B ronte C reek
Your Information Guide to Living Near the Valley
B ronte C reek Welcome to Bronte Creek....
On behalf of Bronte Creek Community Ltd., we would like to welcome you to your new home. This booklet has been prepared for two primary reasons: 1. 2.
To provide homeowners with useful information on how they can participate in keeping the 14 Mile Creek and surrounding ecosystem, healthy. To explain the unique features and functions that have been designed into this community to ensure a sustainable environment for all residents and future generations.
You can help by becoming environmentally aware and by observing and implementing the recommendations presented on the following pages.
Here, Home Ownership is a Natural Privilege
B ronte C reek About Bronte Creek....
The Bronte Creek neighbourhood is bordered on the west by Bronte Creek Provincial Park, a significant natural area between Burlington and Oakville. The majority of the land where your new home now stands, was used for agriculture before being converted into a golf course which was active for nearly 25 years. The new owners in close consultation with the Town of Oakville and Conservation Halton have brought forward an ambitious plan that incorporates a diverse range of natural habitats including; wetlands, ponds, stream corridors and regenerated woodlands. As a result of these planned features and the existing natural habitat, the property is home to numerous species of plants, mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians.
The Principle of Stewardship.... Strong stewardship prac tices by local residents will ensure a strengthening in the health and diversit y of the ecosystems of Bronte Creek . B y adopting the pr inciple of stewardship, and tak ing steps to care for the ecological features in your communit y, you can help ensure that the unique setting of Bronte Creek is preser ved for generations to come.
B ronte C reek About Woodlot Parks...
Large tracks of mature deciduous forest have been preserved on the property for long term ecological benefits and the enjoyment and appreciation of local residents. As these forests are sensitive natural features, a trail system has been designed to delineate where people should travel while experiencing them. From the trail, everyone can enjoy the beauty and variety of plant life on the shaded forest floor, while taking care not to disturb the complex ecological processes that are occurring. On occasion, you may encounter a white tailed deer, raccoon or red fox quietly going about their business. Staying on the trail will also minimize impacts to local wildlife. These forests are not only valuable aesthetic features, they also perform a number of other important ecological functions, some of which are listed below:
Mature forests function as... Protective cover for wildlife moving between the habitat corridors of the 14 Mile Creek valley and the Bronte Creek Provincial Park Breeding and over-wintering habitat for many native species of wildlife A source of ecological biodiversity A major contributor to cleaner air, a healthier watershed, and of the scenic beauty of the landscape
B ronte C reek Conservation Easements
â€˘â€ƒ Where are they and why are they important? One of the ways that mature forest edges are protected is through the use of conservation easements. A conservation easement is a special protective zone located on private property to ensure that the construction of housing adjacent the forest edge does not lead to any further encroachment on the forest. If you own a property that backs onto a Woodlot Park, you have a 5.0m wide conservation easement running the full length of your rear yard boundary. All conservation easements at Bronte Creek are planted in accordance with an approved planting plan. The planting is protected by a Town wide by-law, and residents are asked to respect the protection of this zone by limiting uses of this area to those that are compatible with long term health of a forest edge. Additional planting of native species in the conservation easement is encouraged.
Just beyond the rear yard boundary fence, Bronte Creek Community Ltd.,in partnership with the Town of Oakville, will introduce extensive regeneration planting to re -establish a new forest edge in support of the conservation easement initiative. Within a short period of time the new planting will develop into a forest edge and will form a contiguous part of the larger woodlot providing valuable protection to the interior from high winds and penetrating solar rays.
B ronte C reek The 14 Mile Creek Valley â€˘â€ƒ Ecological Restoration
Environmental preservation and conservation practices are only one side of the equation in achieving healthy ecosystems. In some cases, lands that have been degraded by past uses require restoration to improve ecological function and habitat quality. The 14 Mile Creek Valley that bisects Phases 1 and 2 of Bronte Creek, is one such case where a restoration planting program is required to enhance both terrestrial and aquatic habitat. An extensive planting plan has been developed, in conjunction with the Town of Oakville and the Conservation Authority, for this section of the valley with the goal of returning it from its former use as a golf course, to a more naturalized, vegetated condition.
The valley restoration plan involves the planting of a mix ture of numerous native species of deciduous and coniferous trees, saplings, seedlings and shrubs that would naturally be found in a creek valley in this region. Plant mater ial will be par ticular ly concentrated around the creek banks in an effor t to enhance fish habitat and water qualit y. I n addition to planting, native seed mix tures including grasses and wildflowers will also be applied to the site.
B ronte C reek The Creek Channel
Another significant environmental restoration projec t in the Bronte Creek communit y is the construc ted stream feature that connec ts the 14 M ile Creek Valley to the Woodlot Par k in the nor th. This construc ted stream replaces a grass swale that ran through the old golf course. The new configuration is specifically designed to provide all the features and func tions of a natural stream, including r iffle and pool sequences for aquatic habitat and water qualit y enhancement. Within the creek banks a diverse ecosystem will evolve in har mony with the communit y.
