Nature Crawl in the Dundas Valley

The Dundas Valley 50 Year Vision and Strategy joined forces with the Hamilton Conservation Foundation (HCF), the Hamilton-Halton Watershed Stewardship Program (HHWSP) and the Giants Rib Discovery Centre (GRDC) to recognize the year’s donors and volunteers and all the efforts to preserve and enhance the Dundas Valley Area through a special Nature Crawl, The Shades of Autumn.  Free to all donors, the crawl featured a BBQ and two guided hikes into the beauty of the Dundas Valley, in the height of its fall colours.

HCF and HHWSP were also highlighting their receipt of a donation by the RBC Blue Water Project Leadership Grant of $45,000 dollars for an upcoming pilot project entitled Made in Dundas Solutions to Managing Stormwater.  This grant will fund the  HHWSP’s work with landowners and volunteers in the built Community of Dundas to encourage, design, implement and demonstrate lot level retrofit projects to reduce the impacts of stormwater runoff into Spencer Creek, which flows into Cootes Paradise, Hamilton Harbour and Lake Ontario.  More about the HHWSP

One of the guided hikes was led by Giant’s Rib volunteer hike leader, Ron Plinte. Ron is one of a half dozen volunteers who leads weekend interpretive hikes for the GRDC. The “Giant’s Rib” was an early name for the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve.  The Giant’s Rib Discovery Centre is a small interpretive centre in the Dundas Valley’s Trail Centre building, which educates visitors about the Niagara Escarpment. Fossil displays, interpretive panels, an escarpment library, taxidermy and crafts for kids are a few features visitors can enjoy on weekends, thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers. As part of the Giant’s Rib Escarpment Education Network (GREEN), the Discovery Centre also features a monthly artist or photographer on display, monthly lectures, curriculum-based Rocks and Minerals teacher’s kits for grade 4, and an escarpment website. The Giant’s Rib is a partner in the Dundas Valley 50 Year Vision. GREEN holds volunteer appreciation days in the spring and fall and was excited to share this event with the Foundation and contribute to the excellent program enjoyed by all.   More about the Giant’s Rib Discovery Centre.


The Dundas Valley 50 Year Vision is a comprehensive community centric initiative which is focused on conservation efforts that are meant to preserve or enhance the Dundas Valley Community and Area. It was my pleasure as Project Manager for the Dundas Valley 50 Year Vision to recognize the efforts of many, and to share how they are helping the community and the Hamilton Conservation Authority realize several elements of the 50 Year Vision.

After the key note address and the cheque presentation by RBC to the Hamilton Conservation Foundation, two guided hikes were offered into the Dundas Valley. As the Dundas Valley 50 Year Vision Project Manager I led a guided hike to the Hermitage and back along the Main Loop trail. The valley floor and tree canopy provided a spectacular variety of colours for those participating in the hike, and there was plenty of opportunity to highlight the unique natural features of the Dundas Valley Conservation Area including the Carolinian Forest, the Niagara Escarpment, and the history of Sulphur Springs, Sulphur Creek and the Hermitage.  The comprehensive 50 Year Vision recognizes the unique architectural and cultural heritage the history of the area provides; the promotion and preservation of this area is central to the 50 year vision, and sharing it with people is essential.

The Nature Crawl event provided the opportunity for the Hamilton Conservation Foundation to recognize the donors and volunteers that make environmental, and conservation efforts possible throughout our watershed. In the future, this event will provide the opportunity for partnering organizations, and those fulfilling elements within the vision, to promote their work and reach out to like-minded people, be it organizations, or possible donors/volunteers.

Take our survey on the Dundas Valley

Learn more about the Hermitage Ruins

To donate to the restoration of the Hermitage, please visit the Hamilton Conservation Foundation’s website and select Hermitage Ruins Restoration in the “Fund to Support” drop down menu.  Or contact the Hamilton Conservation Foundation  at 905-525-2181 between 8:30am and 4:30pm, Monday to Friday.

John Williams 
Project Manager; Dundas Valley 50 Year Vision and Strategy 
Hamilton Conservation Authority