What We Heard on Naturalization

The City of St. John’s appreciates all the support and feedback on the proposed approach to incorporate natural areas in Buckmaster’s Circle, Mundy Pond, and Airport Heights.

What We Heard

Residents are in favour of natural areas as part of our City, based on environmental benefits and site-specific benefits such as wind-blocking and shading.

For this project, you ask that the City:

  • Respect informal pathways.
  • Not reduce existing seating (e.g., benches).
  • Understand and do not limit educational and recreational use.
  • Consider the inclusion of fruit trees, fruit shrubs, and flowering plants in the natural spaces.
  • Work with specialists to ensure best practices.

Beyond this project, you ask that the City consider naturalization, conservation, tree planting, and overall environmental support in other development and projects.

How Feedback Was Incorporated

Residents feedback was incorporated in the City’s envisioning of the naturalization process of these and other sites. The City’s approach to naturalize areas in City-owned land will:

  • Respect informal pathways
  • Keep existing benches
  • Preserve and celebrate the local species
  • Help create habitat for pollinators (bees and butterflies)
  • Minimize impact to recreation activities
  • Support neighbourhoods in becoming more resilient to impacts from climate change (e.g., shading, wind break, rainfall storage)
  • Continue to work with the City arborists when planning to plant trees

Naturalization Process: Naturalization requires planning and a multi-stepped process. Feedback has been incorporated in the multi-year four-stage naturalization process of these and other sites:

  1. Naturalization begins with either planting trees or creating a no-mow area. This allows for the naturalized grass to stabilize resulting in a healthier ecosystem which will be better able to defend itself against weeds (the outlined areas at each site will see planting of trees in the upcoming weeks to initiate naturalization).
  2. City staff monitor and maintain the areas controlling harmful weeds and removing trash as these sites remain under the City’s management.
  3. As the trees and the natural areas mature, native species will also establish and create a healthy and diverse ecosystem (some of these species are bushes of various sizes, berry bushes, and flowering plants).
  4. Additional habitat enhancement work may be considered as needed, (e.g., planting of smaller shrubs, berry bushes, and wildflowers,) to provided additional benefits for beauty and biodiversity.

Next Steps

Buckmaster’s Circle and Mundy Pond site plans will proceed as proposed, following the above process. Airport Heights is being reviewed and more information will be available in the upcoming weeks.

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