Caroline Thomson, Dundas
Like so many folks who have dedicated countless hours helping to preserve land and protect wildlife, I am appalled that we are even having these battles.
The area around Cootes Paradise has been attracting people for hundreds of years because it is a haven for many species of plant and animal life. Why are we fighting to preserve it now? Naturalists/scientists have been telling us for decades that what we have here is special.
The foremost thought for an EcoPark should be how can we protect the critical land, keep water in the creeks and encourage healthy, spectacular wildlife. This is the foundation for a healthy world-class EcoPark.
My property sides one of the land parcels for sale in the private land/EcoPark development battleground. It is the second most important wildlife corridor along the busy York Road. As an amateur wildlife photographer, I have a binder an inch thick of the amazing animals I have photographed in this corridor.
In my own yard I have snow buntings, merlins, coopers hawks, ermine, least bitterns, rose-breasted woodpeckers, fox, coyote, several herds of healthy deer, orioles, owls, woodcock and sandpipers, to name just a few.
Two weekends ago, I photographed a bald eagle teaching her baby how to hunt. Each day I think about how lucky we are to have such splendour in our own backyards.
I loved the land owners comment in the Aug. 1 edition of the Spectator, “The York Road property could still make a beautiful little estate development.” The real meaning behind that is chainsaws, lawn mowers, pesticides, tractors running over every ground nester, off-lead dogs, trapping, pool runoff and dozens of new trails into sensitive wildlife habitat. It will be the beginning of the end. It will limit opportunities for visitors to embrace “country in the city.”
Fragmented wildlife corridors are neither fair to mammals nor suitable to sustain healthy environments.
Once gone, forever lost. As always, wildlife will suffer needlessly. Shame on us.