Peel helps fund Credit Valley land purchase
Peel Regional Council has agreed to partner with and provide funds to Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) for the purchase of ecologically sensitive land in the Town of Caledon just south of Orangeville and east of Alton.
The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Nature Conservancy of Canada have also agreed to provide funds to CVC in this endeavour. It is the first acquisition of such lands under Peel’s Interim Protocol for Land Securement, which reviews and approves funding requests, as endorsed by Regional Council last December.
The 80.75-acre Safari Property is located in a section of the Credit River Valley that has been classified as a high priority, ecologically distinct area within CVC’s Greenlands Securement Strategy and the Region of Peel’s Official Plan. The area fronts the east side of Regional Road 136 (Porterfield Road), west of Willoughby Road and south of Highpoint Road.
The MNR and NCC committed $400,000, or more than 50 per cent, of the overall cost of $735,000. Under the Interim Protocol, the Region will cover the remaining balance and associated acquisition costs amounting to $335,000.
The CVC says acquisition of the property will leave a legacy for future generations to enjoy and contribute to improving downstream water quality.
“Securing the Safari Property is a giant step for CVC’s dream of a Credit River Trail stretching from the lake to the headwaters,” said Regional Councillor Richard Paterak, chair of the council’s planning committee. “In addition, this reach of the river has great potential for restoration that will benefit the brook trout population.”
The property contains a 1.3-kilometre reach of the main Credit River and regionally significant woodlands, forming part of a large, provincially significant wetland complex that includes 21 individual wetlands.
“The Interim Protocol was used to review CVC’s eligibility for Regional funding to assist the acquisition of the Safari Property,” said Pat Mullin, CVC Chair and Regional Councillor.
“The purchase is an excellent example of how the provincial government, the Region and conservation authorities can work together to protect and enhance significant natural heritage features in Peel.”
Regional planning commissioner Nick Tunnacliffe said opportunities to contribute to the preservation of natural heritage features and functions that are provincially, regionally and locally significant “are very rare. The addition of the Safari Property to CVC-owned lands contributes to the formation of a publicly owned corridor of greenspace adjacent to the Credit River stretching from the Forks of Credit Provincial Park north to Orangeville. CVC’s stewardship will protect and enhance an already sensitive ecological area.”
CVC General Manager, Rae Horst added: “We look forward to being good stewards through community tree planting and enhancement of fisheries habitat together with our community partners for the benefit of the entire watershed community.”