The Friends of One Mile Creek (FOMC) annual activity report and financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2020, were approved by the directors and by a vote of Stewards on May 28, 2020.
Landowners abutting One Mile Creek and other interested individuals in Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, formed the Friends of One Mile Creek (FOMC) in 2003 because of concerns regarding the condition of the creek and associated Lansdowne Pond. Our purpose is to collaborate with the community and relevant agencies to work efficiently toward restoring and revitalizing the water, wildlife and natural environment of the One Mile Creek watershed. Over the years, FOMC has held meetings and actively developed projects within the watershed in order to educate and inform the community. In 2018 the FOMC website was revitalized and email registration started.
Friends of One Mile Creek is a volunteer group. We incorporated as a federally registered not-for-profit corporation on April 4, 2019, with three directors: Michael Fox, Klara Young-Chin and Gerry Beneteau. Reasons for incorporating included protection of the FOMC identity, creation of legal entity to hold assets such as website content, demonstration of continuing commitment to objectives that launched FOMC, ability to accept online donations and potential to apply for funding from programs requiring a registered organization.
There are two classes of membership:
- Friends: People register online at no cost and agree to email updates. Count: 49 as of March 31, 2019; 85 as of March 31, 2020
- Stewards: Appointed by the board and eligible to vote. The three directors are the current three stewards.
The organizing resolutions established March 31 as the annual reporting yearend. FOMC can hold its annual meeting by electronic means.
As of March 31, 2020, net current assets of $1,255.77 were in bank accounts at Meridian Credit Union.
We welcome contributions to help cover expenses for public meetings and other activities. Donations may be sent:
- e-transfer to [email protected]
- cheque payable to Friends of One Mile Creek, PO Box 808, Niagara on the Lake, Ontario L0S 1J0.
We cannot issue tax receipts.
Regular public meetings with informative speakers are important to help advocate FOMC objectives and share information with the community. In the past year, we hosted two public meetings with free admission. The meetings were widely publicized and held in the Mori Nursery Room of the NOTL Community Centre:
- On June 19, 2019, environmental consultant Jocelyn Baker discussed how to build sustainable communities using the One Mile Creek watershed plan as an example. Also, Stuart McPherson, restoration lead at the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA), talked about current restoration opportunities. An ad was purchased in the NOTL Local to promote the meeting. 40 people attended including NPCA staff and NPCA CAO Gayle Wood.
- On October 23, 2019, local naturalist Owen Bjorgan talked about how important wetlands are in our ecosystem using local creeks as examples. Jocelyn Baker presented an update on plans for the Nigara River Corridor designation. 50 people attended including the Niagara Region chair and NPCA staff.
In March 2019, FOMC made representations to the Town regarding development proposals for a property at 373 Victoria Street that would involve reconfiguration of a portion of One Mile Creek floodplain.
In August 2019, FOMC wrote to the provincial Minister of Culture to express support for the Town’s process regarding protection of the environment in considering development proposals for the Rand Estate which includes One Mile Creek.
In October 2019, FOMC appeared before the NOTL Community in Blooms Committee to propose a project to restore the tree canopy in the One Mile Creek watershed using a pilot project for Town-owned land at the corner of King and John Streets.
In November 2019, FOMC participated in a meeting of the Niagara Environment Sector in Vineland organized by the Ministry of Natural Resources.
On July 6, 2019, we handed out native plant information and landowner stewardship booklets at the Niagara Horticulture Society garden tour at a property on William Street that backs on to One Mile Creek.
On Oct. 31, 2019, we agreed with Town staff to a formal maintenance plan for the pollinator garden at the corner of King and John streets that includes two major cleanups and ongoing trimming of grass at edge of mulched areas.
At the friendsofonemilecreek.org. website, articles and PDF downloads disseminate information about best practices to landowners. A Google Analytics report for the 8-month period Sept. 1, 2019, to April 30, 2020, shows 714 users averaging 1 minute 23 seconds and viewing 4,178 pages (average of 4.6 per session).
We maintain an opt-in email list.
Plans for 2020
FOMC will continue public education meetings. However, the spring 2020 session needed to be postponed because of COVID-19. Dr. William Rapley, who now is the NOTL representative on the NPCA board, will be the next speaker when we are able to convene meetings again.
Working closely with Town staff, Parks Canada, NOTL Hydro and the NPCA, we have developed a project for native tree and shrub planting on Town-owned land at the corner of King and John. FOMC applied to NPCA for a riparian project grant with $1,950 approved by the NPCA board on Oct. 16, 2019. A private donation from a local landowner of $750 was secured as a donation to the NOTL Tree Fund to be applied toward the project. Trees and shrubs have been ordered and we hope that circumstances will allow for planting in October 2020. This is intended to be the first of ongoing projects to help restore the tree canopy in Old Town NOTL that has been decimated by Emerald Ash Borer. There have been 214 ash trees removed in the One Mile Creek watershed, creating risks of flooding.
Call for Stewards
The directors invite interested FOMC members who have skills or perspective to apply to become Stewards of FOMC. Over the course of the year, Stewards are expected to participate in 4 one-hour planning meetings and to volunteer at least 2 hours for pollinator garden cleanup or other activities. If interested, please let us know by sending an email to [email protected].