A new study from Ancient Forest Exploration & Research describes an old-growth forest in Jackson Park along the shores of Jackson Creek that includes 250-year-old trees.
New research has revealed that the trees here are commonly 150 to 200 years old. The oldest trees are estimated to be about 250 years old, though some may be older. The largest trees are nearly a meter in diameter and 35 meters (over 10 stories) tall.
“By any definition used in Ontario, this is an old-growth forest,” says Michael Henry, an ecologist with Ancient Forest Exploration & Research who led the study. “Urban old-growth forests like this are rare, and have a lot of value for biodiversity conservation, education, and nature appreciation.”
Peterborough is one of only eight urban areas in Ontario with an identified old-growth forest, according to Henry, although others may be found in future.
The City of Peterborough has hired Wilson Carpentry from Peterborough to undertake an extensive restoration of the Pagoda Bridge located in Jackson Park. The project will address structural and roof components required due to significant deterioration.
Work is scheduled to start this week and will continue for eight to 10 weeks. This preservation project is important, as the bridge is a significant piece of Peterborough's architectural heritage.
In order to ensure public and worker safety, the bridge—which made our list of top romantic spots in Peterborough—will be closed to pedestrian travel beginning August 27th for about six weeks. Pedestrians should plan alternate routes during this period.
1. The Parkway is not a solution to our traffic problems
The proposed Parkway fixes perhaps one-tenth of our traffic problems in the north end of the City. It links one fifth of the City’s planned north end residential areas to only one of the two main employment areas in the City. The City proposed the original "Parkway" route to bypass the city limits as they were in 1947. Other options better connect the places where we live to the places we work.
2. The Parkway Greenspace is one of Peterborough’s most precious assets
The Parkway Greenspace corridor is the largest and most significant natural habitat and open space in the north end of Peterborough, and one of the largest areas of green space in the City. It is a key part of the City trails network. The Parkway route also serves as an important wildlife corridor, along which wildlife can traverse a large swath of the city. It allows citizens, and most importantly our children, to observe wildlife and connect with nature.
3. The Parkway is not the best investment of our hard earned tax dollars
The projected cost of the Parkway is around 40 million dollars. This does not include costs to deal with noise, flooding and other infrastructure. Realistically, the price could be easily around $50-‐60 million. Do you want your taxes increased to pay for a road that doesn’t meet Peterborough’s needs; a road a majority of us don’t want, all for a time saving of one to three minutes? We have other critical spending priorities, including fixing the many poorly maintained roads we already have.
4. When given the opportunity to actually choose, the people of Peterborough said “No Parkway”
The Parkway has been a contentious issue in Peterborough for many decades. It was turned down by 55% of voters in a referendum in November 2003. Following that vote, City Council ordered the Chief Administrative Officer to have the Parkway removed from the Official Plan. This did not occur. Why was the voice of the people not respected and the why was the direction of Council not acted upon?
5. The Parkway Greenspace promotes a healthier population
Greenspace encourages people to get outside, to walk instead of drive, to interact with each other and connect with the natural world around them. Greenspaces are proven to support a better sense of community and improved mental health. The greenspace provides a place for city children to explore and play, for free, no matter what their financial means. We have an obesity epidemic costing us billions of dollars and untold health problems. Do we need to make the situation worse?
6. The Parkway Greenspace supports our children and our schools
There are five schools along the Parkway corridor. The Parkway will run directly alongside two primary schools. Putting a major arterial road directly next to or near these schools increases risks to students. Also, a main arterial road will eliminate safe opportunities for students to learn about science and nature, conduct their own research and experience outdoor education in a natural setting.
7. Previous consultants said we don’t have a problem, now or in the future
In their report to City Council on April 18th, 2011, consultants Morrison-‐Hershfield reported that even with no road improvements beyond those presently committed, the best performance models for 2031 show no significant congestion except around river crossings. This congestion is not addressed in any of the proposals related to the Parkway.
8. We are not growing as fast as projected so do we really need a new road?
Growth projections prior to the 2012 Comprehensive Transportation Plan turned out to be optimistic, and current slow economic progress and an ageing demographic may impact the projections used in the 2012 Plan.
9. The Parkway Greenspace supports Provincial planning directives
A 2012 Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing Provincial Policy Statement on Land Use Planning requires all municipalities to have and protect natural heritage systems that include natural corridors and linkages such as Jackson Park and the Parkway Greenspace corridor. A decision to build a road through these natural corridors would be contrary to such provincial directions
10. Paving the Parkway Greenspace will certainly lead to a bridge through Jackson Park
You only have to look at the incremental history of the “Parkway by Stealth” campaign to see that this will happen (despite the promises it won’t). When the southern and northern parts of the Parkway are finished, do you think they will leave a big bend around Jackson Park between the two?
