Landfill site conversion focus of group’s latest policy brief

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Landfill site conversion focus of group’s latest policy brief

Published on August 04 2010

Brock University’s Niagara Community Observatory (NCO), in partnership with the Niagara Region, today released its fourth policy brief, which outlines the success of the naturalization project at a former St. Catharines landfill site.

Entitled “Niagara’s Natural Park: The Restoration of the Glenridge Quarry into a Naturalization Site,” the eight-page document compiled by NCO’s Sophia Papastavrou, outlines the development of the site from landfill to public park, highlighting the significant biodiversity of flora and fauna now present, as well as the opportunity for environmental education and recreation.

“The Glenridge Naturalization site has become a valuable refuge for bees, an island in an increasingly urbanized environment,” noted Miriam Richards, associate professor, Biological Sciences at Brock, who with her research team has identified the return of as many as 125 species of bees to the area. “As their population grows, bees will likely move into the surrounding areas, helping to pollinate flower and vegetable gardens in the local area.”

Richards and David Smith, associate director, Waste Management Engineering, Niagara Region, provided significant background and expertise in the creation of the policy brief. To formally release the NCO brief, the two led a walkabout today at the Glenridge Quarry Naturalization Site. The tour included information about the extensive work involved in transforming the site, as well as a discussion of some of the animal life that has since returned.

“This initiative by the Region has provided a tremendous asset for the area, and Prof. Richards’s involvement in research shows how Brock can play an important role in working with community partners,” said David Siegel, director, Niagara Community Observatory. “I’m really pleased that the Observatory has been able to document this incredibly beneficial partnership.”

Smith said the success at the St. Catharines site has provided a blueprint for other former landfill sites in Niagara.

“The vision of the Glenridge Quarry Naturalization Site was to create a place where nature would flourish, sustain wildlife and provide habitat,” he said. “Following our success, we adopted the same practice of environmental restoration and stewardship at two recently closed landfill sites in Port Colborne and Wainfleet. These two sites are in the process of being ‘recycled’ into naturalization sites and will be opening to the public very shortly.”

Miriam Richards, associate professor, Biological Sciences

Miriam Richards, associate professor, Biological Sciences, examines a bee during the walking tour for the launch of the NCO's latest policy brief.