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____ Wednesday October 28 , 2015 ____


Off Leash Area

GRCA to hold public information session on Snyder’s Flats Management Plan

Bloomingdale - The Grand River Conservation Authority is holding a public information session on Monday, November 9, 2015, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Bloomingdale Community Centre, 1031 Snyder’s Flats Road, Bloomingdale, to present details of the Snyder’s Flats Management Plan.

GRCA staff is in the final stages of completing the draft plan for its Snyder’s Flats property in Woolwich Township. Informational display boards will be available to the public for viewing at the meeting, and GRCA staff will be on hand to answer questions. It is expected that the final draft of the management plan will be presented to the GRCA board at the General Membership meeting on Friday, December 18, 2015.

Information will also be presented at the meeting regarding the GRCA’s consideration of the Snyder’s Flats property as an off-leash dog area. In August, 2014, the GRCA began the process of conducting extensive research into the design and operation of off-leash dog areas in response to a request received from the public to consider designating Snyder’s Flats as an off-leash dog area.

“Based on this research, we have been developing set of criteria to help us assess the ecological and operational suitability of any GRCA property, not only Snyder’s Flats, as an off-leash dog area,” explains Dave Bennett, Director of Operations, GRCA.

Currently, under Regulation 106 of the Conservation Authorities Act, the GRCA requires that all dogs be on a leash of less than two metres on any GRCA property.

Snyder’s Flats

The Snyder’s Flats property was purchased by the GRCA in 1969. In 1979, the GRCA partnered with Preston Sand & Gravel to model an environmentally friendly approach to gravel extraction after the natural area was identified as a source of high quality gravel.

The gravel company dug out the ponds in a way specifically designed to provide habitat for a variety of fish including bass, pike and perch. The shallow areas along the edge of the ponds are where the fish spawn, nest and feed. The ponds are a home for beavers and a water supply for foxes, coyotes, deer and other animals. On the land, trees were planted to provide homes and food. Fields have been maintained to provide a home for birds and animals that live and nest in meadows and grasslands, including threatened species such as bobolinks and meadowlarks. The trails were laid out providing people with the opportunity to enjoy the natural area, while also providing protection for the natural habitat.

All of this work was paid for by several community groups that donated the money. Their efforts were assisted by hundreds of residents who volunteered their time to plant trees.

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