No 71 Posted by fw, September 28, 2010
One September day in 2008, Oakville resident John McMullen watched in disbelief as heavy machinery came rumbling down a popular nature trail. As it turned out, Oakville City Hall had partnered with Petro-Canada to develop an extended integrated trail system in the Bronte Area. The plan called for a new asphalt trail for pedestrians, cyclists, rollerbladers and skateboarders. In exchange, Petro-Canada secured a pipeline crossing agreement for its pipeline infrastructure.
When Oakvillegreen Conservation Association learned of the plan, it alerted Council to the cost, both fiscally and environmentally, of putting paved paths throughout the Natural Heritage system. Faced with well-organized public opposition, the town withdrew its plan.
In this 8-minute video, Liz Benneian, President of the Oakvillegreen Conservation Association, talks about its role in the battle to get Oakville Parks and Rec, and Council, to understand that not all green spaces are parks to be used for human recreation. Some natural areas are much more important for their intrinsic value and for the ecological purposes they serve. Getting your local government to distinguish between parks and natural areas is the key to developing appropriate trail policies.
Liz, as you may recall, is the author of Organize to Win, which was featured in the three preceding posts, 69-71, on this blog.