Cave Springs Enhancement Project

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Photo of Cave Springs with tulip leaf overlay for informing

Welcome to the NPCA's Get Involved portal!

An exciting project is underway to enhance access to the Cave Springs Conservation Area, while maintaining important natural and cultural aspects of the site. Please note that Cave Springs Conservation Area will be closed Wednesday, July 20 and Thursday, July 21.

In the past few years, the NPCA has seen a significant increase in visitors and a greater demand for access to its properties, including Cave Springs. This conservation area is particularly popular because it is nestled into the Niagara Escarpment, a critical regional geological feature that maintains local plant and animal biodiversity. The area also provides spectacular views of Lake Ontario and supports excellent passive recreation opportunities like hiking and birdwatching. Access to this area is by the Bruce Trail only. There are no parking or visitor amenities leading to unauthorized access and parking and unsafe use of the site.

In 2016, a Cave Springs Conservation Area management plan was drafted after an extensive public engagement exercise. Building on this work, a major deliverable of this new project is to review and update this management plan to ensure it is aligned with the NPCA’s strategic plan and other relevant policies. Please refer to the FAQs for details on past engagement activities, the key issues that arose, and how this project will address them.

The Cave Springs Enhancement Project will benefit the community for present and future generations by:

  • protecting and highlighting the site's ecological and cultural significance
  • providing important access to greenspace and opportunities for people to connect with nature, and
  • showcasing the NPCA’s commitment to sustainable practices

The result of this project will include:

  1. A completed Cave Springs Management Plan
  2. Conservation Area enhancement (new parking area and improved accessible trail)
  3. New trail system and wayfinding
  4. New educational signage
  5. Demolition of the Margaret Reed house and installation of interpretive features (see FAQs for details)

ABOUT THIS PAGE:

This portal will house important documents that all are welcome to review, a project timeline which outlines the steps of this process, and tools for providing feedback.

Through this Get Involved NPCA portal, our goal is to ensure the watershed community remains informed and given opportunities to provide their feedback and get involved. With the enhancement work underway, we welcome you to learn more about the updates that will be made to this cherished conservation area and stay tuned on potential closures and future project milestones.

HOW TO GET INVOLVED:

1. Learn about Cave Springs Conservation Area and the enhancement project by reviewing the documents available under Important Links and Documents.
2. Leave a comment or submit your feedback using the Guestbook. This feedback will be considered by staff throughout the project.
3. Ask us a question through the 'Q&A' tool available below.

Welcome to the NPCA's Get Involved portal!

An exciting project is underway to enhance access to the Cave Springs Conservation Area, while maintaining important natural and cultural aspects of the site. Please note that Cave Springs Conservation Area will be closed Wednesday, July 20 and Thursday, July 21.

In the past few years, the NPCA has seen a significant increase in visitors and a greater demand for access to its properties, including Cave Springs. This conservation area is particularly popular because it is nestled into the Niagara Escarpment, a critical regional geological feature that maintains local plant and animal biodiversity. The area also provides spectacular views of Lake Ontario and supports excellent passive recreation opportunities like hiking and birdwatching. Access to this area is by the Bruce Trail only. There are no parking or visitor amenities leading to unauthorized access and parking and unsafe use of the site.

In 2016, a Cave Springs Conservation Area management plan was drafted after an extensive public engagement exercise. Building on this work, a major deliverable of this new project is to review and update this management plan to ensure it is aligned with the NPCA’s strategic plan and other relevant policies. Please refer to the FAQs for details on past engagement activities, the key issues that arose, and how this project will address them.

