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Turtle-y Awesome! Nest Protector Rental Program

May 14, 2024
The spring of 2024 marks the third year of an amazing collaboration between HCA, and teacher Sean Polap and his construction class at Milton District High School! In the past, HCA has been the grateful recipient of 5 bat boxes, 23 turtle nest protectors, 38 bird boxes, and 2 owl…
after eclipse blog

Solar Eclipse at HCA

April 9, 2024
The eclipse came, some saw, and now a full solar eclipse won't return to Hamilton for 120 years! For those that were able to view it where the clouds would allow, it was an awe inspiring experience. Even if you didn't get to see the eclipse itself, the darkness at…
Eclipse blog

HCA and the Solar Eclipse

March 25, 2024
The solar eclipse is coming up soon, and will be darkening the sky on April 8. So, what do you need to know about this exciting phenomenon, and how will it impact visiting HCA? Learn more here! When is the eclipse? The eclipse will take place on Monday, April 8.…

HCA Forests

March 21, 2024
Each year, International Day of Forests is celebrated on March 21. It began in 2012, when the United Nations General Assembly declared the day as such to raise awareness about the importance of all types of forests. What type of forests are in the HCA watershed? What risks are posed…

All About Oak Wilt

February 26, 2024
Oak Wilt is a new invasive threat to Oak trees in Ontario, but what is it? Why is it a problem? Where did it come from? And how can it be identified and managed? Learn all about Oak Wilt here. What is Oak Wilt? Oak Wilt is an invasive pathogen…

Get Involved!

February 26, 2024
Looking to make an impact? The Hamilton Conservation Authority frequently runs events targeting invasive species. In past events, volunteers have helped remove a variety of species from conservation areas all around the watershed. This year we’re looking to do even more! The over 3,000 hectares managed by HCA are checked…

Meet the Invasive Species Team

February 26, 2024
Here at the HCA, invasive species are managed by our Invasive Species Technicians Ben & Bryson! Ben and Bryson joined the HCA in August of 2023, and work closely with the ecology team and our conservation areas services staff to plan, strategize, map, remove, treat, and restore areas affected by…
Preventing spread blog

Preventing the Spread of Invasive Species

February 26, 2024
One of the most important frontiers in the fight against invasive species is preventing them from getting here in the first place! Preventing the spread of many of these species is quite a challenge. Some plants are introduced deliberately, although usually unknowingly, into home gardens. Oftentimes, however, invasives are spread…

Invasive Species 101

February 26, 2024
It's Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW)! ISAW takes place each year during the last week of February to raise awareness about invasive species. What is an invasive species? Why are they bad? How can we manage them? This is your Invasive Species 101! What are invasive species? Plants, animals, and…

What is a wetland?

February 2, 2024
World Wetlands Day is held every year on February 2 to raise awareness, and recognize the important role wetlands play. Since the 18th century, nearly 90% of the worlds wetlands have been degraded; three times faster than forests. So what is a wetland and why are they important? Learn more…

10 Tips for Winter Hiking

January 16, 2024
Hamilton boasts an array of picturesque hiking trails that transform into a winter wonderland when the temperatures drop and the snow falls. HCA conservation areas offer a variety of winter hiking experiences, like forests, escarpment areas, rail trails, frozen lakeshores, and more! To make the most of your winter hiking…

Why do the leaves change colour?

October 23, 2023
Each fall we see the summery green trees turn to brilliant shades of yellow, orange, red, and even some deep purple. It can be stunning to witness, but why does it happen and what determines the colour the leaves will change to? How do the trees know when it’s time…

Your Guide to Visiting the Spencer Gorge

September 19, 2023
So, you’ve seen all the beautiful photos of Dundas Peak and the surrounding area; or maybe the stunning views from Tew Falls and Webster Falls lookout platforms. Now you’ve decided to visit. Here’s your guide to the booking process and what to expect once you get on site. When is…

Watershed Steward’s Appreciation Day

September 18, 2023
Each year, HCA's Hamilton Watershed Stewardship Program, in partnership with Conservation Halton, celebrate landowners at the Watershed Steward’s Appreciation Day. After a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the ceremony returned last week to Mountsberg Conservation Area. Eight landowners within HCA’s watershed were recognized and presented with a Watershed Stewardship…

Habitat and Nest Boxes…Round Two!

