Friends of Sheldon Creek and others clean up after irresponsible residents who treat it as a dump.

News 100 blueBy Staff

November 16, 2014

BURLINGTON, ON

 

It was certainly an eye sore but it wasn’t really clear who owned the land and who was responsible for its upkeep. The Conservation Authority is in there somewhere – they are the ones who are responsible for ensuring that the flow of water through creeks in Halton is words

Sheldon Creek clean up aerial map

T he red line shows the portion of Sheldon Creek that got a solid clean up from volunteers and a corporation that cared enough to ask their staff to pitch in and clean up a mess.

The call went out anyone who wanted to help clean an illegal dump site near Harvester between Appleby and Burloak. “You are invited to participate and/or share this event with your friends. The dump is adjacent to a parking lot behind 977 Century Drive.  Bellwyck Medical Services had property that backed onto the creek and their staff did a large part of the work one weekend.

The rest got done by a small group of people who turned out on a crisp fall day to pick up trash and help transform about 200M of Sheldon Creek from the dumpiest section to one of the best. The group removed nearly 50 tires, half a dozen mattresses and about 20 bags of trash…

Sheldon Creek clean up - tires

More than 50 tires were pulled out from the creek area along with dozens of bags of trash and mattresses that were deliberately dumped.

The Field and Stream Rescue Team was the biggest group to show up along with people from Friends of Sheldon Creek and Corpus Christi High School.

Sheldon Creek dump 2

This garbage could have and should have been taken to the Regional dump. While the community has volunteer groups who took on this dirty task – where was the Conservation Authority? The creeks in the Region are their responsibility.


 

Personal thanks went out to the individuals who climbed up and down hills and braved the muck, burs and rose thorns to help Sheldon Creek not just become more beautiful, but better habitat for resident and visiting native flora and fauna. During the event, a Great Blue Heron and a Red Tailed Hawk dropped by. Coincidence? Maybe, but the group preferred to interpret their visit as an expression of gratitude.

Matthew, Cathy, Robyn, Jon, Ainsley, Vince, Jeff, Katie, David, Gen, Shane, Brad along with others were there. This is what community is all about.

 

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2 comments to Friends of Sheldon Creek and others clean up after irresponsible residents who treat it as a dump.

  • Thanks for the excellent efforts of your group of conscientious citizens.

    Yours is NOT the first volunteer organization or individual who have made note of the unobserved neglect or whimsical and uncaring practices, which contrive to worsen the results of severe storms.

    Ms. Carol Gottlob, citizen and contender for Ward 4 in the past municipal election, went to great lengths to illustrate and confirm the ‘NEEDFUL’ theme of your volunteer involvement and municipal inattention.

    Specifically;

    http://www.burlingtongazette.ca/wp-content/uploads/Flood-weather-network-bridge-300×162.png

    “Creeks couldn’t handle the volume of water because they were left in a “naturalized” state which meant broken limbs and fallen branches were not regularly cleaned out.”

    http://www.burlingtongazette.ca/council-candidate-looks-to-both-the-regional-and-the-city-government-to-pay-for-some-of-the-flood-expenses

    While the Burlington Flood was not of the same magnitude as the Alberta event, where homes and businesses had been built directly on a flood plain, Burlington’s Flood did NOT attract national attention by way of funding or loss coverage. Indeed, one wonders whether the federal government’s contribution of $2.8 Billion in financial coverage was intended to protect the “core vote.”

    There are some, including myself, who would like to ask WHY Burlington was excluded from ANY consideration as a natural and potentially recurring national weather disaster. But alas, though we are of meagre means, we DO NOT HAVE the $6,500 which would appear to be pre-requisite to asking the question.

    “MP’s question about cost of answering MP questions cost $6,500, Ottawa says”

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/mps-question-about-cost-of-answering-mp-questions-cost-6500-ottawa-says/article21590528/

  • Thank you for reporting on volunteer stewardship efforts on restoring local ecosystems. This story multiplies our efforts and helps new stewardship organizations form and grow.

    MY name is Vince Firoito and I am focal point for Friends of Sheldon Creek Watershed. I invite everyone to be a Friend to Sheldon Creek. Currently I’m walking Sheldon Creek from Lake Ontario to its sources. Everyone is welcome to monitor my progress and what I find online.
    https://www.facebook.com/friendsofsheldoncreek

    When I discovered this problem area, I reached out to other stewardship groups online. I’m grateful for each person who showed up. But we only cleaned the upstream half of your image above. Sheldon Creek has about 4km in a similar condition. We just cleaned up the worst part I’ve discovered so far.

    The condition of Sheldon Creek, which supports diverse ecosystems and is a source of Burlington’s water should shock your readers. Based on what I’ve discovered in Sheldon Creek, I would be shocked any of Burlington’s seven watersheds didn’t have sections in similar condition… During our cleanups, we regularly find remnants of stubby beer bottles, antique car parts and other ancient artifacts proving some Burlington’s natural areas and wetlands have never been cleaned. Ironically during this cleanup I also found a smashed “Clearly Canadian Springwater” glass bottle. I’m trying to imaging someone drinking this spring water and then throwing the glass bottle in the ravine. I’ve also discovered couches, car batteries, disposable baby diapers…. Yes if you are learning about this problem for the first time you should be shocked.

    To be fair, I’ve also discovered sections of Sheldon Creek which are obviously cleaned regularly. Embarrassingly for Burlington, most are downstream in Oakville near Shell Park. Oakville residents may have a right to complain about constantly cleaning up garbage from Burlington.

    Obviously some people are dumping garbage illegally and I encourage people to take photos of license plates and dial 311 to report it. But some garbage is escaped debris from floods and storms. Friends of Sheldon Creek doesn’t seek to allocate blame for creating problems we help solve. We seek only friends who want to help restore Sheldon Creek’s ecosystem for the benefit of people as well as native flora and fauna.

    Friends is Sheldon Creek is grateful for the Halton Conservation Authority’s support. They answer our questions, provide education, helped us organize and continue to guide our actions. We always keep them informed about our activities. Environmental stewardship will be most effective if you coordinate your activities with natural cycles. Forests should not be cleaned while Trillium and other delicate spring forest flowers are vulnerable to trampling. Tires should not be removed from streams while fish are spawning. We recommend that people interested in nature stewardship contact the Halton Conservation Authority for more information and guidance:
    http://www.conservationhamilton.ca/hhwsp-overview

    We always coordinate garbage pick up with the Halton Region Authority. (THANK YOU!). If we come across problems too big or dangerous to solve, we document the problem with images and bring it to their attention. We are grateful for their support and direction. We pile garbage up neatly where trucks can pick it up.

    Thank you again for coming out and helping us by reporting our activities.

    Environmentally,

    Vince Fiorito
    Focal Point
    Friends of Sheldon Creek Watereshed