Biodiversity Action Plan

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Consultation has concluded


Project Update: The Hamilton Biodiversity Action Plan (2024) was presented to the City's Planning Committee on June 18, 2024 through report PED21065(d)/PW24040. View the A Five-Year Biodiversity Action Plan for Hamilton, 2024


Biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth. It includes all living things, such as bacteria, fungi, insects, plants, fish, wildlife and humans. All living things are connected and depend on a healthy and resilient environment to thrive.

Hamilton is a biodiversity hotspot. Hamilton has a diversity of unique natural heritage features, including Dundas Valley, Cootes Paradise, Beverly Swamp, the Niagara Escarpment, Eramosa Karst, among many other woodlands, wetlands, and waterways. These areas are home to a variety of plant and animal species, and contribute to a broader, regional ecosystem The natural spaces across the City are part of the unique identity of Hamilton and provide a refuge for people, animals, birds, insects and plants.

Hamilton is facing a biodiversity crisis, with species and habitats threatened by pollution, invasive species, climate change impacts, as well as habitat loss and fragmentation. In response, the leaders in Hamilton’s conservation community and the City of Hamilton have partnered to develop a Biodiversity Action Plan for Hamilton.

Hamilton’s Biodiversity Action Plan aims to:

  • Protect biodiversity by incorporating best practices to protect natural areas and greenspaces in policy, guidelines and land management plans and by identifying funding strategies that support the protection and enhancement of the natural environment.
  • Explore, educate and exchange information about biodiversity through partnerships, community science and outreach.
  • Connect partner policies, processes, data and workflows to streamline efforts to support biodiversity in Hamilton.
  • Restore biodiversity across Hamilton through nature-based stewardship activities on public and private lands.

7 Key Priorities have been developed to focus actions that address the threats to biodiversity:

  1. Administration and Governance: Develop a governance framework and funding strategy to ensure effective and coordinated implementation of the Biodiversity Action Plan partners’ actions over the long term.
  2. Evaluation and Monitoring: Understand the current baseline state of Hamilton’s biodiversity to inform future monitoring and priorities;
  3. Long-term Protection and Connection: Protect, restore and enhance natural areas within Hamilton to support biodiversity, establish and enhance core areas, connect fragmented habitats, and enhance ecosystem functions.
  4. Education and Stewardship: Enhance public awareness of the importance of biodiversity and engage them in stewardship actions through partner agencies.
  5. Coordinated Invasive Species Management: Protect Hamilton’s biodiversity by implementing coordinated, city-wide efforts to control, remove, and manage invasive species;
  6. Aquatic Habitat Restoration and Enhancement: Enhance local aquatic habitats through sustainable stormwater management practices and restoration of degraded watercourses, waterbodies and wetlands; and,
  7. Local Decision-making: Ensure impacts on or improvements to local biodiversity are clearly considered in all municipal decision making related to the development or use of urban and rural lands.

What We Heard

The Biodiversity Action Plan partner organizations want to thank all of those who participated in the consultation opportunities in the spring and summer of 2023. A Consultation Summary Report is provided as Appendix B to June 18, 2024 staff report.

Key themes of the comments and feedback received include:

  • High interest in participating in hands-on efforts to enhance biodiversity
  • Need to secure funding for sustained implementation of the plan
  • Collaboration with Indigenous communities and respect for traditional knowledge
  • Urgency in addressing habitat loss, species corridors, and climate change impacts
  • Coordination is needed to tackle invasive species
  • Importance of preserving and enhancing natural areas for future generations
  • A commitment to decision-making processes that prioritize ecosystem protection

Project Update: The Hamilton Biodiversity Action Plan (2024) was presented to the City's Planning Committee on June 18, 2024 through report PED21065(d)/PW24040. View the A Five-Year Biodiversity Action Plan for Hamilton, 2024


Biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth. It includes all living things, such as bacteria, fungi, insects, plants, fish, wildlife and humans. All living things are connected and depend on a healthy and resilient environment to thrive.

