Filed under: Community Organizing, Development, Environment, Land, Ontario
At sunset, Sunday August 13th, a group of Niagara area citizens established a camp in defense of our Mother Earth on the site of Thundering Waters Forest in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.
The purpose of the camp is to prevent the ultimate destruction of Thundering Waters Forest and raise public awareness as to the threat being posed. The local land and water defenders are determined to ensure the 484 acres of unique wetlands, supporting woodlands, savannah and threatened species are preserved. A mega-development, ironically-called “Paradise in Niagara” is currently proposed for the land by an overseas developer, supported by local politicians and agencies. The team members are committed to a no-harm ethical framework as they are aware that the surrounding forest areas are delicate and should not be altered in any way due to human activity.
For more than 18 months, citizens have been actively advocating for the protection of this rich ecosystem that, because of unchecked development, has become exceedingly rare in Ontario. The Niagara area has already lost 90% of its wetlands and forests. We cannot afford to sacrifice more.
The defenders are concerned that politicians have not been truthful with the public; that they have hired lobbyists to convince the Province to pave over protected wetlands; that they have launched lawsuits to silence critics and that they are working behind the scenes with developers to get the project approved despite the strong opposition of citizens. The team fears that local officials are operating without concern for the devastating, long-term impact this development will have on the environment.
The group of young people, who began the sit-in at Thundering Waters Forest in Niagara Falls are thrilled with the support they have been receiving from Niagara citizens. Many citizens, representatives of local groups and some area politicians, have visited the site to learn more.
Representatives from the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), the Unitarian Congregation of Niagara, and Niagara’s Anti-Racism Coalition will be present over the weekend.
The team continues to wish welcome to members of the press and public to visit the site and engage with them in a discussion concerning the future of this invaluable ecosystem that is Thundering Waters Forest. See directions below.
The time for accountability is upon us; nature has very little left to give us. We have taken enough.
Directions to the Camp:
From the Queen Elizabeth Highway take the McLeod St exit (exit 27), go east on McLeod. In approximately 550 metres turn right on Dorchester Blvd. Follow Dorchester until it appears to end (Y in the road) and turn to the right, you will still be on Dorchester Road, continue on Dorchester across the railway tracks, about 75 metres after crossing the tracks you will see a trail going into the woods. It will be marked.