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Scanned copy, if there are errors, please e-mail me with corrections:
Page - - Mississauga News, Nov. 1/96

Man-made nature is just as natural top gardener says

Mississauga's Natural Areas Study is still far too natural for one of the city's foremost horticulturists.

Doug Campbell, the founding president of the Mississauga Garden Council, renewed his objections to the environmental guidelines at a recent planning committee meeting.

The study encourages the City to plant native species in most woodlots and parks. A discussion held at the Urban Forest Management Advisory Committee recently on the issue suggested that introducing non-native species in natural areas can be a problem, because the effects aren't always known. Some species can be invasive, forcing out native species.

That has already become a problem at Cawthra Woods, where the Norway Maple has become a problem.

It was also noted that, "natural areas provide specific conditions and provide micro-climates for natural processes to occur which non-native species do not."

Campbell took some objection to that statement, saying man-made gardens perform many of the same function of providing habitat and food that natural areas do.

The committee, made up of several environmental professionals who volunteer their time, also noted that using native species is cheaper in most cases.

"When people go into the Cawthra Woods, they don't care if something was here in the 1800's," the Lorelei Rd. resident said. "They want to see something that's beautiful and stirs the senses." Campbell said City staff tend to be "purists" about using native species. "The public isn't purists," he said. "That's not what they want."

Lesley Pavan of the planning department said that the preference for native species doesn't mean species not natural to this area won't be used.

The City, through the help of the urban forest committee, is developing management plans for each of its local woodlots, starting with Cawthra Woods. "There will be a public process so the community can have input," Pavan said.

"This is a guideline, not a dictatorial document," she stressed. "Council, staff and citizens will be working together to make decisions."

It will make a difference!

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