If you believe in permanently protecting the Parkway Greenspace and Jackson Park, please let your councillor know. Alternative 2 (Fairbairn/3rd Line) is a far more effective route than the Parkway for connecting the places people live and where they work and shop, now and in the future. The Fairbairn/3rd Line route will not see the destruction of our precious greenspaces and makes even more sense given the many fewer residences affected and the proposed Lily Lake housing development.
Join us at the next Parkway EA meeting Thursday, June 27th from 4:00 pm -‐ 9:00 pm at the Peterborough Wellness Centre. This is the last time you will be able to ask questions about the route before the final proposal is presented to City Council in September!
[Contributed by PtboCanada's Evan Holt]
With the fall colours in full bloom, a long weekend fast approaching—and in honour of this being Ontario Hiking Week—it is time to think about going out on a hike with friends and family.
Here in the Patch, we have some gems:
Jackson Park offers a 4.2k trail that stretches past a playground, picnic tables, a creek, numerous benches, a large pond and a beautiful pagoda bridge. Located North of Parkhill Road, Jackson Park has three entrances. One is on Fairbairn Street, the second is on Bonacord Street and the third is on Ackison Road.
Mark S. Burnham Park has a double-loop trail that is 2.3k long. There is a big shelter for larger gatherings, a washroom and only one hill on the 1.4k loop. There are plenty of trail signs with interesting little Peterborough factoids about the park itself. Mark S. Burnham park is located on Highway 7 East.
Trent Nature Areas and Promise Rock Nature Area Trail are both off Nassau Mills Road near Trent University. The Trent Nature Areas have Red, Yellow and Blue trails all offering different lengths and difficulty. Promise Rock Nature Trail is a 2.4k trail that runs between the Otonabee River and an abandoned railway.
Up until recently, I called Peterborough my home. I was one of those Trent University students that graduate and decide to stay in Peterborough a bit longer. I truly felt like I wasn’t finished with Peterborough by the time graduation rolled around. I also graduated a few years ahead of my friends, and that was a big factor in my decision to stay. It’s a beautiful city and I really enjoyed my time there.
After graduating, I worked at Peterborough Green-Up and have since decided to attend baking school in Toronto. After arriving in Toronto, I immediately felt like a fish out of water. This is by far the biggest place I’ve ever lived. I miss Peterborough a lot. Below I've listed a few things that I’m reminiscing about. —by Thalia Bock (aka @thebockster)
1. The town where everybody knows your name Peterborough was my Cheers bar (if only people shouted, “NORM!” every time I entered a store). After living there for four-ish years, I could barely walk down the street without seeing someone that I knew. I loved it!
2. Peterborough Green-Up I honestly miss Peterborough Green-Up. I had such a great experience working there! I was in the Air Quality department, handling the website (Peterborough.zerofootprint.net), along with sitting at the front desk and answering the phone. Everyone that works there is so incredibly friendly and passionate about what they are doing. When I began working there, I immediately felt at home. There is such a large network of people interested in the environment in Peterborough, doing things like Green Drinks and Car Free Day.
3. The Main Ingredient One of the first things I noticed about where I live in Toronto is that it is very difficult to find a one stop bulk food store close to home. Some places have lots of spices and nuts, and the others have candy. The Main Ingredient was such a staple in my grocery shopping that I’m going through withdrawal!
4. The Wine Shoppe on Charlotte Can you tell I like to buy in bulk? Everyone at the Wine Shoppe is so friendly, it blows me away! They’ve even lent me one of their dollies when I realized I couldn’t walk my boxes of wine home. They’re also really great about answering questions to non wine connoisseurs (ahem, me). Also, it’s just plain fun to bottle wine!
5. The bike paths and parks I gotta say, Peterborough has a really great trail system! I love the bike ride up to Trent—it’s wonderful in the fall. I thoroughly miss riding my bike around Peterborough. It was always an adventure! The trails are really helpful when trying to navigate Peterborough by bike. Jackson Park is such a beautiful park as well. And who can forget the Ecology Park?
6. The Peterborough Twitterverse Before moving from Peterborough, I attended a few tweetups (like the one below at Natas Cafe). I really enjoyed meeting all the wonderful and friendly people through Twitter! They are by far the most attentive and caring people that I’ve followed through Twitter. I get a little sad when I see the Peterborough "tweeps" scheduling a tweetup, because I know I won’t be attending. Moral of the story? Follow as many Peterborough people on Twitter that you can find! You’ll meet lots of people with neat interests!
What would you miss most about Peterborough if you left? Comment below.