario ha disminuido en más de un 80%. Los humedales son una parte importante de una cuenca hidrográfica saludable, y proporcionan valiosos servicios ecosistémicos, como la reducción de las inundaciones, la prevención de la erosión, la protección de nuestra agua potable, la provisión de hábitats para la vida silvestre y la creación de oportunidades de recreación. La restauración del Parque del Centro de Flamborough subraya el papel fundamental que desempeñan los humedales en la prestación de estos servicios y su capacidad para reforzar nuestra resistencia al cambio climático.
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- 16 de agosto de 2021: Revisión de Flamborough
- 11 de septiembre de 2020: El Observador de la Bahía
- 30 de julio de 2020: Anuncio de financiación de la Fundación Greenbelt
- 25 de junio de 2020: The Flamborough Review