Creek Channel Construction
As with the 14 M ile Creek Valley R estoration plan, the planting of the new creek consists of native species that are commonly found along creeks and floodplains in Halton R egion. This newly vegetated cor r idor bet ween the valley and the woodlot, provides a cr itical green link for wildlife to travel bet ween habitat t ypes ranging from open meadow to dense forest cover. Such green links are cr itical to helping maintain local wildlife populations given that suitable habitat is increasingly in shor t supply. The creek channel cor r idor also has the added benefit of providing a recreational trail connec tion to be enjoyed on a Town wide level.
B ronte C reek How can you help?
R espec ting the environmental features of the Bronte Creek communit y, is just one of the many ways you can help protec t and enhance the integr it y of the natural areas sur rounding your home. The following pages offer some additional guidelines you can obser ve.
â€˘â€ƒ Avoid encroachment One of the simplest things you can do is to take care not to encroach into environmentally sensitive areas. You can ensure that your ac tivities and the choices you make for your proper t y have limited impac t on the sur rounding environment by following these tips:
Tips to Remember... Do not remove leaves, fallen branches, shrubs or trees at the woodlot edge beyond your rear fence line. Do not extend lawns, structures, decks, and gardens beyond, or build gates through your rear yard boundary fence. Recognize that the land beyond your rear fence line belongs to the residents of the Town of Oakville. Any dumping of garbage and other debris on public lands is against the law. Remove garbage if you see it, and store your garbage in animal proof containers. Do not modify your approved back yard drainage conditions by connecting roof leaders to buried pipes, or directing runoff onto the public open space. Do not connect sump pumps or floor drains to homemade drainage systems as these activities cause erosion and the possible release of household contaminants into the environment. Do not drain pools towards the valley slope as chlorine is harmful to the environment.
B ronte C reek â€˘â€ƒ Help protect urban street trees
The Bronte Creek community has been designed to minimize environmental impacts on the surrounding lands, offering all the advantages and attractive features associated with living next door to a significant natural area. The Town of Oakville and Conservation Halton promote a green development strategy that includes the placement of a street tree on each lot and the creation of planted buffers and walkway blocks in order to improve the environmental quality of the neighbourhood. These actions also promote green connections to existing wooded areas. As a property owner in Bronte Creek, there are many things that you can do to ensure the survival and healthy growth of the street tree in front of your property. Some suggestions include:
Tips to Remember... Water your new tree for 10 minutes on a weekly basis as you would any new planting on your property. Keep the mulch zone around the trunk free of weeds and do not mound the soil up around the trunk. Notify the Town Forestry Division if your street tree dies in order for a replacement to be arranged. Do not prune or plant anything around the base of the tree, fertilize or sod over the root zone. Do not remove guying or protective collars from the tree trunk. Do not expand your driveway or walkways into the root zone without permission from the Town of Oakville. Appreciate that although the tree is positioned in front of your property, it is owned by the Town of Oakville.
B ronte C reek â€˘â€ƒ Help protect native plant populations
Helping the Bronte Creek Community Ltd., The Town of Oakville, and Conservation Haltonâ€™s efforts to maintain a healthy and diverse native plant community is another way that you can benefit your community. In all of the environmental restoration initiatives at Bronte Creek, great care has been taken to ensure that only native plant species have been proposed. Unfortunately, many invasive, non-native species are becoming well established, crowding out native species and threatening ecosystem health. By taking care to plant only native species on your property, you can help keep invasive species from spreading into the woodlands. These actions have the added benefit of providing habitat and food for wildlife and bird populations. A list of native plant species that are both attractive and suitable for planting in lawns and gardens located near environmentally sensitive areas is provided on the following page.
Tips to Remember... Plant native trees and shrubs in your backyard to further enhance the environmental attributes of the Bronte Creek valley. Use environmentally friendly alternatives to herbicides and pesticides on your lawn and garden and remember to use them sparingly to minimize environmental impacts. Communicate with your neighbours and work together to promote a continuous, diverse plant community along the valley corridor. Report any unusual infestations or disease that may be impacting your garden to the Town of Oakville Forestry Division.
