Friday, March 26, 2010

Canada's Moraine Management Plan - An Example of Ecological Restoration We Could Do In The Niagara Gorge

Moraine Management Plan
In 1999, Niagara Parks consulted with stakeholders and the public to create a Moraine Management Plan and policies to deal with development pressures from the Fallsview Tourist area overlooking Queen Victoria Park. Management, maintenance and rehabilitation will help limit slope instability, control erosion, increase regeneration and assure safe accessibility to the area. Future works on and adjacent to the moraine will be designed to enhance the aesthetic values and native biological diversity of the treed slope.
Phase 1 of ecological rehabilitation work began in May 2003 on the steep slope along the south side of Murray Hill behind Queen Victoria Place restaurants. The area was overgrown with a number of non-native invasive species, particularly Norway maple.
Before After
Moraine Management Plan - Before
Moraine Management Plan - After

Queen Victoria Park - Public Information Sign placed near the Illumination Tower:
Moraine Management Plan
A fresh approach to a fragile ecosystem
History The treed slope or moraine of Queen Victoria Park is of aesthetic and ecological significance. A management plan was created to address problems such as erosion, access, bio-diversity, aesthetics, seepage, maintenance practices and development.
Policy Due to the nature of the slope a two-stage evaluation process established to evaluate all work proposed on the Moraine and within adjacent setback zone. Satisfaction of primary goals is required prior to review of secondary goals.
Primary Goals Biodiversity: Replace non-native plant species with native one and enhance diversity for wildlife habitat improvement.
Aesthetics: Protect and enhance the continuous and contiguous appearance of the slope as natural forest landscape.
Slope Stability/Erosion Control: Stabilize soil creep and minimize erosion providing for long-term stability.
Secondary Goals View Management: Transform the Moraine with plant material so that the visibility of the Horseshoe Falls from important sites is enhanced and improved.
Access: Discourage uncontrolled access to and unsafe use of the Moraine providing safe and comfortable alternatives.
Seepage: Use excess groundwater to enhance aesthetics and biodiversity of the slope tor.
Education/Interpretation: Produce and disseminate materials about the Moraine’s natural and cultural heritage and management.
Environmental Alliance
Niagara Parks, Niagara College and the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority formed an environmental alliance dedicated to the promotion of a healthy and sustainable environment. This alliance formalizes the existing partnerships between each organization and recognizes their combined efforts in environmental stewardship and protection. The Alliance has obtained more than $100,000 funding from the Government of Canada’s "Great Lakes Sustainability Fund," to assist with two environmental initiatives aimed at sustaining important ecosystems along the Niagara River corridor.

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