June 14, 2023
HCA is thrilled that once again, teacher Sean Polap and his students have donated habitat boxes to be used in our areas! This year, it was his grade 10 construction class at Milton District High School that put the hard work into constructing the boxes and bringing them to reality.…

Decommissioning Water Wells

May 1, 2023
With all the spring rain and snowmelt, it is important to highlight the importance of groundwater and protecting it. Decommissioning water wells is an important step in this process, and grants are available locally to help private property owners protect groundwater! Groundwater Groundwater is water that is present below the…
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Turtle Nesting Habitat

April 25, 2023
It has been an ongoing effort at HCA to help turtles find safe and suitable places to nest within our watershed, and particularly along the lower Spencer Creek. Turtles like to nest in areas that are sandy or gravely, which is often around roads and trails. As you can imagine,…

Canal Park: An Urban Nature Sanctuary

April 5, 2023
Along the banks of the Desjardins Canal in the heart of Dundas lies an urban nature sanctuary you may not have even noticed. Canal Park has undergone an incredible transformation since HCA acquired the property in 2008 and connects urban Dundas and Hamilton with the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System…

What is Stewardship?

February 27, 2023
What is stewardship, why is it important, and how can the HCA help you become a steward? Simply put, stewards are caretakers of the land, and although Conservation Authorities and other environmental organizations exist to protect and preserve lands, we can’t do it all it all ourselves. This is where…

Nest and Habitat Box Update

January 25, 2023
Nest and Habitat Box Update In the spring of 2022, Aldershot High School students built nest and habitat boxes and donated them to HCA. The majority of these went to Valens Lake, and the rest going to Christie Lake.   Bird Boxes Of the 20 bird boxes the students built, HCA…

Staying Safe this Winter

December 21, 2022
Winter is a great time to get out and explore! Enjoying the outdoors in a different season can be a whole new experience! Getting out in winter however, presents its own unique hazards that anyone enjoying the outdoors should be aware of before heading out. Know the Dangers of Hazard…

Living with Coyotes

October 6, 2022
Coyotes (Canis latrans) are one of eight members of the Family Canidae found in Canada. Often mistaken for wolves, coyotes are smaller, have shorter legs in relation to body size, and have narrower, pointed snouts. They are a common sight across both rural and urban landscapes, and are often found…

Westfield’s TH&B Locomotive 103

September 29, 2022
Since their creation, people have been drawn to all things train, and they have been admired by enthusiasts all over the world. The Toronto Hamilton & Buffalo (TH&B) Locomotive 103 is no exception. For over 66 years, the faithful TH&B Locomotive 103 has delighted countless train enthusiasts and general visitors…

Enjoy Labour Day Weekend at HCA

September 1, 2022
As the unofficial end of summer arrives this Labour Day weekend, we have some ideas for you to soak up the last few days of your summer holidays!   Hit the Beach This one is pretty obvious but must be said, hit the beach! HCA has several beaches for you…

Giant Hogweed

August 26, 2022
Giant hogweed is an invasive plant, likely introduced from Asia as an ornamental garden plant. It is part of the carrot family, and is a perennial (a plant that lives two years or more). If you find Giant hogweed, DO NOT touch it, as the plant poses dangers to humans…

Your Guide to a Perfect Picnic

July 29, 2022
Food and the great outdoors, what’s not to like? Picnics are one of the simplest and most enjoyable ways to spend time outdoors. The key to a great picnic is to be prepared! That’s why we’ve put together a list of some simple tips to ensure you have a great…

