Support: Your gift today will help sustain the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System. Thanks to the generous support of friends like you.
The Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System is a collaborative initiative to protect, restore and connect more than 3,900 hectares (9,600 acres) of natural lands at the western end of Lake Ontario. This is one of the most biologically rich areas of Canada, home to nearly a quarter of the country’s wild plants and more than 50 species at risk. It is also the last intact ecological connection between Lake Ontario wetlands and the Niagara Escarpment.
These natural lands are also situated in one of Canada’s most vibrant and rapidly growing urban regions, the Hamilton-Burlington region. Economic growth and urban development have caused the natural areas to become fragmented by roads, rail lines and other features of urbanization. The result is a disconnected patchwork of smaller protected areas, each valuable but isolated and ultimately unsustainable.
This situation presents an urgent need to reconnect, restore and protect these valuable lands, and to create a lasting legacy for current and future generations.
As a collaboration between ten local government and non-profit organizations, the Cootes to Escarpment Park System is an innovative project with land-owning agencies working together and with neighbouring landowners to protect and restore their natural lands and secure additional lands to create ecological corridors. In addition, the partners work together and with other local environmental groups to deliver sustainable recreation and education opportunities.
The ecopark system lands include more than 1,900 hectares (4,700 acres) of lands owned by the partner organizations. These are surrounded by 2,000 hectares (4,800 acres) of privately owned lands which can contribute to the ecological health of the area through complementary stewardship activities to protect and restore natural areas and wildlife habitat. Together they form the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System: a protected, permanent and connected natural lands sanctuary from the Harbour to the Escarpment that promotes ecosystem and human health within Ontario's Greenbelt.