The Cave Springs Enhancement Project will benefit the community for present and future generations by:

  • protecting and highlighting the site's ecological and cultural significance
  • providing important access to greenspace and opportunities for people to connect with nature, and
  • showcasing the NPCA’s commitment to sustainable practices

The result of this project will include:

  1. A completed Cave Springs Management Plan
  2. Conservation Area enhancement (new parking area and improved accessible trail)
  3. New trail system and wayfinding
  4. New educational signage
  5. Demolition of the Margaret Reed house and installation of interpretive features (see FAQs for details)

ABOUT THIS PAGE:

This portal will house important documents that all are welcome to review, a project timeline which outlines the steps of this process, and tools for providing feedback.

Through this Get Involved NPCA portal, our goal is to ensure the watershed community remains informed and given opportunities to provide their feedback and get involved. With the enhancement work underway, we welcome you to learn more about the updates that will be made to this cherished conservation area and stay tuned on potential closures and future project milestones.

HOW TO GET INVOLVED:

1. Learn about Cave Springs Conservation Area and the enhancement project by reviewing the documents available under Important Links and Documents.
2. Leave a comment or submit your feedback using the Guestbook. This feedback will be considered by staff throughout the project.
3. Ask us a question through the 'Q&A' tool available below.

Post a comment!

Thank you for taking the time to sign our guestbook with your comment! Your feedback will be reviewed and taken into consideration by the staff working on this project. 

Please note that this tool is anonymous and therefore we will not be responding directly to your comment. Should you wish to ask a question and receive a response from staff, kindly use the Q&A tool.

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I just took my family to Cave Spring conservation area and was absolutely heartbroken at what I found. A large parking lot has now replaced the entire open green space. I had to stop my car to cry. This area used to be so gorgeous. It was our favourite spot. We would have a picnic and kick a ball with our boys. We have been taking them there since they were born. The apple tree, which is now surrounded by cement, has had its roots cut into so savagely that I wonder how it will survive. It perfectly depicts exactly what has happened here-development at the expense of nature. So much beauty has been stripped from this site. The area behind, which was previously tall grasses is now a pile of dirt and rubble. I don’t know if I have the words to describe how completely devastating it was to see this area forever changed. I took start of school pictures of my boys in front of the apple tree and barn every year and that area is just destroyed. I am appalled that this is what a ‘conservation authority’ thinks is acceptable. I don’t know if I can ever go back to this spot again. It looks like charging for 16 parking spaces is more important than conserving the beauty of nature.

Brittanjk 3 months ago

Looking forward to opening. As an MNR Conservation Authority program staff (30 + years ago) was familiar with the property.

Peter Rumble 4 months ago

Great initiative. I worked with NPCA 30 years ago (Craig Leuty) and remember Margaret Reed. I've hiked through area a number of times on the Bruce Trail since I retired from Ministry of Natural Resouces

Peter Rumble 5 months ago

Please note that Cave Springs Conservation Area will be closed Wednesday, July 20 and Thursday, July 21.

Erika Navarro 5 months ago

Hello! Thanks for asking your question regarding the caves. There are a number of caves located at Cave Springs, some of which are found between large talus features, and others that were previously, accidentally collapsed during failed expansion efforts in the mid-1900s by local farmers and landowners.

There are old late 1800s-mid-1900s initials or lettering carved into the Western portion of the escarpment face on the conservation area property. The meaning of these initials and their author remain unknown, though studied by local historians over the course of many decades. The underground lake is known only in written histories of local landowners and visitors to lands above the escarpment. There are no modern access points or confirmations of this feature, rather it remains a part of local legend and lore.

There are several local publications about Cave Springs, dating to the 1950’s. These can be accessed through the Lincoln Public Library: https://lincoln.niagaraevergreen.ca/eg/opac/results?query=cave+springs&qtype=keyword&locg=1
https://lppl.ca/localhistory/

Please note this commenting widget does not allow for a direct response. Should you have follow up questions, kindly use the Q&A tool!

Erika Navarro 5 months ago

Are there caves. Are there old writings there? How can one see the undeground lake. Do you have material that you could send me all about that place.

i do not have a screen name 5 months ago
Page last updated: 23 Aug 2022, 02:54 PM