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Credit River Parks Strategy to Connect People to Centrepiece of City's Parks and Open Space Network

Oct 10, 2013

Mississauga Council has endorsed in principle the City’s “Credit River Parks Strategy” -- a comprehensive 25-year Master Plan to develop, conserve and manage the largest and most diverse continuous natural area in the City of Mississauga.

“We’ve now got a plan to preserve our City’s most valuable natural asset,” said Mayor Hazel McCallion.  “This is a wise investment over time that will make the Credit River accessible; it will connect our residents to our natural environment and provide recreational opportunities that will contribute to the health, well-being and quality of life of Mississauga residents.”

According to the report, the goal of the “Credit River Parks Strategy” is to guide the planning, development, conservation and management of a continuous system of publicly-owned and publicly accessible parkland and natural areas along the Credit River.  The Master Plan area contains 37 parks, covers a 27 kilometer (16.75 mile) segment of the Credit River including 650 hectares (1600 acres) of City-owned or managed parkland and natural areas. 

“Residents and stakeholders told us that it was extremely important for the City to preserve and enhance the natural heritage features of this asset,” added Laura Piette, Parks and Forestry director.  “They want to connect with and have access to this area for a number of passive and active recreational uses such as cycling, walking, hiking, canoeing and kayaking as part of maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle.”

The study included community engagement and consultation with more than 1,000 people providing input through outreach initiatives such as public meetings, interviews with residents, a bus tour and several web-based surveys.  In addition, the City also consulted with key stakeholders including landowners, the Credit Valley Conservation Authority and First Nation representatives. 

The strategy identifies cost estimates and a phasing plan for capital expenditures during the next 25 years of the plan.  All items will be referred to the City’s annual business planning and budget process for Council’s review and prioritization.  Implementation is estimated to cost $79 million (2013 dollars).  The study will position the City to pursue future partnerships and external funding.

Background:
The Credit River Parks Strategy recommends a number of enhancements and actions to reach its vision of a continuous trail system as outlined in an implementation plan which is guided by the following principles:

Natural Heritage – Re-establish a viable, self-sustaining, natural ecosystem by protecting, maintaining and enhancing the natural features and functions of the Credit River Parks system;

Cultural Heritage – Recognize and promote the protection, restoration and celebration of cultural heritage, including archaeological resources.

Identity – Enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors by creating diverse, vibrant and appropriate places for social, recreational and educational opportunities, while being sensitive to the ecology.

Sustainability – Explore partnerships and other funding opportunities to establish a connected system of trails linked to transit and promote cycling and walking in the parks system.  Also, incorporate low-impact development and sustainable construction techniques when building new or retrofitted park facilities.

Policy and Regulation – Be consistent with existing policies and regulations across all jurisdictions and levels of government.

Recreation and Tourism – Encourage compatible recreation and tourism activities with the area’s cultural and natural heritage such as hiking, cycling, canoeing, kayaking, bird watching and angling.

For detailed information about the “Credit River Parks Strategy” including overview of the Master Plan, maps and description of feature sites, go towww.mississauaga.ca/creditriverparksstrategy or contact Mark Howard, Planner in the Community Services, Parks & Forestry Park Planning Section at 905-625-3200 ext. 4409 or mark.howard@mississauga.ca.

As Canada's sixth largest city, Mississauga is home to 741,000 residents and 55,000 businesses, including 63 Fortune 500 companies with Canadian head offices or major divisional head offices. A diverse, progressive and award-winning municipality located on the shores of Lake Ontario in the heart of the Greater Toronto Area, Mississauga is "Leading Today for Tomorrow" by focusing on delivering services, implementing its Strategic Plan, delivering value for money and maintaining infrastructure.

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Media Contact:
Dolores Bartl-Hofmann
Senior Communications Advisor, Community Services
Phone: 905-615-3200 x5051
TTY:    905-896-5151
Email:   dolores.bartlhofmann@mississauga.ca


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