Greenvisions, Citizens For Brampton Conservation, formed in 2007, is a non-profit citizen group. Our goal is to promote improvements and inclusion of such lands to the full potential as greenspace for public enjoyment, preserving historic, natural, and aesthetic characters of our environment. Greenvisions supports development but we believe that growth should come with a balance in order for us to accomplish the goal of being a truly sustainable City. www.greenvisions.ca
Brampton, ON May 10, 2007 - At first glance from Goreway Road no one would know aliens have arrived in east Brampton. Then again I am not talking about the kind of space aliens we are accustomed to seeing in the movies but rather the human kind. Yes, men and machine have moved in quietly into a precious eco-system in the West Humber Valley region and have begun to clear cut a swath of forest that eventually will be a path a couple of thousand feet long and at least one hundred feet wide based on the orange tape and red painted markers I observed. Many trees where felled in the first few days of work including some very old hickory trees. A large tree believed to be a Bur Oak with a width of at least four feet stands in the way of tomorrow's work. The men say that they are not from around these parts, just doing their job. Now you know why I referred to them as aliens. I knew they were not locals as Bramptonians would not allow these trees to be cut nor would they leave their leftover Tim Horton cups, cigarette packages and lunch garbage on the ground as these folks did.
A source who wishes to remain anonymous states, "The habitat consists of a hardwood old growth Carolinian forest, consisting of black maple, bitternut and shagbark hickory, oaks, and ironwoods. None of these species are rare or threatened however as a whole there are not many woodlots such as this remaining in Ontario. Along with these species, there are floodplains containing species of hawthorn, some of which could be rare or threatened, they are very difficult to identify. Also wooded/vegetated ravines exist here. Within the woodlot are vernal pools which could be potential Salamander habitat". There are individual trees, such as Bur Oak that I mentioned earlier that no doubt are heritage trees, which are very large for such a slow growing species. No doubt some of these trees are over two hundred years old and should be flagged as significant specimens.
It is obvious the strategy was to begin the cutting from within. That way, by the time this work can be seen from Goreway Drive or the new Humber West Parkway, it would be too late to save this significant forest. The path of destruction follows the proposed Cottrelle Boulevard extension. What happened to the second public information session that was to be held? Is it too late and does this really need to be done or can the work be halted? Who is responsible for this insanity; the Province, the Region of Peel, Toronto Regional Conservation Authority or perhaps it is the City of Brampton? Someone needs to provide an answer.
Article and Image Submitted by: Bruce Haines, Freelance Writer