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Development threatens animal, plant species

Annaliese Mori, Ancaster

I’m 12 years old and I have some concerns I’d like to share.

Hamilton Community News reports, in a positive manner, that we can look forward to yet another development in the quaint, heritage community. When we moved to Ancaster, three years ago, our family was captivated by the historic buildings, the natural beauty of the surrounding Carolinian woodlands and rich agricultural land that surrounded us. Wilson Street had plenty of large, mature trees that provided shade and character to the streetscape.

However, we have observed the gradual, then faster disappearance of these trees. Wilson looks increasingly like a row of concrete and brick, and the newly opened sky almost blinds you when you go down the street.

After the recent demolition of two houses on Wilson, I had hoped the huge trees on the property would be spared and maybe incorporated into the builder’s plans. Not to be.
There is now an open expanse of torn up dirt awaiting another but pretty uninspiring, universal architectural design. Where two homes once stood, I bet we’ll see a bunch of houses packed in there, like sardines, to maximize profit.

In another development plan, 60-plus trees will be “removed,” including dead ones to accommodate a sodded park. I might be in Grade 7, but even I know that snag (dead trees) provide rich habitat for a variety of different animals. The cavity nesters include owls and woodpeckers, as well as salamanders, possum, raccoons… to name a few.
Hired consultants do environmental studies concluding it’s okay to demolish the habitats of the “common” reptiles, birds and plants. At this rate, the “common” flora and fauna will soon be “at risk” species.

Now the Whaley family farm is getting a facelift to provide for more subdivisions. Over 300 buildings will cover the entire property and green space will, again, be demolished.

I used to see colourful, bountiful fields of goldenrod and asters along Garner Road.
Now vast piles of dirt await “development” under banners that, ironically, name these urban expansions Wildflower Fields or Burbling Brookside? The wildflowers are snuffed, not sniffed and the brook is babbling in a pipeline under the road.

The city planning committees and conservation authority keep approving all these development applications, so I guess they know what they’re doing. I hope so.

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