Oakvillegreen - Protecting Nature Where You Live
Oakvillegreen is Oakville’s largest residents’ association that has been working for almost a decade to protect our environment, promote sustainable planning and make sure that new development pays for itself. We are a very successful group. Please take a read through our list of accomplishments. Aside from our advocacy work we also hold regular meetings with guest speakers, host free seminars, plant native trees and shrubs (over 12,125!), make presentations to schools and community groups and host special events.
We also keep our members and friends up to date on the local municipal and Regional issues that impact your life. We invite you to add your name to our so we can keep you updated about issues and events. To be added to our email list please email
You are also welcome to become a member or volunteer with our tree initiatives. Thank you for visiting us.
If you have any questions or concerns to discuss or if you would like to discuss please contact Karen Brock, president, at
If you would like us to come talk to your school or community group, please contact, Liz Benneian, manager of public education and communications by email at
or by phone at (289) 813-1568 .
To download our Oakvillegreen brochure, please click here (Adobe Acrobat required).
Trumpeter Swans Threatened By Marina Proposal
Update On Trumpeter Swans and LaSalle Park Marina Expansion
July 19 2013
Environmental Assessment Report Released For Burlington's LaSalle Park and It Doesn't Bode Well For The Trumpeter Swans
The Environmental Assessment Report that was supposed to be available in April for the expansion of the marina at LaSalle Park in Burlington and the building of a permanent wave break was finally released, no surprise to any of us, in the summer when people are away or busy with their families and have little time to pour through hundreds and hundreds of pages of documentation. We have 45 days from the date of the report's release to comment. Nevertheless, we are working through it and we are concerned about many aspects of the plan, not the least of which is that construction is scheduled to take place over the winter when the swans are there — something that the Trumpeter Swan Restoration Group (TSRG) has repeatedly said must not happen as the swans will not be able to tolerate this disturbance. We are currently working with the TSRG and BurlingtonGreen to prepare our comments on the report. If you would like to read the EA and its supporting documents they can be found here: http://cms.burlington.ca/Page8359.aspx
Once Oakvillegreen and our partners have completed our comments we will let you know and make them available on our website.
Hunted to extinction is Ontario, Trumpeter Swans were brought back to this Province 30 years ago by a dedicated team of volunteers led by a retired Ministry of Natural Resources biologist who got eggs from Alaska.
With a wingspan of up to 8 feet, Trumpeter Swans are the world's largest swan, made distinctive by their beautiful white plumage and completely black bills and feet.
After 30 years of effort, Ontario now has a Trumpeter Swan population of between 800 to 1,000 birds. 200 of these magnificent creatures, make their winter home in Burlington's sheltered LaSalle Park.
Unfortunately, a proposal to expand a marina and create a permanent wavebreak threatens this crucial swan habitat that 200 swans use as their winter resting and feeding spot.
The greatest concerns are as follows:
1. The permanent wave break will stop the wave action that keeps the water open in the harbour making it impossible for the swans to feed.
2. The current fall/winter construction schedule conflicts with the arrival time for the swans.
3. A longer marina operating season and allowing personal water craft will make it impossible for the swans to use the harbour.
4. Spills and pollution from increased boat usage could contaminate the water.
5. The larger marina will confine the swans to a smaller space that is inadequate for birds of their size and species.
6. The permanent wavebreak will interfere with the space they need (about 110 m) to take off and land.
Plans for the marina are supposed to be coming forward in March 2013. Once they are received, the public will have 30 days to comment on them. Then Burlington's City Council will make a decision on whether the project can go ahead.
Oakvillegreen's position is that nothing that threatens the Trumpeter swans should be built. After 30 years of deidcated work by volunteers, the population of Trumpeters in this Province is still fragile. We believe the swans have an inherent right to exist and that they should not be threatened for the sake of private interests. These swans are a natural legacy of the people of Ontario and while it may be up to Burlington Council to make a decision on the marina, they need to understand that they have an obligation to protect 1/4 of Ontario's Trumpeter Swan population for the benefit of all the people of this Province.
