Dundas Valley 50-Year Vision and Strategy
2008-2009: Dundas Valley 50 Year Vision and Strategy 2008-2058
The Hamilton Conservation Authority (HCA) is Hamilton's largest environmental management agency and for more than 55 years, has managed a number of environmental initiatives to provide for the conservation and enjoyment of Hamilton's watershed. In 2008-2009, the HCA actively worked with the community to develop the Dundas Valley 50-Year Vision and Strategy 2008-2058. To ensure that the Valley area is maintained, HCA is taking a holistic approach to the conservation and stewardship of the Dundas Valley area through the long-term implementation of this Vision. Being an area of natural, historical, cultural, and archeological features, the Dundas Valley area remains susceptible to a number of pressures such as climate change, development, and invasive species among others.
The Vision recognizes that the conservation of the Dundas Valley area would draw upon a multitude of interdependent factors such as knowledge, stewardship, and strong community support that would work to secure the environmental, social, and financial viability of the Valley area. Through active community engagement, 4 main theme areas, 11 goals, and 43 Strategic Directions (SDs) emerged. With the 4 main theme areas ranging from the protection of the Dundas Valley area, enhancing the economic sustainability and vibrancy of Dundas Valley area communities to infusing education and stewardship in the community culture, and ensuring financial sustainability, the comprehensiveness of the Vision's mandate is reflected as a diversity of areas are taken into consideration.
2012-2013: Early Implementation Phase
To initiate the work outlined in the Vision, the Early Implementation Phase (EIP) was necessary to identify 10 action areas, develop work plans, secure support from partner organizations, and inform and engage the wider Valley community. Within this phase, there were a number of short-term and long-term objectives that worked to realize the overall mandate of the Vision while at the same time planned for future implementation cycles.
The objectives of the EIP were to establish a steering committee of community representatives, prioritize 10 action areas, develop an implementation strategy, secure community partners, and promote connectivity with the Cootes to the Escarpment Eco Park. Given that some of the 43 SDs fall outside the mandate of the HCA, there was a need to develop an integrated management model for use with possible implementation partners. In addition to the aforementioned goals, the research and development of an information repository with Vision-specific documents, reports, and policies was also undertaken.
2014-2019: Implementation Strategy Cycle 1
To realize the Vision, on-going implementation is needed to safeguard the sustainability of the Dundas Valley area. Over the span of the Vision's 50 year period, it is anticipated that there will be a series of implementation cycles each serving to implement specific projects and act as a preparatory period for the subsequent cycle. Implementation Strategy Cycle 1 (ISC1) is the first strategic phase of the Vision. Given that the Vision was created in 2008 and there are 43 SDs to be acted upon, there will be a need to periodically re-assess the current state of the Dundas Valley area to inform the prioritization, selection, and ranking of the SDs or action areas to be implemented within any given particular cycle.
An integral component of the ISC1 will be continued community support, partnerships, and public participation. By bolstering the support of the public through open houses, discussion forums, and online mediums, the ISC1 will continue to build the interest of the local community. It is hoped that the ISC1 will establish a firmer foundation and pathway to ensure that the area's natural, historical, and cultural features are sustainably conserved and enjoyed by generations to come. The top 10 action areas to be implemented in this cycle are (in no particular order):
- Preserve and enhance connectivity of ecosystems in the Valley/Explore the co-benefits of connecting with the Cootes to the Escarpment natural areas strategy (HCA)
- Preserve the escarpment and rural countryside, including selected vistas (non-HCA)
- Protect rare, endangered and species at risk in the Valley area (HCA)
- Combat the impact of invasive and nuisance species within the Valley (HCA)
- Protect and enhance the health of streams, watercourses, and waterfalls (HCA)
- Maintain and protect local architectural and natural heritage (non-HCA)
- Promote green business practices within the community (non-HCA)
- Develop farmer-generated mechanisms to develop public support for agriculture/Increase awareness of the importance of local agriculture as both an activity and a Lifestyle/Support the promotion of locally grown and processed crops in close proximity to residents (non-HCA)
- Support the implementation of the City of Hamilton's 'special character' roads through the Valley (non-HCA)
- Develop a Valley-wide sustainable tourism business plan and marketing strategy to promote eco, cultural, culinary, and recreational tourism (non-HCA)
* With a Climate Change action item being integrated into each SD work plan
* The following actions being integrated where applicable:
- Encourage green development
- Encourage development to utilize alternative power supplies (e.g. wind, solar)
To see these work plans click on: Top 10 Action Plans below
How you can help:
- Spread the word about the Vision by telling your friends, family and neighbours!
- Check our project website for updates about public open houses and other events
- Join our community blog and give us your feedback: http://dundasvalley.blogspot.ca/
- Let us know what you think - take our survey
- Contact the Project Manager (contact information below) to get more information or to find out how you can participate.
Resources and Links
- Dundas Valley 50-Year Vision and Strategy Document
- Dundas Valley 50-Year Vision and Strategy Appendices
- Implementation Strategy Cycle 1
- Top 10 Action Plans
- Dundas Valley Conservation Area
- Cootes to the Escarpment Park System
- Ontario Trillium Foundation
- Hamilton Conservation Foundation
- Dundas Valley Historical Society
- Dundas in Transition
- Manorun Organic Farm
- Giants Rib Discovery Centre