Sunday, September 6, 2015

Help Increase Protection of the Kame

As I wrote about in the spring, the Ontario Government is reviewing the Greenbelt Plan, Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, Oak Ridges Moraine Plan, and Niagara Escarpment Plan.

In April, I wrote to the Expert Advisory Panel overseeing this Review and implored them to increase the protection of the Fonthill Kame. I recently sent another letter to the Panel, and I am hoping that you will too! (Please click here for a copy of my letter.)

The “Fonthill Kame-Delta” is Niagara’s rare, 75-metre-tall, 1,000 hectare landmark that was formed by retreating glaciers 13,000 years ago. As the “hill” in Fonthill and Shorthills and the “ridge” in Ridgeville, the Kame boasts the highest point in the Niagara Region and serves as a significant water recharge area and forms the headwaters of the Twelve Mile Creek. Further, the Kame’s microclimatic and soil conditions create an ideal environment for tender fruit including peaches, sweet and sour cherries, and plums.

The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) identified the Fonthill Kame as provincially significant in 1976 and as a Provincial “Area of Natural and Scientific Interest” (ANSI) in 1988 as a way to help restrict development. The Province also protected parts of the Kame with general provisions in either the Niagara Escarpment Plan or specific provisions in the 2005 Greenbelt Plan.

And, after considerable public feedback, research and scientific evaluation, MNR confirmed a new ANSI boundary for the Kame in October 2013.

As the Province reviews the Greenbelt Plan and the Niagara Escarpment Plan, they could inadvertently lessen these protections.

That’s why I wrote the Expert Panel in April and urged them to reinforce the ANSI re-designation by increasing the protection of the Fonthill Kame in their land use Plans.

During the summer, Niagara Region approved maps and commentary as part of their submission to the Expert Panel. In that submission, Regional Council reiterated its request that the lands forming part of the “total morphology” of the Fonthill Kame be recognized and protected. (Please click here and see page 3 and 4 and appendix of Regional report. [Large 11.3MB.])

In fact, the Region suggested that lands as identified through scientific study by expert Dr. Menzies be added to the Niagara Escarpment Plan for increased protection. (For a map of those lands, please click here. [Please note, it would exclude lands in the Fonthill Urban Area and in the Ridgeville Hamlet.])

And, at the recent Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conferences, Town Councillors and I asked the Ministry of Natural Resources representatives to add Fonthill Kame lands to the Niagara Escarpment Plan area. (For more about this and a copy of our presentation, please see my recent column.)

Now, I am asking you to provide similar feedback to the Panel this month; please let them know that you are interested in protecting the Kame via the Niagara Escarpment plan to help curtail further aggregate extraction or development.

Please email your comments to or send mail to:
David Crombie, Chair
Land Use Planning Review, 
Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, 
Ontario Growth Secretariat, 
777 Bay Street, Suite 425 (4th floor)
Toronto ON M5G 2E5.

Thank you, again, for helping to further protect the Fonthill-Kame so that its distinctive features, microclimatic and water recharge functions might be better safeguarded for future generations!