Please Help to Protect the Fonthill Kame, Again!

The Ontario Government is currently seeking feedback as they review four land-use plans: Greenbelt Plan, Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, and Niagara Escarpment Plan.

On behalf of Pelham Town Council, I recently wrote to the Expert Advisory Panel of this Land-Use Planning Review and implored them to increase the protection of the Fonthill Kame. I am hoping that you too will write to the Panel to indicate your support.

The “Fonthill Kame-Delta” is Niagara’s rare, 75-metre-tall landmark that was formed by retreating glaciers 13,000 years ago. At 6 km long, 3 km wide, and nearly 1,000 hectares, the Fonthill Kame boasts the highest point in the Niagara Region. As the “hill” in Fonthill and Shorthills and the “ridge” in Ridgeville, the feature also 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 production including peaches, sweet and sour cherries, plums and pears.

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

Sadly however, despite these efforts to protect it, residential development and aggregate extraction pressures seriously threaten the Kame.

As the Province reviews the Greenbelt Plan and the Niagara Escarpment Plan, they could inadvertently (or purposefully!) lessen these protections of the Fonthill Kame.

That’s why I wrote the Expert Panel and urged them to reinforce the recent ANSI re-designation by increasing the protection of the Fonthill Kame in their land use Plans. (Please see a copy of my letter at www.pelhammayordave.blogspot.com.)

Now, I am asking you to provide similar feedback to the Panel before May 28; please let them know that you are interested in protecting the Kame and curtailing further aggregate extraction or development.

Please email your comments to landuseplanningreview@ontario.ca or send mail to:

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 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!

You may contact Mayor Dave at mayordave@pelham.ca with questions or to suggest future topics. Check out links for documents and past columns at www.pelhammayordave.blogspot.com.