by Tineke Kuiper
Are you concerned about our natural heritage in Mississippi Mills?
The landscape is certainly not what it was 200 years ago, when settlers first started to arrive here and began homesteading. Since then many of the original forests were lost, but some of the areas not suitable for farming are now growing back. Some areas were never farmed. With new concerns such as climate change on the horizon, it is important that we tread carefully and make sure that future rural development is sustainable. If we take care of nature, we will be able to continue to reap the benefits that nature offers us. While we certainly cannot set the clock back to the early 1800’s, we can create a well-functioning facsimile, a Natural Heritage System (NHS), which, although not as extensive as before, should serve us and the wildlife around us well into the future. In fact, the Province as of April 30, 2014 has made it obligatory for municipalities in our region to identify an NHS.
An NHS — which is made up of core natural areas that are linked together ecologically, mainly through rivers and creeks — should help the municipality in making appropriate decisions for sustainable development. Since the components of an NHS work together as a system (the whole is more than the sum of its parts), an NHS is more robust and resilient to change. It benefits both us and the wildlife that lives within it.
On Tuesday May 20th at 6:30pm, at the municipal building on the Old Perth Road, Tineke Kuiper and other members of the Natural Heritage Design Committee of the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists will be unveiling the recently completed Concept Plan for a Natural Heritage System for Mississippi Mills. In a short presentation, she will walk Council through the process involved in designing a Natural Heritage System. This work is also supported by the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust, and is important for both our Rural and Urban community, as the NHS will include both. Extensive mapping for this project was provided by the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority. Once the Concept is approved, there will be extensive public consultation.
Please come and show your support for this important milestone.