Try Planting... Trees
Size at Maturity
• • • • • • •
Red Maple (Acer rubrum) Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) Red Oak (Quercus rubra) White Oak (Quercus alba) White Spruce (Picea glauca) White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis) White Ash (Fraxinus americana)
• • • • • • •
Height 50 ft, Spread 30 ft Height 50 ft, Spread 30 ft Height 50 ft, Spread 40 ft Height 50 ft, Spread 30 ft Height 45 ft, Spread 10 ft Height 20 ft, Spread 7 ft Height 70 ft, Spread 65 ft
• • • • • • •
Full Sun/Partial Shade Full Sun/Partial Shade Full Sun/Partial Shade Full Sun Full Sun Full Sun/Partial Shade Full Sun
• • • • • • •
R e d O i s e r D o gwood (Cornus stolonifera) G re y D o g wo od (Cornus racemosa) H i g h b u s h Cranberr y ( Viburnum trilobum) El d e r b e r r y ( S ambuc us c anadensis) Flowering Raspberry (Rubus odoratus) Allegheny Serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis) American Yew (Taxus canadensis)
• • • • • • •
Height 6 ft, Spread 7 ft Height 12 ft, Spread 8 ft Height 7 ft, Spread 7 ft Height 6ft, Spread 7ft Height 8 ft, Spread 8 ft Height 20 ft, Spread 10ft Height 5 ft, Spread 6ft
• • • • • • •
Full Sun/Partial Shade Full Sun/Partial Shade Full Sun/Partial Shade Full Sun Full Sun/Partial Shade Full Sun/Partial Shade Heavy/Partial Shade
• • • • • • •
Pa l e Pu r p l e Coneflower (Echinacea pallida) B l a c k- e ye d S usan (Rudbeckia Hir ta) B l u e Fl a g I r i s (Iris versicolor) Wi l d Co l u m b ine (Aquilegia c anadensis) Taw ny D ay l i l y (Hemeroc allis ‘Fulva’) Ca n a d a An e mone (Anemone c anadensis) S m o o t h A s ter (A ster laevis)
• • • • • • •
up to 40” 24”-36” 24”-36” 24”-36” 35” 12”-24” 24”-50”
• • • • • • •
S un S un/Par tial S un/Par tial S un/Par tial S un S un/Par tial S un
Shade Shade Shade Shade
B ronte C reek • Help protect local wildlife
Given the diversity of wildlife habitats found in the Bronte Creek Provincial Par k area, it is not sur pr ising that the region is home to many small mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles. The size of the park (640 hec tares) also makes it a suitable habitat for larger mammals such as white -tailed deer, red fox and coyotes. Unfor tunately, increasing ur ban encroachment and its associated environmental impac ts is threatening the per ipheral habitat qualit y in the area. There are, however, a number of simple measures that you can take to help protec t and enhance wildlife habitat, and minimize unwanted encounters with local wildlife. These include:
Tips to Remember... Install bird houses and/or feeders in your rear yard. Keep dogs on a leash when near environmentally sensitive areas. Do not allow your dog or cat to roam free day or night. Store household garbage in animal proof containers to avoid attracting skunks, racoons, and coyotes into the community. Do not approach wild animals and ensure that children are well aware of the dangers of doing so. Refrain from handling or “rescuing” baby animals as their parents will likely return and care for them without interference. Contact the Town of Oakville Humane Society at 905-845-1551 for assistance if needed.
B ronte C reek Conclusions...
Bronte Creek is a neighbourhood that offers residents s p e c tacular visual resources, unlimited recreational potential, and an opportunity to coexist with a unique natural resource. In order to preserve the quality of this environment for future generations, we must remember that our actions even on a small scale can make a difference. Please act responsibly and follow the suggestions provided in this booklet. This is your new home, cherish it and protect it.
For More Information Refer to... Town of Oakville By-law 2000-095- regulating private woodlands in Oakville, visit www.oakville. ca for more information or call the Town Forestry Department at (905)-845-6601 extn. 3395. The Regional Municipality of Halton By-law No. 79-83- to restrict and regulate the destruction of trees in the Region of Halton, visit www.region.halton.on.ca for more information. Conservation Halton - Tel: (905) 336-1158 www.conservationhalton.on.ca Federation of Ontario Naturalists - Tel: (416) 444-8419, www.ontarionature.org Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests, www.leaftoronto.org Canadian Wildlife Federation, www.wildaboutgardening.org Bronte Creek Provincial Park, www.ontarioparks.com/english/bron.html
Pr e p a r e d Fo r : B r o n t e C r e e k Co m m u n i t y L t d .
T h e c o n t e n t s o f t h i s d o c u m e n t a re t h e p r o p e r t y o f B r o n t e C r e e k Co m m u n i t y L t d . a n d m a y n o t b e r e p r o d u c e d w i t h o u t t h e e x p r e s s e d w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n o f t h e O w n e r.
Pre p a re d b y : D o n N a y l o r + A s s o c i a t e s L t d. L a n d s c a p e A rc h i t e c t s 245 Main St. N Brampton, ON, LX 1N 05-45-50 w w w. d n a p l a n n i n g a n d d e s i g n . c o m
Published on Feb 17, 2012
A handbook to provide homeowners with useful information on how they can participate in keeping the 14 Mile Creek and surrounding ecosystem,...