Nine projects pinned for Fletcher’s Creek enhancement
Sheridan, in collaboration with urban design and planning consultant Urban Strategies, presented plans for the first phase of the Fletcher’s Creek Enhancement Strategy in November.
Unveiled at an open house at the Davis Campus, the event centred around nine priority projects that will transform the habitat and enhance the community’s interaction with the Fletcher’s Valley Natural Heritage Area. Part of the Credit River Watershed, the area forms an important part of Brampton’s open space network.
The Fletcher’s Valley Natural Heritage Enhancement Strategy sets a vision for this area, outlining a series of actionable projects and a phasing strategy aimed at natural heritage management that will make the pond and valley lands more accessible. Ultimately, Fletcher’s Creek will be better able to contribute to community and campus life with the addition of various recreation, trail and learning opportunities.
“Fletcher's Creek and the Davis Pond landscape have been defining features of Sheridan’s Davis Campus and will continue to be a significant aspect of its physical identity. The continued protection, restoration, and enhancement of the natural heritage of our campuses is a priority. As an integral part of Sheridan's Campus Master Plan, the Fletcher’s Creek Enhancement Strategy underscores our commitment to sustainability and the enhancement of our campus environment,” said Daryush Esmaili, Associate Vice President and Chief Facilities and Sustainability Officer.In April 2023, a collective of Sheridan staff, students and community members met with planners, urban designers, landscape architects, ecologists and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation to share ideas and thoughts as part of Sheridan’s Davis Campus Master Plan for a more detailed enhancement and management strategy of the Fletcher’s Creek Natural Heritage Area. From this session, 34 projects were identified ranging in scale from small outdoor seating places and interpretive opportunities to larger-scale trail systems and invasive species management plans.
Following that consultation process, Urban Strategies took the lead in developing project plans, prioritizing nine key initiatives crucial to the successful implementation of the overall enhancement strategy. These priority projects, each designed to contribute to the transformation of the Fletcher's Creek area, embody a diverse range of enhancements aimed at fostering environmental sustainability, community engagement, and aesthetic appeal.
Highlights of the Nine Priority Projects include:
- Amphitheatre: The west side valley slopes adjacent to the Davis Pond have been earmarked for the integration of a stepped amphitheater. Envisioned as a permanent landscape feature, the amphitheater will offer barrier-free access to and from the valley areas, serving as an inviting space complete with a focal stage, stepped seating, look-out areas, lighting, and slope stabilization planting.
- East Side Trail: A multi-use path is slated for creation along the eastern campus side of the pond, facilitating active recreational transportation. This path will seamlessly connect to adjacent green spaces, the residential community, and the broader City of Brampton trail network.
- West Side Trail: A corresponding multi-use path will grace the western campus side of the pond, establishing a loop around the water feature when connected to the eastern path.
- Pond Enhancements: The existing pond is earmarked for a comprehensive retrofit, transforming it into a fully functional stormwater management facility.
- Artificial Turtle Nesting Habitats: As an essential environmental enhancement, designated turtle nesting areas will be created, promoting the well-being of the local Snapping Turtle (a species of special concern) and Painted Turtle populations.
- Outdoor Learning Enclosure: A purposeful Staging Area is planned for use by students and faculty of Sheridan College, providing an outdoor space conducive to learning and collaboration.
- Invasive Species Management: A proactive and adaptive approach will be implemented to significantly decrease invasive species within the Fletcher’s Creek valley, preserving the ecological balance of the area.
- Stormwater Management: A comprehensive functional stormwater management design is a pivotal component of the campus redevelopment master plan, ensuring sustainable water practices align with the overall vision.
- Emergency Response: Projects under this category include the design of trails to accommodate emergency servicing vehicles, the creation of a second vehicle access point, the installation of emergency beacons, lighting, Wi-Fi hotspots, and the potential incorporation of security cameras. These initiatives collectively contribute to enhancing the safety and responsiveness of emergency services within the Fletcher's Creek area.
The initiative team is currently focusing on organizing the sequence for implementing the proposed projects.
The tentative timeline could see the work beginning in the summer of 2024, with an estimated initial phase duration of around ten years, contingent on funding availability.
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