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Breaking new ground with wetland restoration.
Richmond Hill, Ontario
Jennifer Szczerbak, EMPD
Burnside was retained by Mattamy Homes (Mattamy) to prepare an Environmental Impact Study (EIS) for the Richmond Green community in the City of Richmond Hill. A full suite of ecological studies was completed, including Ecological Land Classification, breeding bird surveys, amphibian breeding call surveys, aquatic habitat and Significant Wildlife Habitat assessments.
We also prepared an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) to identify targets, monitoring activities and contingency plans should unforeseen impacts occur due to construction. The earthworks operations and internal site servicing were completed, as well as monitoring per the EMP which included an analysis of groundwater and surface water levels, water quality, fluvial geomorphology, and vegetation in the features. Additional stormwater management pond performance monitoring was undertaken the following year.
One of the most exciting aspects of our work was related to the creation of a new wetland. A small farm pond located on the property was removed during grading, and a designed wetland was constructed within the buffer associated with the watercourse. Wetland vegetation mats were carefully transferred from the original farm pond to the outer perimeter of the wetland compensation site, which allowed rapid naturalization of the new feature. After completing the first vegetation assessment survey, new landscape plantings and mulch were installed in the upland area around the compensation wetland as part of the wetland buffer enhancement program. Cedar health assessments, as well as amphibian breeding call and breeding bird surveys were also undertaken to monitor the health and success of the new wetland.
Quarterly monitoring reports were prepared for three years to document the environmental conditions for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. To date, the results demonstrate that the habitat is suitable for wetland species and breeding birds and that occupancy and abundance is increasing as the site becomes more established.
The Burnside Land Development Ecology Team has ensured that the Mattamy Richmond Hill project deliverables have been in line with all Stakeholder expectations. The creation of a new wetland was showcased by the TRCA as an example of exemplary execution. All efforts by Burnside to achieve this success are greatly appreciated.Shawn Arndt Land Development Construction Manager, Mattamy Homes