How will the parking area be enhanced?

    A parking area that will accommodate more vehicles will be created on-site. This will feature various Low Impact Development elements including a raingarden and bioretention area.

    The project will include a bioswale that will be sodded, providing infiltration of water so it can percolate through the soil; the grass will be mown. A wild garden will be home to local plant life, which will be sourced and evaluated by NPCA staff to ensure it meets approved standards.

    Will any of the new trails be accessible?

    The current trails at the base of the escarpment will be enhanced for accessibility.

    How does this project support the NPCA Strategic Plan?

    This project supports several strategic goals related to healthy and climate resilient watersheds (1.3, 1.4), sustainable growth (2.3), connecting people to nature (3.1, 3.2, 3.3), partner of choice (4.1, 4.3), organizational excellence (5.4), and financial sustainability (6.3) as well as changes within the recent Conservation Authorities Act

    This project will help connect people to nature through creating equitable access to greenspace for the health and well-being of people. It will improve the visitor experience through increasing parking and enhancing wayfinding and accessibility.

    This project is necessary to address the following issues:

    • support the NPCA’s strategic plan and other relevant updated policies and documents (e.g., Niagara Escarpment Plan).
    • unsafe and illegal parking along road and ongoing vandalism.

    What types of signage will be installed?

    Interpretive signs will be developed and installed to share information about the site’s natural and cultural heritage (i.e., Niagara Escarpment, Bruce Trail, UNESCO Biosphere designation, recognition of Indigenous culture).

    Wayfinding signage will be added to enhance passive recreation and prevent people from impacting sensitive areas.

    What Low Impact Development elements will the parking area feature?

    There are many Low Impact Development techniques to manage stormwater to achieve the goals of mitigating downstream flooding, avoiding degrading the quality of the stormwater runoff, and promoting infiltration to maintain a site’s water balance.

    In the instance of the proposed parking lot, the NPCA will implement biological Low Impact Development (LID) stormwater management techniques to achieve all these goals while still providing a durable asphalt parking surface that is easily traversed by our guests with mobility issues. (Accessibility is a key feature and requirement for our Fed Dev Grant.)

    All the stormwater runoff from the parking lot will be directed through depressed curb areas and flow across a grassed buffer strip and into an enhanced swale. The grassed buffer strip will filter stormwater from the parking lot, and the improved swale’s design will allow stormwater infiltration into the ground. The stormwater not infiltrated will then flow through the enhanced swale and into a rain garden. The rain garden has been carefully designed with native plants (such as Black-Eyed Susan, Purple Coneflower, and Common Ninebark) whose beauty is only surpassed by their ability to absorb, filter, and transpire stormwater runoff. The rain garden has been sized to provide an additional opportunity to infiltrate stormwater runoff into the ground. An overflow will be installed to prevent the facility from flooding during severe storm events. An interpretive sign will be installed to describe the LID features and functions. 

    Biological Low Impact Development techniques like the ones that are proposed are very robust and require little in the way of long-term maintenance.

    NPCA is currently working on other similar capital initiatives, and we are committed to adapting/demonstrating various LID techniques suitable to specific sites, including interpretive educational signage.