Hamilton is a biodiversity hotspot. Hamilton has a diversity of unique natural heritage features, including Dundas Valley, Cootes Paradise, Beverly Swamp, the Niagara Escarpment, Eramosa Karst, among many other woodlands, wetlands, and waterways. These areas are home to a variety of plant and animal species, and contribute to a broader, regional ecosystem The natural spaces across the City are part of the unique identity of Hamilton and provide a refuge for people, animals, birds, insects and plants.

Hamilton is facing a biodiversity crisis, with species and habitats threatened by pollution, invasive species, climate change impacts, as well as habitat loss and fragmentation. In response, the leaders in Hamilton’s conservation community and the City of Hamilton have partnered to develop a Biodiversity Action Plan for Hamilton.

Hamilton’s Biodiversity Action Plan aims to:

  • Protect biodiversity by incorporating best practices to protect natural areas and greenspaces in policy, guidelines and land management plans and by identifying funding strategies that support the protection and enhancement of the natural environment.
  • Explore, educate and exchange information about biodiversity through partnerships, community science and outreach.
  • Connect partner policies, processes, data and workflows to streamline efforts to support biodiversity in Hamilton.
  • Restore biodiversity across Hamilton through nature-based stewardship activities on public and private lands.

7 Key Priorities have been developed to focus actions that address the threats to biodiversity:

  1. Administration and Governance: Develop a governance framework and funding strategy to ensure effective and coordinated implementation of the Biodiversity Action Plan partners’ actions over the long term.
  2. Evaluation and Monitoring: Understand the current baseline state of Hamilton’s biodiversity to inform future monitoring and priorities;
  3. Long-term Protection and Connection: Protect, restore and enhance natural areas within Hamilton to support biodiversity, establish and enhance core areas, connect fragmented habitats, and enhance ecosystem functions.
  4. Education and Stewardship: Enhance public awareness of the importance of biodiversity and engage them in stewardship actions through partner agencies.
  5. Coordinated Invasive Species Management: Protect Hamilton’s biodiversity by implementing coordinated, city-wide efforts to control, remove, and manage invasive species;
  6. Aquatic Habitat Restoration and Enhancement: Enhance local aquatic habitats through sustainable stormwater management practices and restoration of degraded watercourses, waterbodies and wetlands; and,
  7. Local Decision-making: Ensure impacts on or improvements to local biodiversity are clearly considered in all municipal decision making related to the development or use of urban and rural lands.

What We Heard

The Biodiversity Action Plan partner organizations want to thank all of those who participated in the consultation opportunities in the spring and summer of 2023. A Consultation Summary Report is provided as Appendix B to June 18, 2024 staff report.

Key themes of the comments and feedback received include:

  • High interest in participating in hands-on efforts to enhance biodiversity
  • Need to secure funding for sustained implementation of the plan
  • Collaboration with Indigenous communities and respect for traditional knowledge
  • Urgency in addressing habitat loss, species corridors, and climate change impacts
  • Coordination is needed to tackle invasive species
  • Importance of preserving and enhancing natural areas for future generations
  • A commitment to decision-making processes that prioritize ecosystem protection

Have a story to share about Hamilton’s biodiversity?

Tell us about how Hamilton’s biodiversity has impacted you and what your hopes are for the future.

Thank you for sharing your story with us.
CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

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    The bee

    by nancaroo, 12 months ago

    “Lose the grass mom.”

    I heard this over and over from my then 14 year old. “It’s a desert that does nothing for biodiversity. And your geraniums are useless too.” I resisted and persisted with weedy grass full of dandelions for a couple more years until one spring my sister gifted me a native bee house from a local hardware store. “Cute” I thought as I propped it up against my deck railing and forgot about it. I knew nothing about native bees and thought they were the same as honeybees back then. Next spring rolled around and to my... Continue reading

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    Natasha Huyer

    by Natasha Huyer, about 1 year ago

    It all started because I didn't want to have to cut or water a lawn, that would dry into hard pan Red Hill clay in the summer anyways. So my husband and I decided to naturalize our yard. We started with putting some manure and rehabbing the soil with mulch and clover. We got two free beeches from the City. We planted as much native plants as possible. We created a rain garden and re-routed drainage to keep the water on our yard. We created a small path for wildlife to be able to cross in between the houses.

    The... Continue reading