The Grass Lake Wetlands are a significant natural site on the Kashagawigamog chain of lakes. It is defined by rare, untouched shoreline and large, vital wetlands that are important habitat for a wide range of species – including fish and turtles – many of which are diminishing in number, and one of which – the Blanding’s Turtle – is classified by the Ontario government as a “threatened species.”
Grass Lake is significant for its location in the Village of Haliburton Urban Area, notably as the lowest catchment point for all the contaminated runoff from nearby commercial businesses, the roads and highways that run too close to its perimeter, the village landfill, the industrial park, and the sanitary sewage plant. Functioning as filters, the wetlands provide a service to human communities that is irreplaceable. Grass Lake is already in distress and if a balance between the environment and development is not restored then complete ecological collapse is on the horizon.
The lake is grossly over capacity at 71 lots (44 is capacity) and with the proposed addition of 88 condo units, will in a single stroke double the number of residences and doom this lake. It’s a tragedy in the making unless concerned people stand up for the environment and demand environmentally sound planning decisions.
The Friends of the Grass Lake is a group dedicated to working with the Grass Lake watershed communities to permanently protect the wetlands.
To achieve these goals, all proposals for development of the thin ribbon of property adjacent to the wetlands must be recognized for the unacceptable risks they pose to the full functioning of the wetlands. The highest and best uses of this site are its current and priceless functions of wildlife habitat, absorbing and filtering contaminated runoff from surrounding human habitation, cleaning and recharging the aquifers and discharging runoff from the spring thaw and torrential rain events.
When alternative land better suited for commercial and residential uses exist, such proposals appear particularly short sighted and one-sided.
And consider, too, that the approval of the owner’s plans for new lots on a lake at overcapacity will set a precedent for development in Haliburton County that will forever affect the character of our communities, the ecological integrity of our lakes and wetlands and the quality and quantity of water we all depend on.
These goals may require that The Friends engage environmental, planning and legal assistance.
Want to learn more? Email [email protected]
to be added to The Friends of Grass Lake list serve.
DONATING to Friends of Grass Lake
Please note: If you are making an e-Transfer, we ask that you include your contact information (name, tel. and email address or mailing address) in the area provided for a message. We’d like to know who you are!