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Bringing nature back to the city

Restoring habitat, particularly for endangered species, and creating great parks in the process.

As our cities grow and develop, it’s not just homes for humans that we need to think about, but the natural habitats of the wildlife that live alongside us. Unfortunately, urban development continues to remove and degrade natural habitat, leaving some species in our urban areas endangered.

The following park projects involve creativity, partnerships, and foresight in restoring wildlife habitat in the city.

Turtles in Kingston’s Douglas Fluhrer Park

n Kingston, the volunteer group Friends of Kingston Inner Harbour has been working with the City since 2016 to protect turtle habitat in the 7-acre Douglas Fluhrer Park. In 2018, the group received a grant to expand their work mapping turtle nesting sites with GPS technology and hosting community events.

Salamanders in Richmond Hill’s Jefferson Salamander Park

Completed in early 2019, Jefferson Salamander Park is adjacent to an “amphibian crossing” that allows the Jefferson Salamander, whose habitat has been severely impacted by urbanization, to safely cross to a nearby pond. The park design builds the story of the salamander into its pathways and features, providing an educational opportunities for park goers.

Eels in Oakville’s Harbour West Shoreline

Set for construction in Spring 2019, Oakville is improving 500 metres along its west shore as aquatic habitat. The project includes special accommodations in the design for the American Eel, which is an endangered species.

Salmon in Vancouver’s New Brighton Park Salt Marshes

Completed in 2017, the City of Vancouver created a new salt marsh habitat in New Brighton Park, reconstructing what was once there before urban development filled in the tidal area. Even before the project’s completion, the City observed juvenile salmon using the new marsh area. The $3.5 million project was a partnership with the Port of Vancouver, which owns the land, and Musqueam, Squamish and Tseil-Waututh First Nations.