Enjoy the Great Outdoors All Year Long

July 15, 2022
Make adventures easy this summer, and all year round, with an HCA Membership Pass! By now you’ve probably heard about the HCA Membership, but may still be wondering if the pass is right for you. Unlike memberships for other destinations, the HCA Membership allows you AND your carload (up to…

The Hermitage History

June 28, 2022
If you've ever gone on a hike in the Dundas Valley, you've no doubt come across The Hermitage Ruins on the Main Loop Trail. As you could've guessed, these beautifully restored ruins have a unique story to tell, and one that includes some ghosts too! The known history of the…

HCA Summer Scavenger Hunt

June 21, 2022
It's official, summer is here! There are endless activities to get up to, things to see and places to go. If you're wondering where your summer adventures should begin, check out the HCA Scavenger Hunt. Don't stop here, add as many activities to your summer plans as you want! Happy…

Springtime at the Vinemount Boardwalk

April 26, 2022
Early spring is one of the best times to visit the boardwalk on the Dofasco 2000 Trail. Over two spans, the 1.9km boardwalk runs through the centre of the Vinemount Swamp. This is the largest intact forest remaining above the escarpment in Hamilton, and is an excellent example of a…

Benefits of a Rain Barrel

April 8, 2022
Do you have a rain barrel? They are a simple addition to a home, and provides many benefits for the environment and your wallet! What is a rain barrel? Simply put, they are big barrels that collect rain water, by directing your gutters or down spout to it. At the…

All About Invasive Jumping Worms

March 22, 2022
What is a Jumping Worm? The term Jumping worm, refers to multiple species of Asian pheretimoid worm (Amynthas species) whose native range is in China, Japan and Korea. Jumping worms are a non-native and invasive type of earthworm. They are also known as ‘crazy worms’ or ‘snake worms’ for how…

Nest and Habitat Boxes

March 8, 2022
Recently, HCA was approached by student teacher Sean Polap and his grade 11 class at Aldershot High School to provide nest boxes for our conservation areas. The students built the boxes and donated them to HCA. The boxes will provide habitat and protection for bats, turtles and tree swallows. What…

Spongy Moths and Controlling Populations

February 22, 2022
What is the Spongy Moth? Spongy Moth, also known as LDD Moth (Lymantria dispar dispar), and formally known as Gypsy Moth*, is a non-native European insect that was first detected in Ontario in the late 1960s and is now well established in Southern Ontario.   Where did they come from?…

Respecting Wildlife in HCA Areas

February 15, 2022
Conservation Areas provide a wide range of opportunities for people to get out and enjoy nature and enjoy outdoor activities. Recreational activities which involve viewing wildlife such as bird watching or wildlife photography can be especially fun and rewarding. There are some basic rules of etiquette however, that visitors should…

Reptile and Amphibian Hibernation

January 28, 2022
Ever wonder what happens to all the reptiles and amphibians in our area during the winter? You probably knew they hibernate, but more specifically where do they hibernate and how do they do it? Most importantly, what is a frogsicle?! We'll cover where the turtles, snakes, frogs and toads, and…

New Year, New Adventures!

January 3, 2022
The start of a new year signals new beginnings and a chance to start fresh! Resolution or not, the new year is a great time to try and head outside a little more and even have a go at something new. Walking in nature has been linked to enhanced mental…

Get Smart About Salt!

December 9, 2021
Salt is an economic and effective way for keeping surfaces clear of ice in the winter. It is important however, to manage its use so it will have the least negative impact on our environment. Did you know? Salt can cause damage to buildings, vehicles and your footwear or clothing…

Discover Mount Albion and the Chippewa Trail

November 30, 2021
We all know the ‘big’ conservation areas and trails, but there is a hidden gem on the Stoney Creek Mountain just waiting to be discovered! The Chippewa Trail and Mount Albion Conservation Area offers hiking, biking, birding and exploring opportunities. The Chippewa Rail Trail Parking lot is located at Mount…

Sustainable Gift Giving

November 25, 2021
Another holiday season is here, and with it comes the big question of what to get for friends and family. Not to worry! We have some great, sustainable tips and ideas for you! Experience Trying to avoid giving more 'junk' that ends up getting stored away? Give the gift of…

HCA Conservation Areas and Foraging

October 26, 2021
Foraging and harvesting mushrooms and other wild edible plants has become a popular hobby among outdoor enthusiasts and naturalists alike. The practice has spiked in popularity as more people are discovering outdoor spaces to enjoy and explore. Conservation areas owned and operated by HCA protect significant and sensitive natural areas,…

Leave the Leaves!

