The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) and the Township of Wainfleet are pleased to announce the launch of a public awareness campaign that aims to engage the community and seek their feedback on the Wainfleet Wetlands and Quarry Conservation Area.
Since 1978, the NPCA has been the caretaker of the property, managing it for the purpose of providing habitat for fish and wildlife, and preserving the geological significance of the site, while offering passive recreation and educational opportunities. In the last several years, the conservation area has seen a continuous increase in number of visitors, and consequently, pressures on the property.
“Last year was quite unique for many of our conservation areas as the pandemic triggered a significant increase in people seeking to explore the beautiful greenspaces available throughout the watershed,” says Chandra Sharma, CAO & Secretary-Treasurer at NPCA. “The case of the Wainfleet Wetlands & Quarry Conservation Area was no different as the park welcomed visitors in larger numbers than we had ever seen before.”
The Wainfleet Wetlands and Quarry Conservation Area Public Awareness Campaign consists of various phases, with the first focusing on an anonymous survey aimed at residents of Wainfleet and other nearby locals who may have visited the property in the last 12 months. With preparations for the upcoming season well underway, the survey will enable both organizations to learn more about community use and future aspirations for the site, gauge interest in stewardship and engagement activities, and explore short-term and long-term solutions.
The survey will be followed by a Water Safety Blitz in May, to provide community members with information on permitted and responsible uses of the conservation area, and the potential dangers of swimming in undesignated and unmonitored bodies of water. Upon thorough analysis of the feedback provided through the public survey, the NPCA and Township of Wainfleet will continue to engage the community with stewardship opportunities and next steps related to the management of conservation area.
“It’s important that residents know we are listening to their concerns and are interested in their vision for the Wainfleet Wetlands and Quarry Conservation Area in the future,” adds Kevin Gibson, Mayor of Township of Wainfleet. “Our Township is home to this spectacular natural area and we want to ensure it is the best it can be by balancing the needs of the environment, our residents, and the many visitors we welcome every year.”
The survey is now open and will remain available until March 22, 2021. Interested participants are encouraged to visit the Get Involved NPCA portal to complete the survey, learn more about this initiative, and reach out with any questions they may have.
About Wainfleet Wetlands & Quarry Conservation Area:
Once covered by a shallow, warm sea 300-450 million years ago, what is now the Wainfleet Wetlands Conservation Area was the site of a clay and limestone quarry from the late 19th century until the 1960s. Fossils of the plants and animals that lived in the Paleozoic sea can be seen in the exposed limestone of the Onondaga Formation, in the quarry walls and on rock tableland.
Acquired by the NPCA in 1978, today the quarries and clay pits have naturalized and are home for fish, birds, waterfowl, turtles, snakes, and plants. This natural area helps fulfill the NPCA’s objective to further the conservation, restoration, development, and management of natural resources, as it is managed to provide habitat for fish and wildlife and to preserve the geological significance of the site, while providing passive recreation and educational opportunities.
Wainfleet Wetlands & Quarry Conservation Area is a Bronze Plaque Award winner for quarry rehabilitation work with the Management of Abandoned Aggregate Properties Program, awarded for efforts to increase wetland development and habitat cover for improved diversity and function in the landscape.
The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) is a community-based natural resource management agency that works to protect, enhance, and sustain healthy watersheds. With 60 years of experience, the NPCA offers watershed programs and services that focus on flood and hazard management, source water protection, species protection, ecosystem restoration, community stewardship, and land management.
The NPCA is one of 36 Conservation Authorities in the Province of Ontario and manages 41 Conservation Areas within the Niagara Peninsula watershed held in public trust for recreation, heritage preservation, conservation, and education. These natural and shared greenspaces marry nature, culture, and adventure to create limitless opportunities for discovery.
Questions related to the above release should be directed to:
Erika Navarro, Communications Specialist