We are pleased to present our annual report for 2022. We have so much to celebrate in terms of what we accomplished last year in all of our strategic plan priority areas, even as we adapted to legislative changes at year-end and coped with the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic early in the year.
We were very excited to reach a milestone in the development of the new Saltfleet Conservation Area on Hamilton’s east mountain with the completion of the first of four wetland areas located in the upper Stoney Creek and Battlefield watersheds. These wetlands will reduce the impacts of flooding and erosion in lower Stoney Creek and further the long‐term vision of the entire Saltfleet Conservation Area, which will provide increased natural areas, additional trails and recreation opportunities for the public and protect property and residents downstream. The Heritage Green Community Trust has been a key contributor to the Saltfleet Conservation Area and wetlands. A new trail, named the Heritage Green Community Trust (HGCT) Trail, gives visitors a view of the eastern wetland from the top of the berms surrounding it, and connects the area to the Dofasco 2000 Trail, an 11.5‐kilometre path for both hikers and cyclists.
2022 also saw the advancement of many other projects on HCA conservation area lands including the completion of cabins at Valens Lake available for reservation in 2023, upgrades to the boat launch ramp at Fifty Point, significant internal roadway enhancements, and many improvements to trails and bridges across our conservation areas.
We ceased the long running Christie Antique and Vintage Show following the two-year COVID interruption. Increasing costs to run the show and the unprecedented surge of public interest in enjoying our conservation areas in their natural state made it the logical decision to step away. We were able to welcome the return of the Maple Syrup event at Westfield and outdoor environmental education classes. We were also thrilled to reopen the Wild Waterworks waterpark which we manage for the City of Hamilton, overcoming the challenge of a national lifeguard shortage by holding our first ever in-house training course to help train and certify new lifeguards.
We undertook key watershed restoration projects with significant progress made regarding removal, mapping and management of invasive species. We also acquired additional lands for the Saltfleet Conservation Area. We continued to protect people and property by undertaking natural hazard projects including updated floodplain mapping and enhancements to our dams.
Following the municipal election, we bid farewell to City of Hamilton councillors who were board members: Lloyd Ferguson, Tom Jackson, Esther Pauls and Russ Powers. We thank those City of Hamilton councillors for their dedication and contributions. We also welcomed our new City of Hamilton councillors to our board: Craig Cassar, Matt Francis, Alex Wilson, and Maureen Wilson.
We have received much acknowledgment and appreciation for all we do at HCA and the value and protection it provides to local communities. We are resilient and confident that we can successfully adapt to any changes or challenges that may come our way. Through the efforts of our dedicated board and hard-working staff, we continue to deliver the important programs and services which support our vision of a healthy watershed for everyone.
Lisa Burnside, CAO
Santina Moccio, Acting Chair