Exciting news for Loafer’s Lake

Members of the Brampton Environmental Alliance were in attendance last Monday March 4th as the Ontario government announced it is investing over $2.5 million through the Wetlands Conservation Partner Program to enhance wetland areas in four locations of the Etobicoke Creek watershed in and around Loafer’s Lake and Conservation Drive Park.

The ceremony was hosted by Brampton North MPP Graham McGregor supported by Environment, Conservation and Parks Minister Andrea Khanjin.

“Wetlands are incredibly important to our communities. They make up the natural infrastructure that protect us from drought and flooding, while keeping water clean and providing homes for many at-risk species of plants and animals.”

Andrea Khanjin, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks

Attending dignitaries included Brampton’s Mayor Patrick Brown, Regional Councillors Navjit Kaur Brar, Michael Palleschi and Rowena Santos as well as representatives from TRCA and Ducks Unlimited.

“This is an incredible investment by the Province of Ontario to support the enhancement of Loafer’s Lake. Investing in the restoration and preservation of wetlands is an investment in the future of our city, ensuring the protection of countless species, like the fish and turtles that call Loafer’s Lake home. Many thanks to Brampton North MPP Graham MacGregor for his outstanding work on this project and I look forward to enjoying the new trails and viewing platforms with the community.”

Patrick Brown – Mayor of the City of Brampton

Loafer’s Lake is one of four priority lakes identified in the City’s “Lake Enhancement Strategy” , the other three being Norton Place Lake, Donnelly Ponds, and Professors Lake. These lakes are representative of the majority of Brampton’s 14 lakes, historical aggregate extraction pits that are now filled with ground water. There is an opportunity to improve public awareness, appreciation and utilization of these lakes. The Lake Enhancement Strategy looks to transform these lakes into “signature features” in the City for recreation and appreciation of nature.

Map of Brampton's Priority Lakes
Brampton’s Priority Lakes

“One of my favourite things about Loafer’s Lake is that we built our neighbourhood around the nature. I have fond childhood memories of sitting on the hill and walking around the pond and those are memories I cherish. Thanks to our government and the leadership of Minister Khanjin, we are giving Loafer’s Lake the love and appreciation it deserves so my generation and future generations can continue to enjoy it.”

Graham McGregor – MPP Brampton North

The City of Brampton is partnering with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority to plant 6,500 native trees and other vegetation, manage invasive species, improve shoreline habitat and install rocky shoals and log piles in the water to support turtles and fish habitat. This project will also build recreational viewing platforms at Loafer’s Lake that will let visitors enjoy the natural beauty of these wetland habitats, while minimizing the disturbance of sensitive ecological features.

Several community groups with a rich history of volunteering in the neighbourhood, also attended the event.

“Projects like Loafers Lake don’t just happen out of thin air”, says Lori Leckie, a founding member of Heart Lake Turtle Troopers, one of several community organizations that has been working for years to protect turtle habitat in the Loafer’s Lake area. “It’s about the volunteers from Heart Lake Turtle Troopers, Heart Lake Happenings, People Against Littering, Brampton Environmental Alliance, all working together with our regional councillors, [Navjit Kaur Brar, Michael Palleschi], our MP Ruby [Sahota], and MPP Graham [McGregor], as well as staff from TRCA. It’s about volunteering our time at Loafers Lake and many other regional parks, and wetlands.”

Area volunteers perform many activities in ensuring wildlife have a safe and clean environment including picking up broken glass and litter. Nesting season starts the 3rd week of May and goes into the 1st week of July. During this period a network of volunteers from the Turtle Troopers group looks for turtles on land. They help guard and protect the females her while they lay their eggs. They install a protector over each nest to prevent predation. They collect data on nesting activities. They also work with Brampton Animal Services and the City Parks Department to report when turtles are injured. Heart Lake Turtle Troopers volunteers can arrange necessary medical attention or transport of the eggs to safer locations.

“No volunteer group can do this alone”, says Leckie. “It means involving the whole community, sharing information with other BEA members so we can spread the word about the need to assist these species at risk. It means inviting all levels of government, inviting them to hatchling release events, getting them to understand why turtles are vital to maintaining a healthy ecosystem. Once they see our work they support us by providing us with tools and getting grants to the City of Brampton so important work can take place.”

Wetland Habitat Open Houses – Have your say!

Loafer's Lake Wetlands Restoration Project
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BEA Logo

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