Before: September 22, 2011
The Scanlon Creek Restoration Project is located at Scanlon Creek Conservation Area in the municipality of Bradford West Gwillimbury. Scanlon Creek is the flagship conservation area of LSRCA, acting as one of the primary focal points for public use, education, and appreciation of the natural environment in the Lake Simcoe watershed. Each year there are thousands of recreational visits to Scanlon Creek by the community. Additionally, each year thousands of school-aged children connect with the outdoors through curriculum-based environmental education provided by LSRCA staff.
In the early 1970s the Conservation Authority created an on-line reservoir to contribute to recreational and aesthetic values in the conservation area. Unfortunately, the reservoir had unanticipated impacts on wildlife. Further, water quality in the reservoir had declined consistently over the years as a result of non-sustainable agricultural practices upstream (that have now ceased). As a result, this reservoir has been closed to swimming since 2003.
The Scanlon Creek Restoration Project puts into action the recommendations provided in the Scanlon Creek Conservation Area Management Plan and subsequent Environmental Assessment. The assessment recommended the reservoir be de-commissioned and a natural creek and wetland be restored to encourage local flora and fauna to thrive. Once completed the restored natural channel and adjacent wetland will provide habitat for more diverse wildlife populations .
Local trail users in Scanlon Creek Conservation Area will experience the natural wetland through the creation of boardwalks, viewing platforms and interpretive signage that will connect local residents to wetland stewardship and education programs.
- Resolve the issue of the degraded on-line reservoir by decommissioning the concrete dam
- Re-establish a free-flowing Scanlon Creek, bringing it back to it’s natural state, connecting to Lake Simcoe and beyond
- Re-establish traditional spawning runs of white sucker and northern pike throughout the Scanlon Creek subwatershed
- Increase the value of this water feature for breeding and migratory waterfowl
- Provide more educational and stewardship opportunities by establishing a demonstration site for reservoir decommissioning
The Scanlon Creek Restoration Project is executed in 3 phases to reduce both cost and short-term stress on the environment.
Phase One: Reservoir Draw Down