Kerncliff Park Cleanup and Garlic Mustard Pull
DateMay 14th, 2022 9:00AM - 12:00PM
BackgroundKerncliff Park is located in Burlington, ON and is the former site of the Nelson Quarry. The site is characterized by a mixture of older mixed deciduous forest growth and wetlands, with walkways directly connecting to the Bruce Trail and the rest of the Niagara Escarpment. The park is situated in the headwaters of Hager Creek and falls within the EcoPark System Lands protecting natural lands between the Niagara Escarpment and Cootes Paradise. It is recognized as a part of the Waterdown-Sassafras Woods Heritage Lands. While there does not exist any field investigations specific to Kerncliff Park, the valleylands and woodlands associated with Upper Hager Creek are identified as significant for floral and faunal diversity and geology.
Urban development in adjacent lands has increased stresses on the natural areas in the form of point and nonpoint source pollution, erosion, invasive species encroachment, and loss of rare species habitat. Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica), and dog-strangling vine (Vincetoxicum rossicum) are particularly prevalent within Kerncliff Park and are easily spread through the trail system.
Field and Stream Rescue Team has partnered with Friends of Kerncliff for many decades in organizing regular spring and fall cleanups, engaging and encouraging users to participate in the rehabilitation and maintenance of the area. Invasive species mapping was completed in 2017 characterizing the spread of buckthorn and garlic mustard through the trail system and removal efforts were organized between 2017-2019. Prescriptive treatment has not occurred since the beginning of the pandemic.
Waterdown-Sassafras Woods Heritage Lands Management Plan Final Report (2016). Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System
Upper Hager Creek Escarpment to Four Seasons Drive Class Environmental Assessment (EA) City of Burlington (2015). Amec Foster Wheeler Environment & Infrastructure
Action Items FSRT is resuming annual cleanup efforts in partnership with Friends of Kerncliff to engage the local community in efforts to restore and maintain the natural areas within the park. Regular litter cleanup on trail systems will minimize pollution entering wetlands and forests.
Invasive species pulls targeting garlic mustard at the trailhead area and along the leading edge will prevent the invasive species from spreading into uncolonized areas that are still predominantly characterized by native vegetation and protect the native seedbank.
Figure (above): Invasive species mapping completed in 2017. Presence of buckthorn (green circles), garlic mustard (yellow circles), and dog-strangling vine (purple) are mapped. Placeholder.
Parking access is off Kerns Rd at 2198 Kerns Rd, Burlington ON L7P 1P8. Staging area is at the pavilion north of the end of the parking lot. Google Earth project map can be found here.
Project DetailsField and Stream Rescue Team will be partnering with Friends of Kerncliff to complete garbage clean-up within the park and along the trailways.
Invasive species removal will be conducted at the trailhead and within the trails system, targeting garlic mustard through manual pulling. We are encouraging community members to participate in this hands-on experience to learn more about invasive species identification, removal, and disposal practices to minimize the spread of this damaging species.
FSRT will be providing garbage and yard bags for disposal. Disposable gloves will be available but we encourage you to bring your own. Please wear proper footwear and protect yourself against ticks - closed-toed shoes and long socks. Bring a reusable water bottle and thermos for coffee!
Social Media LinksFriends of Kerncliff facebook group