Friday, June 18, 2010

propping up the banks

Some work has been done to stabilize the Spencer Creek banks just north of Edwards Park in Dundas. There are new trees and shrubs planted along the top, which will help retore this shady spot to its former beauty. Gone is the tree on the near bank that once held a rope swing used by young and old alike to play in the water.

The Spencer Creek Trail provides the most potential to develop a pleasant and scenic walk through the centre of Dundas; after all, a walk is made more invigorating and restorative if it is in the midst of natural beauty.

The existing east-west trail would benefit from improvements to the creek environment, especially the removing of concrete channels that straighten the creek and destroy fish habitat (more on this subject later).

A more natural creek setting would do much to enhance Dundas's image as a scenic and restful place, where quality of life means more than the fastest car commute. Spencer Creek is perhaps the former Town's most important natural asset, and as such, needs some tender loving care to restore it to it's former glory.
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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

on the RBG's Geotrail

RBG walk? There's an app for that

, The Hamilton Spectator, (Jun 9, 2010) 

Lush walking trails, waterfalls and rarely seen turtles can all be found in Hamilton's back yard -- and at your digital fingertips.
Hikers, bird watchers and outdoor lovers now have Geotrail, a new high-tech interactive tool to help them map out routes on the Royal Botanical Gardens' 27 kilometres of walking trails.
"There's this growing ability to use online mapping to do all sorts of things," said Geotrail co-founder Paul Shaker. "One niche that we saw could be improved was the outdoor experience and outdoor education."
The Hamilton company created the web service that allows people to plan walking routes based on distance, difficulty level, scenery and duration. It's part of a growing wave of handheld technology applications, or apps, that connect users with the Internet anywhere they go, even the woods.
"This whole area is picking up steam," Shaker said. "It's making the computer more human friendly. It goes where you want to go."
Since Geotrail was launched at the RBG on May 21, the website has received more than 1,000 hits and is getting linked on Facebook pages, he said. Shaker said he has also received interest from other provinces about creating trail maps, and even urban trails in cities with historical landmarks.
Many people have responded positively about the educational aspect of the site, he said.
"You don't just have a dot on a map," Shaker said. "To be able to compare (nature walks) in real time before you head out, you really get a sense of knowledge."
Geotrail also promotes local trails and natural land that don't get much recognition, Shaker added.
That's partly what attracted the RBG to the project because it's much more well-known for its rose and tulip gardens, said Lee Oliver, RBG communications manager.
When Geotrail's Shaker and business partner Gallisedo Bae approached the RBG about the project a couple months ago, "we jumped on it," he said.
"We've been talking about ... how can we better promote the trails to people," Oliver said.
"There's so much amazing technology out there. We're definitely going down that route."
Check out Geotrail on the RBG's website:

Friday, June 4, 2010

SATURDAY JUNE 5: International Trails Day

Well, this should be an easy one to Celebrate in Dundas - some of the most scenic sections of the Bruce Trail are found here in Dundas Valley and the Spencer Gorge; The Royal Botanical gardens footpaths through Cootes and Hendrie Valley, the nearby Waterfront Trail along the Hamilton Bay and Lake Ontario, and of course, the Trans Canada trail sections that are entwined along these routes. It's hard to be but a few minutes travel to a great trail in this area, and most of them will pay dividends by taking you to or past glorious waterfalls.
Send me a photo of your hike so I can post it on this blog. Now lace up your boots and get moving!
Celebrate International Trails Day on the Trans Canada Trail       
The Trail offers endless oppotunities for 
discovery and adventureJUNE 5 is International Trails Day, a world-wide celebration of recreational trails. Trails promote healthy living, preserve our natural heritage, generate local economic development and inspire endless journeys of learning and discovery.  
Join us on the world's longest Trail on June 5. Events and activities are planned from coast to coast to coast.  With geo-caching on NB's Fundy Trail, an adventure hike-a-thon on MB's Centennial Trail,  the grand opening of Central Alberta's Blindman River Bridge, along with a horseback ride on BC's Haller Trail, a Trail Opening in Midland ON and a Magical Historical Sites cycle tour in Victoria, a great day awaits you on the Trans Canada Trail. Click here for details and a full list of events.