Oakvillegreen will continue to work with the Trumpeter Swan estoration Group, BurlingtonGreen and other interested parties to ensure their winter habitat is not destroyed. We encourage our members to do the same. Please read the attachments to learn more and watch for Oakvillegreen's emails to get updates. If you would like to let the Burlington Council know your views please write the Mayor and Council at
Turmpeter Swan Restoration Group's letter to Burlington Mayor and Council
Dirty Tar Sands Bitumen May Be Flowing Through Halton
Dirty tar sands bitumen may be flowing through Halton if Enbridge, famous for it pipeline spills, gets its way.
Enbridge is asking the Federal government to reverse it’s Line 9B pipeline so that it can carry bitumen from Alberta to the east coast of the United States.
This aging pipeline passes through Halton via Burlington and North Oakville.
A spill of Bitumen, the heaviest, thickest form of petroleum, which contains contaminants and heavy metals, poses significant risks for land, waterways and human health.
According to Environmental Defence, Enbridge's application, " has asked the NEB to grant Enbridge an exemption under section 58 of the National Energy Board Act for an exemption from a public hearing."
Oakvillegreen is urging our Town Council to get involved in the issue, even though the project is under the jurisdiction of the National Energy Board (NEB) and does not require any municipal approvals or permits. Several communities along the proposed route, including Toronto, Mississauga, Burlington and Hamilton have asked for more information or to be included in the approval process.
Oakvillegreen has asked the Town and Halton Region be proactive and request that the NEB reject Enbridge's request and order a full public hearing. We will keep you posted on this issue.
President, Oakvillegreen Conservation Association
Ministry of Transportation Recommends New Highway that Would Devastate Halton's Natural Heritage System and Escarpment
The Ministry of Transportation has just released an Environmental Assessment on a proposed new 400 series highway that would cross the Niagara Escarpment and run through Halton's Natural Heritage System. The report recommends construction of a 50 km long, 6-lane, highway corridor that would pave over prime farmland and cross 100 waterways, including 30 containing species at risk in Halton.
This portion is just one of three legs that would put a 130 km highway from Fort Erie to Vaughan. Halton Region is against this new highway as are 14 citizen's groups who have joined together to form the Stop the Escarpment Highway Coalition (SEHC). This coalition includes Oakvillegreen, Miltongreen and Burlington.
Concerns about this highway and the EA report include:
* It does noting to address where actual and projected conjestion occurs namely in the Burlington to Toronto and east corridor.
* It would encourage sprawl along its length, pushing development into prime farmland and sensitive natural areas.
* It would destroy a portion of the Niagara Escarpment, a World Biosphere Reserve.
* The report under-estimates the possibilities of increased public transit in meeting transit demand estimating only 4% growth in transit use in peak times over the next 20 years. It also doesn't take into account how rail, shipping and other modes of tranist could move goods more efficiently.
* In its economic analysis it doesn't take into account the current value of the green infrastructure the new highway would destroy which, according to an independent study using the Ministry of Natural Resources own figures, is valued at $1 billion annually.
* It failed to consider Halton's vibrant agricultural sector in its economic assessment instead lumping it under "community factors".
* The estimated cost of the entire length of the proposed highway is $16 billion. This money could be better spent on improving transit in the GTA.
The next step for the MTO is to settle on a specific route in the second phase of the environmental assessment. Once this happens, land will be expropriated and the destruction will begin.
The Minister of Transportation, Bob Chiarelli, needs to hear that the citizens of Halton don't want this new highway that won't solve our traffic congestion problem, that will drain money away from public transit and that will destroy our foodlands and environment. Please send an email to Minister Chiarelli at
and let him know that you are opposed to this highway.
Ground Breakers Plants 925 Trees and Shrubs in Fall 2011/Spring
With the help of 210 volunteers from the community and with the support of the Town of Oakville, our Ground Breakers tree planting group was able to plant 925 native trees and shrubs in Oakville during seven plantings in the fall of 2011 and the spring of 2012.
Aside from the many wonderful teenagers and community residents who volunteered with the plantings, Oakvillegreen is also appreciative of the number of local businesses whose employees dug in to make this year a success. Employees from the following companies helped with plantings: TD Bank, UPS Canada, Ricoh Canada, Dillon Consulting, Whole Foods, Eaton Corp, Rubbermaid and KLI.
Oakvillegreen would also like to thank the Ontario Trillium Foundation and Earth Day Canada's Community Environmental Fund for their support with our Growing The Urban Forest Project.
Page 1 of 3