HCA Contributes Large Natural Areas to Canada’s Protected Areas Target

Hamilton Conservation Authority (HCA) and Ontario Nature are pleased to announce that three of the conservation authority’s properties totaling 2,239 hectares now officially contribute towards Canada’s goal of protecting 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030. Canada endorsed the goal, known as the 30 by 30 target, as part of the landmark Global Biodiversity Framework at the United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in Montreal last December.

An assessment of the three properties, conducted in partnership with Ontario Nature, determined that they met strict national standards for the protection of biodiversity, qualifying as Protected Areas.

“Hamilton Conservation Authority is committed to preserving the environment and protecting the natural heritage features of our community. By implementing conservation policies and management strategies, we are able to meet federal standards and safeguard the biodiversity of these lands, while also providing opportunities for people to explore and enjoy these areas” says Lisa Burnside, HCAs Chief Administrative Officer. “We are honored to have our hard work and dedication recognized on a larger scale, and we look forward to continuing to make a positive impact in our community and beyond.”

The submission includes a conservation area, a natural area, and an ecological preserve:

  1. Dundas Valley Conservation Area
  2. Beverly Swamp Natural Area
  3. Fletcher Creek Ecological Preserve

These areas are comprised of large contiguous natural environments with high biodiversity value, including Areas of Natural and Scientific Interest, Environmentally Significant Areas and Provincially Significant Wetlands designations. Not only are they source of beauty and recreation, but they also serve important ecological and hydrological functions and are a vital refuge for the many species who call them home, including species-at-risk such as the Eastern Meadowlark, Bobolink, Wood Thrush, Monarch Butterfly, Jefferson’s Salamander and Snapping Turtle. Additionally, parks and natural areas offer a wealth of health benefits to visitors, from reducing stress and anxiety to improving physical fitness and overall well-being.

The HCA and Ontario Nature are grateful to have contributed to this important achievement, and they remain dedicated to protecting and conserving the environment and biodiversity throughout southern Ontario. By working together, we can help to ensure that these beautiful natural areas are preserved for generations to come.

“These contributions help to sustain a robust network of near-urban nature areas for all life in the region,” says Shelley Petrie of the Greenbelt Foundation. “We hope that these efforts inspire other land managers to protect and conserve natural areas within the Greenbelt, as they are vital to our health and strengthen the region’s climate resiliency.”

To learn more about the lands within the submission, please visit Hamilton Conservation Authority’s website: conservationhamilton.ca/conservation-areas. To learn more about the 30 by 30 target and the process, please visit ontarionature.org. This work was generously funded by the Greenbelt Foundation.