The purpose of the plan for the Burlington Heights Heritage Lands is to develop a set of structured guidelines for the management of the area known as the Burlington Heights Heritage Lands. The plan will inform the protection, enhancement, and education of the important natural and historic features within the Burlington Heights Heritage Lands, one of the six core natural areas within the Cootes to Escarpment Ecopark System. It will apply to lands within Burlington Heights owned by the City of Burlington, City of Hamilton and Royal Botanical Gardens.
The significance of the area is categorized by natural heritage features, cultural heritage features, and transportation corridors. The lands contains a high concentration of natural heritage features that exist as an important habitat for many plant and animal species, including species that are provincially and federally considered rare, threatened, and/or of special concern. Historic significance is also abundant as evidenced by the existing 3 National Historic Sites, 5 provincial heritage plaques, and a number of local commemorations. The Plan recognizes that transportation corridors characterize the historic and current use of the site and aims to respect and improve historic transportation routes.
The overall vision for the Burlington Heights Heritage Lands is to create a space in which the significant natural and cultural resources of the site are protected, conserved, and appropriately managed.
Burlington Heights is the first of the Heritage Lands within the Cootes to Escarpment Ecopark System to undergo management planning, and will therefore serve as a pilot for cross-jurisdictional management planning in the other five Heritage Lands areas.
The Project Charter provides an overview of the content and process for developing the Plan for the Burlington Heights Heritage Lands area.
The Plan for the Burlington Heights Heritage Lands is finalized, pending final approval by the participating partners. Click on the link below to download the report:
In November 2013, draft Land Use Areas and management policies for the Burlington Heights Heritage Lands were presented at a public meeting. They are outlined in a document (2.5 MB PDF) which can be downloaded by clicking on the link below:
The Burlington Heights Inventory and Issues Report is available; click on the titles below to download:
The Burlington Heights Heritage Lands comprises the lands directly east of Cootes Paradise, along both sides of York Boulevard as far as Dundurn Castle to the south and Plains Road West to the north (see map above).
The plan addresses the following elements:
Protection and sustainable use of natural heritage resources
Protection and sustainable use of cultural heritage resources
Pressures and issues of concern identified by CEES partners, stakeholders and the public
Infrastructure maintenance, creation and decommissioning
Recreation, education and research opportunities that are compatible with preserving the natural and cultural heritage of the area
Criteria and indicators for evaluation of the implementation and effectiveness of the management framework and an ongoing monitoring program to consistently collect supporting information.
Development of the Burlington Heights plan was completed in Summer 2014. It involved the following phases:
Phase 1: Project initiation (complete)
Develop Project Charter
Form project Steering Committee
Identify stakeholders, form Stakeholder Advisory Committee
Phase 2: Background research and information compilation (complete)
Undertake cultural resource inventory + historic research
Undertake natural resource inventory + research
Field work to confirm and augment existing information and fill in gaps
Review of planning context
Best practices review of management policies
GIS and mapping
Identify management issues that need to be addressed
Prepare Inventory and Issues Report
Stakeholder Advisory Committee meeting #1 (held June 25, 2013)
Public Meeting #1 (held June 25, 2013)
Phase 3: Land classification and zones and management policies (complete)
Prepare draft land classification and zones
Develop management policies
Stakeholder Advisory Committee meeting #2 (held November 26, 2013)
Public Meeting #2 (held November 26, 2013)
Phase 4: Plan development (complete)
Prepare draft Plan
Stakeholder Advisory Committee meeting #3 (held June 3, 2014)
Public Meeting #3 (held June 17, 2014)
Phase 5: Plan finalization and approval (in progress)
Revise and finalize plan: Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System: A Plan for the Burlington Heights Heritage Lands August 2014
Submit plan to participating partner agencies (late 2014/early 2015)
The City of Burlington, the City of Hamilton, and Royal Botanical Gardens are the lead agencies in this project. Representatives from each of these organizations participate in the project Steering Committee, which is responsible for guiding plan development. The final plan will be submitted for approval by each of the three organizations.
Community and stakeholder engagement is an important aspect of plan development. Three public meetings have been held, in different phases of the project, to ensure that community members are well-informed and have opportunities to provide input and feedback on the plan as it is developed. The public meetings were advertised in the Hamilton Spectator and Burlington Post, as well as on the Cootes to Escarpment Park System and partner websites, email lists and newsletters.
Three public meetings have been held to date, all at the Coach House at Dundurn Castle. The first was held on June 25, 2013; the second was held on November 26, 2013; and the third was held on June 17, 2014.
An advisory group was formed of interested individuals and representatives of organizations that will be affected by or have an interest in the Burlington Heights Heritage Lands Plan. The project Stakeholder Advisory Group met as needed to provide input and feedback during the different phases of plan development. Their first meeting was held on June 25, 2013, a second meeting on November 26, 2013 and a third meeting on June 3, 2014.
Reports and updates on the project were provided on the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System website and distributed via email to the public email list members and Stakeholder Advisory Committee members. Reports and updates are made to the City of Burlington, City of Hamilton and Royal Botanical Gardens by their respective Steering Committee members.
This project is funded through a grant from the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. Cootes to Escarpment Park System project partners make in-kind contributions to the project, in the form of staff time, data and other resources.
Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System
Tel: 905.527.1158 ext. 225