In Bracebridge, 443 acres of wetlands and environmentally sensitive lands are slated for extensive and destructive development. But we’re not giving up without a fight. We have launched an appeal with the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, formerly known as the Ontario Municipal Board, to save the wetlands and its flora, fauna and function. This is a fight against the Bracebridge Town Council which is in favour of the development of Muskoka Royale College on this critical land.
If we don’t fight the proposal for Muskoka Royale College, these wetlands and forests will be lost to us and to all future generations…. lost to multi-storey dormitories, parking lots, offices, roads and maintenance buildings. Lost to a private sportsplex, private soccer fields, a private arena and other private facilities. Massive swaths of forest will be hacked down. Marshes and waterways that support wildlife and prevent flooding will be devastated.
The environmental sensitivity of this property is not news. It’s home to 204 documented species on the subject lands, comprising 20 Species-At-Risk (SAR) and 7 endangered species (Endangered Species Act of Ontario), including: Blanding’s Turtles, Eastern Hog-Nosed Snakes, Barn Swallows, Bobolinks, Eastern Meadowlarks, Least Bitterns and Bank Swallows.
Furthermore, paving over wetlands is detrimental to spring run-off absorption. Muskoka has seen an increase in devastating flooding in the last 10 years and our homes, properties and the environment are in serious jeopardy.
The destruction of these sensitive lands and identified species-at-risk will change the Muskoka landscape forever.
The Bracebridge Town Council and the District of Muskoka failed to ask for proper studies to be done including:
- An Economic and Viability Study
- A Character and Compatibility Study
- An Ontario Wetlands Evaluation Systems Study
- An Impact Study on Social Services
Please help us fight this development! We need funding for legal counsel, environmental experts and planning professionals to win this fight. We need to make sure that this development is stopped before Bracebridge’s wetlands are irreversibly destroyed.
Please donate what you can – this is an important fight for now, and most importantly, for future generations. This is not the time to destroy our environment. We know better. Please help us in this fight.