Friends of Chilligo – Tree Planting Celebration – May 2nd

Saturday May 2 - 10 AM till Noon

Please join us for a celebratory spring time tree planting at the Chilligo Conservation Area.

The Grand River Conservation Authority’s recent purchase of 47 acres of land, increasing the size of the Chilligo Conservation Area to 121 acres, is certainly cause for celebration — and now as icing on the cake the GRCA’s forestry department has committed to a planting of 100 trees on the new land!

White spruce, white ash and sugar maple will be planted along the fence line to symbolically help revitalize this important greenspace. Our friends from Cambridge Stewardship will also join us with their resources and at least 50 trees and shrubs.

We need as many volunteers as possible to show up for a bit of fun and highly rewarding light work. Your support is important and will be much appreciated.

See map below for directions. Please consider walking, cycling or car pooling to the gathering. Bring appropriate clothing for the weather, boots and a shovel if you have one. Also, feel free to bring any indigenous plants that you would like to plant.

Thank you and we’ll see you soon!
from the Friends Of Chilligo

directions to may 2nd tree planting


In contacting the GRCA to request a tree planting in Chilligo this spring we had to come up with a “timeline” which we’re thinking may be of interest :

Spring-Summer 2005 Hespeler and Beaverdale residents begin to notice destructive ATV tracks in the natural areas along the Speed River (Chilligo Valley), including newly formed ATV trails running through Ellis Creek. Many trails become deep muddy areas inaccessible to walkers. Homemade signs are posted. People talk.

Aug., Sept. 2005 A couple of residents begin to make calls and discover that a large portion of the area is owned by the Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA.) Illegal trail usage by motorized vehicle increases.

Oct. 2005 – One of our members appears on the front page of The Record along with an article about the problem written by Bob Burtt.. Phone calls and e-mails increase. Illegal trail usage by motorized vehicle increases.

Dec. 2005 GRCA staff erect usage signs and mark out ownership with yellow paint. Illegal trail usage by motorized vehicles increases.

Summer – Autumn 2006 Many more phone calls, e-mails and calls to the Police are made. Local councilor Rick Cowsill, members of City Green and staff from The Region visit the area and voice disapproval of motorized vehicle use in the Chilligo area.

Spring-Summer 2007  Much hard work pays off, as local ATV riders get the message not to use the Chilligo Valley trails. A decrease in the illegal motorized vehicle use on the trails is seen, however no physical barriers are put into place to protect this area and ATV riders continue to illegally ride on nearby Ministry of Transportation and City of Cambridge land.

Oct. 2007 – In an effort to encourage long term protection for this valuable green space the website is launched and new members join the cause.  

Summer 2008 – The Grand River Conservation Authority  announce that they plan to purchase the Ministry of Transportation lands that abut their present Chilligo Conservation Area. Chilligo will grow 63 per cent, gaining 19 hectares or 47 acres, for a total area of 49 hectares (121 acres).

Spring 2009 — The possibilities are endless — What you’re reading here is part of a letter requesting that the GRCA do a tree planting to stake their claim on this green oasis in our city.

And we encourage you all to use the Chilligo Conservation Area as often as possible for whatever ecologically sustainable and respectful activities that your amazing and creative imagination comes up with.


We Must Remain Watchful

Yesterday around dusk, two four wheelers were seen entering Chilligo by one of our supporters.  A call was made and one of us went to check it out. It turns out they unloaded from pick up trucks on Blackbridge Rd. headed along Hespeler Rd. into Chilligo and then back again. They were confronted and reminded that what they were doing was illegal as well as being entirely unacceptable to the residents of the our neighbourhood.

These young men claimed that they were ” not from around here “.  This magnifies the bigger issue. The Region Of Waterloo must do something about those ugly rutted roads along the sides of Hespeler Rd.  As long as they are there, people will think that it’s OK use them and will be led into the greenspace causing more damage.

Twice in the past couple of years folks from the Regional Roads Operations met with members of the Friends Of Chilligo to hear our concerns and the Regional Police are certainly sympathetic. We need more of a commitment. What we ask for is Policing priority, restoration, tree planting and signs. It’s not all that complicated . This silliness has been allowed to go on for far too long. Step Up ! Please !