LitterNot Report - Nov 12, 2010
Although the day started off foggy, by the afternoon, the sun came out and we had a great clean up.Wetland:
Stewarding the Creditview Wetland – Stewarding our Youth
by Gary Mascola, as published in the Mississauga News
You may recall the late 1980’s when many local Mississauga citizens - most noteworthy being Jocelyn Webber, urged that the Creditview Wetland be preserved. Such an amazing story! Jocelyn’s passionate plight encouraged the City of Mississauga to do the right thing. In 1998, ten years later, we acquired the Wetland from the developers. This was a significant act of community stewardship on behalf of a ‘unique’ local urban wilderness.
Today, urban development encompasses and impacts the Creditview Wetland. The Wetland continues to require our attention. Long-term caring for and about the health of natural places such as the Creditview Wetland explains the essence of successful stewardship. Personally I’ve experienced that purposeful action also promotes an ethical approach that assures the condition of nature kinship. Over the past four years, Fallingbrook Middle School students and teachers have done just that. In partnership with the City of Mississauga, the Credit Valley Conservation, and Tutored by Nature, the school has invested significant time, energy, elbow grease, and much more on behalf of the Creditview Wetland.
Originally, school staff and students had no idea that the Wetland (the proverbial stone throw away) existed. Principal Moira Chevalier and her staff realized the educational and community value of the stewardship venture proposed to them by myself and Eugene Furgiuele. Since April, 2005, Fallingbrook has planted and cared for the over 3000 shrubs, trees, and flowering plants that today, forms a healthy buffer for the Wetland. The school continues their involvement with development of the interpretation centre, and as part of their science programme, grade 6 students monitor the Wetland birds and amphibians from the periphery. Fallingbrook’s environment club has promoted the stewardship and the lessons that the Creditview Wetland has taught them throughout Mississauga and Peel.
Important recognition from the City of Mississauga, The Friends of the Credit, and the Province has been bestowed on Fallingbrook Middle School for their environmental stewardship and leadership. Interestingly, I recall reading an article from the ‘Battle of the Bog’ where a Peel Board of Education official suggested that there was little educational value to the existence of the Wetland for Peel students. Important awareness and participation is still needed.
Indications are that the adjacent adult community has minimal understanding of the Wetland’s value. Most don’t realize that their homes are situated on a watershed that has supported a 12,000 year old hydrologically self–contained wetland – a life-system composed of incredible biodiverse relationships. The neighbourhood has limited awareness of the bog-like habitats that are extremely sensitive to both water quality and quantity. Water flows down-hill into the Wetland from the west side along with the residue of encompassing human behaviour. There’s much more to this story. The community now needs to assess its current impact on the Wetland.
Ecologically-minded Fallingbrook students and I have recently communicated the necessity for adult community involvement to the school’s Parent Council and then, to a larger community audience at Rivergrove Community Centre. Eugene Furgiuele and Michael Gusche participated on behalf of the City - Donna Havinga on behalf of the Credit Valley Conservation. We now have a Creditview Wetland Stewardship Committee made up of local community adults and benefited by the ongoing support of Councillors Parrish and Carlson.
Community stewardship benefits all who participate. We involve our youth- we ‘steward’ our youth – we allow for important nature connections. Many people in Mississauga live on the Credit River Watershed. Realizing ‘what we do for the watershed, we do for ourselves’ is important prescription for a healthy and prosperous Mississauga. See you at the grand opening of the Creditview Wetland Interpretation Centre this fall?
Fallingbrook M.S. staff and students, in partnership with the City of mississauga and the Credit Valley Conservation, have participated in an important and very active stewardship since September 2004. They have been recognized by the Province and the CVC with 3 separate stewardship awards.
Countdown to Bogfest!
Saturday May 25, 2013.
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