Day 1 of the Harper Creek shoreline project

We could not have been luckier today; it was dry, warm and the winds were calm.  The “dry” was really important for this first stage of our project as even a small rain event would have caused a significant discharge from the stormwater pond into the stream where we planned to work.  Also, the coir logs, seen below, while fairly light when dry, are quick to wick up moisture, making them pretty unwieldy when wet!

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An Opportunity to Make a Difference: Our First Remediation Project!

Pulling it all together

The level of excitement has been growing all summer.  Since Lauren Sharkey, coordinator of the Community Stream Steward Program (CSSP), first dropped off 97 native shrubs at the Zippel’s house in May, the HPSI executive have been dreaming up possible stream remediation projects.  

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A Mother’s Day Walk on the Wild Side with Otonabee Ward Councillor Lesley Parnell

Instead of  breakfast in bed, Councillor Lesley Parnell chose to spend her Mother’s Day morning exploring the periphery of Harper Park.  Guided by the expertise of recently retired Fleming College Fish and Wildlife professor, Don McLeod, Lesley joined Kim and Mark Zippel of the HPSI to gain some “boots on the ground” knowledge of Harper Park, Creek and Wetland.

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Shale Gas: A Chance to Become Informed

Many HPSI members, and faithful HPSI blog followers, live in Peterborough, or within the Greater Peterborough Area, and therefore frequently benefit from the exceptional offerings of our postsecondary communities, Trent University and Fleming College.  One of the wonderful things about living in the midst of academia is the opportunity to stay in tune with the latest in research on issues that impact our lives today, and influence our collective tomorrows.

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Getting the Word Out: Raising the Profile of Harper Park

Where is Harper Park?  Never heard of it.  Oh, is it that place in the SW end, north of Sir Sandford Fleming Drive, you know, the one with the barbed wire fence around it?  Isn’t that an industrial park, or an old dump?  

For a park that has been described in reports as:

“easily the most ecologically important area in Peterborough”

And recently in a CHEX interview with author Drew Monkman,

“like a piece of Algonquin Park…dropped into the City of Peterborough”

Harper Park remains relatively unknown to the citizens of Peterborough. Some may say that this is a bonus, that the cryptic nature of the park has allowed it to remain in its natural state, with its wild inhabitants relatively undisturbed.  The flip side of this argument of course, is that it is hard to feel an attachment to a place if you have never interacted with it in a meaningful way.  Such is the conundrum with Harper

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Clean-up and Mapping Day: Reducing Obstacles to Public Enjoyment of Bridlewood & Harper Parks

Well, it seems like only yesterday, but it was actually October 13’th acknowledged the beleaguered blogger, that a fantastic group of 14 enthusiastic stewards hauled some major trash out of Bridlewood and Harper Parks. An important goal of the HPSI is to promote nature-based education, as well as aesthetic and spiritual enjoyment of Harper Park.  Removing hazards from the park facilitates this goal by increasing the safety of those who regularly enjoy the natural beauty of this ecologically diverse nature area through quiet walks, photography and bird watching.

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What we did on our summer vacation

Normally, we would have given each of the newsworthy events listed below their own post, but the joys of exploring Harper Park, especially in the summer months, took priority over blogging.  So, this somewhat lengthy post is devoted to updating our followers on some exciting developments.

  1. Green light given for HPSI activities within Harper Park
  2. Looking for the Gallerucella spp. beetle
  3. Researching park history
  4. Planning for a clean-up and mapping day in October

1.  On July 31, Kim Zippel met with Renee Recoskie of Dillon Consulting Ltd.  Dillon Consulting Ltd., as you may remember from a previous post, was the firm awarded the contract to complete the initial Environmental Site Investigation of the Harper Road landfill.  Renee informed Kim that Dillon would NOT be using the North Tributary as a reference stream for their sampling program.  The HPSI have been given the go-ahead from Dillon to complete enhancement work within the park, as long as the date and location of

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Initial Public Consultation Meeting

The City of Peterborough is taking action to determine the extent and impacts of hazardous waste deposited within the boundaries of Harper Park due to operation of a legacy landfill operated from the mid-1940s to the mid-1960s.

Dillon Consulting Ltd. has been awarded the contract to complete the initial Environmental Site Investigation, determine long term remedial action options and to implement short term remedial strategies on lands identified as the legacy Waste Disposal Site.

Dillon Consulting Ltd. will be holding a series of public consultation sessions, the first of which will be held on Thursday, June 7th.

The meeting particulars are as follows:

Date:   June 7, 2012

Time:  6:00 P. M. to 8:00 P. M.

Location:  Evinrude Centre, 911 Monaghan Rd., Peterborough, ON

The HPSI is an identified stakeholder within this process, and as such, we will be sharing our information on the Harper Creek Woodland and Wetland Complex with Dillon Consulting Ltd.

At a stakeholders meeting, also scheduled …

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Jane’s Walk May 5

Title:  Suburban Connections: How rooftops and roadways impact local streams

Location:  Meet at Fleming College, Brealy Campus, parking lot near tennis courts

When:  Saturday, May 5th 10 a.m. - noon

Walk Description:

The trails through Stenson Park all lead to the stormwater management pond that has become a haven for wild plants and animals capable of living in close proximity to suburban neighbours.  The Stenson Park pond is a central feature of our community, putting people in touch with the natural environment and each other. But the pond is also an engineered structure, connecting the runoff from rooftops and roadways to our local stream, Harper Creek.  Join our walk to discover and explore a suburban creek, and discuss the challenges that the built environment presents to streams and wetlands, and how we can make a difference!

What is Jane's Walk? 

Jane’s Walk is a series of free neighbourhood walking tours that helps put people in touch with their environment

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