Cattails © Bruce Mackenzie
The award winning Grimsby Wetlands, a project of the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club, are found at the former Biggar Sewage Lagoons in the west end of Grimsby.
This 29 acre property is located on the south shore of Lake Ontario. 20 acres belong to the Region of Niagara and 9 acres belongs to the Department of National Defence (DND).
History of the Grimsby Wetlands
The sewage lagoons became redundant in 2000. As they were being decommissioned a small group of HNC members in 2002 approached the two land owners to leave the existing 6 acre lagoon on the Region’s property and the 9 acre lagoon on the DND lands. After 5 years of negotiations the property owners agreed to leave the lagoons in place and 4 additional smaller water bodies were created by 2006. The property was originally named after the Biggar Family that farmed the property from 1798 to 1960.
In 2014 the Town of Grimsby was envisioning a new waterfront trail. The HNC pointed out that the former lagoon property would be a good place to take a portion of the trail into the property so the public could take in the wetlands property. The HNC provided assistance with the design of the trail and the observation tower.
The trail into the wetlands was completed in 2016 and in 2017 the HNC received permission from Niagara Region to carry out habitat improvement projects and place observation platforms and nature interpretive signage on the 20 acres belonging to the Region. The HNC immediately started to introduce bird nesting structures and interpretive signage.
In 2018 the HNC carried out a large Phragmites grass removal project. After the Phragmites was removed Club members began to sow native plants in the areas where Phragmites had been growing.
The Wetlands Today
Today the six wetlands are quite different giving choice to wildlife and flora as to where to live and grow. Numerous articles on the project have been published in The Wood Duck.
The Hamilton Naturalists’ Club won the 2023 Brownie Award in the Reinvest category from the Canadian Brownfield Network for the Club’s work at the Grimsby Wetlands by turning a former brownfield into a natural area. In 2021, Bruce Mackenzie, the co-ordinator for the Grimsby Wetlands, won the J.R. Dymond Public Service Award from Ontario Nature for his work at the Grimsby Wetlands.
The Grimsby Wetlands is located at 624 Winston Rd, Grimsby. Parking is available either across the street or at the foot of Oaks Rd 200m to the east of the trail entrance. It is open free of charge every day.
The work has been possible by the generosity of Club and community members. Please support the projects of the HNC.
Should you like more information about the project or are interested in volunteering, please contact the project co-ordinator, Bruce Mackenzie, at email@example.com