This map comes out of a Spring of committing to build our knowledge of the Spencer Creek Watershed. We decided to create this map, because there isn’t a useful and current guide to this watershed, and within a watershed all places and ecosystems are profoundly interconnected. Understanding the wild spaces we love in the conext of the whole system of which it is a part is a necessary step towards allying ourselves with the health and healing of the land.
It’s exciting to share our adventures with you in visual form, and it goes along with our article Exploring the Spencer Creek: Beverly Swamp. Print it up and post it around your neighbourhood if you call the Spencer Creek watershed your home!
(Text of the map in copy-able format below)
Map of the Spencer Creek Watershed
“To know the story of our watershed is the first step in allying ourselves with the health and healing of the land.”
-The headwaters of the Spencer Creek are up here, in the Paris-Galt Moraine. A moraine looks like a landscape of rolling, rocky hills, and they are important recharge areas for groundwater.
-The Beverly Swamp: Water moves slowly through the swamp, being filtered and cleaned as it goes. This is one of the only remaining places to see the swamp forest ecosystem characteristic of this region.
-This line shows the height-of-the-land around the watershed. Any drop of rain that falls within this area will eventually enter the Spencer Creek.
-The Westover Drumlin Field: Just after crossing 6th Concession, the Lafarge Trail climbs its first drumlin. From the top of this one, you can see several other drumlins all pointed North-West: a landscape of sleeping giants.
-The Lafarge Trail: Although the company Lafarge is basically the opposite of nature, this trail named after it takes you through Christie Conservation area, pieces of the Beverly Swamp, and over several drumlins. It follows Middletown Rd out of Dundas. Makes a great bike route.
-The Spencer GorgeL Here’s where the Main and East Branches of the Spencer Creek pour over the Escarpment as Webster’s and Tew’s falls. Over milennia, the rush of their waters has carved a deep gorge into Dundas.
-The Town of Dundas: Loss of forest upstream led to droughts in Flamborough and flooding in Dundas. This was used to justify many large projects to manage the creek’s flow over the last fifty years, such as canals and the two reservoirs. Here, the Spencer Creek Trail follows the creek through golf courses, factories and residential neighbourhoods.
-The Desjardins Canal: Completed in 1837, this massive project lead to Cootes Paradise being dredged several times. This canal was a major factor in the sharp reduction of marsh vegetation in cootes. A trail accessible from Cootes Drive leads to where the Desjardins Canal and the Spencer Creek merge and flow into Cootes.
-The Dundas Valley: Surrounding stretches of Spring and Sulphur Creeks, the Dundas Valley is the largest area of intact forest in the Spencer Creek Watershed. It is threatened on all sides by development pressure, with the lawns of large, newly built homes cutting further into the forest each year.
-Cootes Paradise, Borer’s Creek, Borer’s Falls, Flamboro Creek, Fletcher Creek, Valens Reservoir, Christie Reservoir, Spring Creek, Sulphur Creek, Ancaster Creek, Niagara Escarpment