The federal government is the first major contributor to the Hamilton Conservation Foundation $5-million fundraising campaign to start the Dundas EcoPark Project.
The $502,274 Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund grant will be used by the conservation authority to support infrastructure improvements at the Veldhuis site on King Street East as part of the larger Dundas EcoPark project.
Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale MP David Sweet announced the funding to begin the overall project to protect, restore and enhance significant natural lands between Cootes Paradise in Dundas and the Niagara Escarpment.
The 1,346-hectare park is part of the Cootes to Escarpment Park System Project, which provides the only continuous habitat connection from Lake Ontario to the Niagara Escarpment not broken by a series 400 highway. The area will include restored and rehabilitated lands along the north shore of the Desjardins Canal, including the former Ben Veldhuis Greenhouse complex.
“This project will make a difference to the people and community of Dundas,” said Sweet. “It will significantly increase the quality of life for local residents, protect habitat for the endangered chimney swift and other species, and will prove to be a great asset to the community and the province.”
Jim Howlett, HCA vice-chair said the project pulls together many different groups and organizations, with a common goal of working together to produce one of the largest urban parks in Canada.
“The Dundas EcoPark will provide the greater community with the opportunity to experience a natural oasis, revitalized from a former brownfield site, which will be left as a legacy for generations to come,” he said. “When completed, the site will allow the public to experience and enjoy first-hand their tax dollars at work.”
HCA is one of several partners helping develop the Cootes to Escarpment Park System under the leadership of the Royal Botanical Gardens.