Today, Mayor Matt Brown, joined by members of Parliament, members of Council, and the London Heritage Council, celebrated the re-opening of the Westminster Ponds/Pond Mills Environmentally Significant Area (ESA) trail with a ribbon cutting and ceremonial tree planting during the annual Trails Open London event.
The restoration project, which began winter of 2017, included the addition of an accessible trail and boardwalk and involved extensive, ecological restoration to remove an infestation of buckthorn and standing dead ash trees.
Funding for the implementation of the accessible trails was generously awarded through the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure grant.
"Working together to ensure natural gems likes this one are accessible to all is a priority in our community," said Mayor Matt Brown. "Protecting places like Westminster Ponds is key to achieving our goal to be one of the greenest cities in Canada."
The upgraded accessible features make it easier for all Londoners to enjoy the Westminster/Pond Mills ESA trail system and supports the City’s strategic focus of investing in programs and infrastructure to make London more accessible, and, working together to protect all aspects of our natural environment including woodlands, wetlands, river and watercourses, and air quality as our city grows. The project was completed within the scope of the Conservation Master Plan.
At approximately 200 hectares, Westminster Ponds / Pond Mills ESA is the largest publicly-owned ESA in London. The ESA is significant for its size and for its great variety of natural habitats within the boundaries of a major urban centre. The site is also designated as a Provincially Significant Wetland.
"I'm proud that the Federal Government has invested in this important project through the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program. This investment will allow Londoners to enjoy the natural heritage that our city has to offer. This is another example of collaboration between the Government of Canada and the City of London for the benefit of our community."
- Peter Fragiskatos, Member of Parliament, London North Centre