If you regularly drive along the west-end of Winston Road rather than walking it, you might just be missing out on one of Grimsby’s hidden natural gems. The award-winning Grimsby Wetlands, also known as the “Biggar Lagoons” is a great place for bird-watchers or those looking to get away from the hustle-and-bustle of daily life.
Originally a waste treatment area for many decades, when the facility was decommissioned in the early 2000’s it was proposed to drain the lagoons and leave the area as an open field. Through the hard work and determination of the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club and the Town, the area was carefully transformed into a strategically placed natural wetland. A case of “un-development” if you will.
The following article written by Bruce Mackenzie, local resident and recent winner of a Public Service award for his endless environmental work, talks about the history and process that went into transforming this area into what it is today.
It is interesting to note that Mr. Mackenzie refers to the area as being part of the “Fifty Point Complex”. Although Fifty Point Conservation is further to the west, there is largely uninterrupted open space between it and the Grimsby Wetlands.
However, the Region and Town Planning Staff recently suggested that a large field at Kelson and Winston, further west of the Wetlands be put forth for settlement area expansion. Council rejected this and told the Region, in no uncertain terms, that they do not want to see expansion/development into this area. The decision is now in the hands of the Region who hopefully listens to the Town’s request. You can read more about that at this link here.
If you haven’t visited the Grimsby Wetlands and want to see them for yourself, they are located at 624 Winston Road. There is no immediate parking, but you can park at the Oakes Road Dog Park and follow the Waterfront Trail 250m west along Winston to the Wetlands entrance.
For more information about the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club, please visit their website at this link here.