October 19, 2021
Wondering what to do with all those leaves that have fallen off the trees, or looking for a great reason to skip raking? Aside from saving time and energy, there are many other benefits to just leaving the leaves! What are the benefits? Leaves insulate and protect plants in the…

Saltfleet – Your Key to a Hamilton Mountain Adventure

October 12, 2021
So, you’re looking to visit a waterfall, but you’d like a short hike too, or perhaps you’re looking for a much longer trek to take in some sights and test your endurance? Maybe you’ve heard how great the Bruce Trail is, winding through the Niagara Escarpment Biosphere reserve? You love…

Fall in Love With HCA!

September 22, 2021
The air is crisp and the leaves are changing colour – fall is officially here! Everyone loves to get out this time of year to enjoy those cooler temperatures and fall foliage, so we break down our areas into ones that are a little quieter and the ones that are…

Fall Colour Updates

September 21, 2021
Trying to find the perfect time to get out and see the fall colours can be tricky. It's a balance between getting out when they have changed colour enough, but before the leaves start to fall too much. HCA does not officially monitor our conservation area's level of fall colours,…

Aquatic Monitoring and Electrofishing

September 9, 2021
Have you spotted our staff out in local creeks and streams and wondered what they are doing? Although they may look a bit like they are ghost-busting, they are actually electrofishing as part of HCA’s Aquatic Resource Monitoring Program. What is the Aquatic Resource Monitoring Program? It is HCA’s long-term…

Managing Phragmites at HCA Areas

August 26, 2021
HCA staff have recently been working on managing invasive Phragmites at Valens Lake and Fletcher Creek by removing them through the cut-to-drown and spading method. Why are Phragmites a problem? Phragmites grow in dense stands that have the potential to completely outcompete and crowd out native species. These dense stands…

Sustainable Back to School Tips

August 24, 2021
It’s hard to believe that it’s already time to talk about back to school! The last couple of years have been a rollercoaster ride for parents and students alike, and whether you and your kids are nervous, excited or both, about the return to school, we have some tips to…

Your Guide to a Day at the Beach

July 11, 2021
HCA offers 4 beautiful and sandy beaches just waiting for you to set up and enjoy the sunshine and cool water. Fifty Point and Confederation Beach Park are both located on the shores of Lake Ontario, while Christie Lake and Valens Lake each have beach areas at their reservoirs. Before…

Dogs and HCA Areas

June 18, 2021
Bringing your furry, four-legged family members out on a hike can make for a great day in nature! We know our dogs love the outdoors just as much as we do but when heading into our areas, there are several important things to remember.

Your Guide to a Hike in Nature

June 18, 2021
With almost 150km of trails at HCA areas, there are so many places waiting for you to discover and explore! Our trails have a lot of variety and range from short to long, easy to difficult with some paved and others on packed dirt or gravel. The best way to…

Tick Safety

June 16, 2021
Just the thought of ticks can give the heebie jeebies, but don’t let that deter you from enjoying time outside. With that said, it is still important to be smart about ticks and the risk they pose. What You Need to Know About Ticks Ticks are bugs that live in…

Pack In – Pack Out

June 9, 2021
Nothing ruins a day in nature quite like spotting garbage where it shouldn’t be. Our staff work hard to keep our areas clean, and the best way to keep them clean is making sure garbage ends up in the trash. How can you help? Leave your garbage at home. When…