Image Credit: Drone’s Eye Photography via Hamilton Naturalists’ Club

The Hamilton Naturalists’ Club (HNC) has won a 2023 “Brownie Award” for its work at the Grimsby Wetlands aka The Biggar Lagoon. Awarded by the Canadian Brownfields Network (CBN) under the category of “Reinvest: Financing, Risk Management and Partnerships”, the CBN has recognized the turnaround of these once contaminated sewage treatment lands into an important ecological system within Grimsby and Niagara. This was the first time a “Brownie” award has been given to a volunteer group.

Image Credit: Mike Veltri via Hamilton Naturalists’ Club

These wetlands are a case where “redevelopment” means conservation and not condos, bringing nature back to lands rather than just paving over what is left of it. The wetlands now include part of the Waterfront Trail, a wildlife observation tower, interpretative signage, bird nesting structures and a research station.

Image Credit: Bill Davis via Hamilton Naturalists’ Club

Accepting the award on behalf of the HNC were Grimsby’s own Bruce and Laurie Mackenzie. Bruce has served as the project coordinator at the wetlands and sees the prize as the “penultimate award for the project”. Bruce and other volunteer members of the HNC have put 21 years into returning the lands back to the natural state they are today.

Image Credit: Canadian Brownfields Network

A well-deserved tip of the hat goes to the Mackenzies and all the members of the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club for their work and award. Special mention should also go to the Town, NPCA, Region of Niagara, DND and other agencies and groups who assisted with the redevelopment.

The Grimsby Wetlands show just what is possible along our west-end Greenbelt-protected waterfront and could serve as a blue print for the radio tower lands in the future, despite the development dreams of land speculators.

The wetlands are open year-round and located at 624 Winston Road. You can access more about the area at this Google link: