On Tuesday, August 17, 2021, Conservation Halton hosted a ground breaking ceremony to kick off of the second phase of restoration works at Drumquin Park, located in the Town of Milton. During Phase 2, 50 metres of a tributary to Sixteen Mile Creek will receive a much-needed facelift. A concrete monitoring weir that was installed by the Province of Ontario in the 1970s to study the impacts of ice flows on small channels is finally being removed because it no longer serves its original purpose.
The Province of Ontario and TD Friends of the Environment are supporting the restoration works which will enhance downstream habitat for Silver Shiner—a threatened fish species. After completion, Conservation Halton staff will monitor project success through performance indicators related to water quality, water temperature, channel integrity, and the effectiveness of the fish habitats. These indicators not only provide signs of a healthy environment for the watershed, but also signs of a healthy environment for people.
In 2018, Phase 1 of restoration works at Drumquin Park were completed. During that project, one instream barrier was removed, 170 metres of Sixteen Mile Creek were restored, and 0.5 hectares of floodplain forest were created. As anticipated, the site has recovered well, and the restoration activities have transformed the site into a much more diverse landscape. Conservation Halton continues to monitor the site and carry out adaptive management activities such as invasive species removal, additional tree plantings, and the installation of a bat nursery box.
"I would like to thank Conservation Halton for their continued work to return this area to its more natural state, which will provide a healthier watershed for wildlife and for Milton residents,” said Milton Mayor Gord Krantz. “This is a prime example of how working with our partners for the betterment of residents and the environment, ensures that Milton remains a Place of Possibility.”
Similar to the work that took place at Drumquin Park as part of Phase 1, Phase 2 will provide numerous benefits for the environment and residents of Halton. The project is an investment in nature-based solutions to mitigate climate change and to promote improved water quality, wildlife habitat, and environmental resilience in the watershed. Once complete, this project will see the creek and floodplain returned to a more natural state where fish will be able to pass upstream unimpeded by barriers, and native trees and shrubs will be planted to reduce erosion while increasing biodiversity. Large woody debris, a kestrel nesting box, and several perching poles for small birds will also be installed on site as habitat features.
“Freshwater is a limited resource that life depends upon, and it is critical that we protect and strengthen our freshwater ecosystems,” said Hassaan Basit, president and CEO, Conservation Halton. “We are very pleased with the restoration results from Phase 1 and the exceptional work of CH staff. We are looking forward to a more climate resilient Milton upon the completion of Phase 2.”
Taking action to protect and enhance natural spaces like Drumquin Park helps to ensure future generations will have access to healthy freshwater resources and that plants and animals native to this area will have places to thrive.
For more information on the Drumquin Park Restoration project visit: www.conservationhalton.ca/drumquin-park-restoration
- This project opens up 2.76 km of channel that was previously inaccessible for fish to travel upstream
- 4,000 m2 of floodplain forest created (equivalent to a 175-car parking lot)
- 50 m of creek habitat enhanced using bioengineering techniques
- 1,350+ trees and shrubs planted on site
This project has received funding support from the Government of Ontario. Such support does not indicate endorsement by the Government of Ontario of the contents of this material.