Receiving a strong, positive endorsement from Wilmot Township Council, staff and the citizens in attendance, a landmark 55 acre wetland restoration project proposed by Mike Schout, President of Stonecroft Corp., was unanimously approved at the September 23rd Council Meeting.
Fronting on Smith’s Creek Drive in New Hamburg, the “Mike Schout Wetlands Park” will cost somewhere in the order of $3 million and take up to 3 years to complete. Mike Schout, who last year pledged $1 million to build a trails project in Wilmot, pledged a further $1.5 million to the wetlands parkland project.
This ambitious environmental project will significantly enhance storm water management in New Hamburg, helping to mitigate flooding from the Nith River. The park will help improve water quality as well as act as a carbon sink through the planting of trees and the development of recreational trails.
The Township, Schout and Ducks Unlimited, a non-profit organization committed to the “conservation, restoration and management of wetlands and associated habitat for waterfowl, wildlife and people,” will work together in the planning and engineering of the project.
Here’s the official recommendation, unanimously passed by Council:
THAT Council approve the request of Mike Schout to allow him to proceed with the engineering design, approvals and construction of the naturalization and rehabilitation of Township owned lands having frontage on Smith’s Creek Drive in New Hamburg; and further
THAT staff be directed to provide assistance as required to advance the design and approvals in accordance with Township Official Plan and Wilmot Trails Master Plan with reporting back to Council on the progress of the project at regular intervals; and further
THAT in recognition of the commitment, of up to $1.5 million toward the design, approvals and implementation of the project, Council approve the naming of the project as the Mike Schout Wetlands Park.