The Friends of One Mile Creek (FOMC) annual activity report and financial statements for the year ended March 31, 2021, were approved by the directors and by a vote of Stewards on May 31, 2021.
Despite the disruption of the global pandemic that prevented any indoor meetings in 2020, Friends of One Mile Creek (FOMC) was able to implement its major riparian project on Town land at the corner of King and John streets in October 2020. Thanks to the hard and steady work of 50 volunteers – working in two groups of 25 because of the pandemic – the planting and mulching of 450 native trees and shrubs will help restore the tree canopy that has been devastated by Emerald Ash Borer. We linked to our website with a short-form URL of trees4notl.ca on the restoration signage provided by the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority.
After two successful public meetings in 2019, we were disappointed to not be able to meet in 2020. At this point, we hope that it may be possible to convene a meeting in fall 2021.
Maintenance of the pollinator garden at King & John, as well as the native plantings at the William St. Park, was performed by a few volunteers.
Our next project is expected to be a communications effort to homeowners in the vicinity of One Mile Creek, perhaps with a “door hanger” handout, to encourage contact by people interested in stewardship booklets and other resources.
Friends of One Mile Creek is a volunteer group. Landowners abutting One Mile Creek and other interested individuals in Niagara on the Lake formed 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. We incorporated as a federally registered not-for-profit corporation in April 2019 with three directors: Michael Fox, Klara Young-Chin and Gerry Beneteau. There are two classes of membership:
- Friends People register online at no cost and agree to receive email updates. Count: 96 as of March 31, 2021 (85 in 2020; 49 in 2019).
- Stewards Appointed by the board and eligible to vote. The three directors are the current three stewards.
We also continue to seek 2 or 3 more people to become Stewards of FOMC — board members to help with planning and organization.
March 31 as the annual reporting yearend. As of March 31, 2021, net current assets of $1,135.85 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 by e-transfer to [email protected] or by 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 absence of public meetings, the FOMC website provided an accessible resource. According to Google Analytics, in the 12-month period to March 31, 2021, there were 1,908 users in 2,265 sessions and 5,349 page views. Beyond the home page, top page views were trees-4-NOTL (375 page views), niagara-2018-watershed-report (332), about-one-mile-creek (223) and guide-to-woodland-plants-in-niagara-peninsula-forests (165).
The Niagara Region has been working for several years on a new Official Plan that includes key components to protect natural heritage. There will be new policies and mapping for what planners call the region’s Natural Environment Systems made up of the natural heritage system and the water resource system.
As part of a group of conservation-focused groups called the Biodiversity and Climate Action Niagara (BCAN) collective, FOMC supported a proposal in November 2020 for option 3C of a set of options developed by the region’s staff and consultants. In March 2021, the BCAN group recommended to the regional council and region’s mayors that the region ask the province for a delay in the Official Plan process because of the limitations on public consultation in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.
In September 2020 we endorsed the proposal for Ramsar designation of the Niagara River, under the 1971 Ramsar Convention, as a wetland of international importance. The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance – called the Ramsar Convention because it was signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971 – is a voluntary treaty, committed to encouraging education and sustainability by acknowledging globally important wetlands through designation.
This report and the March 31, 2021, financial statements were approved by the Directors and by a vote of Stewards on May 31, 2021.