RECENT ACTIONS in 2015-16
Activity has been slowed down because the Region is waiting for a Ministry of Environment decision. The most important event of 2015 was the approval of the new Waterloo Region Official Plan in July, which enlarged the environmentally protected area back to the 1976 boundaries. If you read the update page for 2016 you will learn that the new map to define the protected area includes the 35 acres adjacent to Hwy #8 but it does NOT include the protected zone for the Jefferson Salamander. This is a major omission that must be corrected.
For more information please go to the update page at
Important actions taken by Kitchener before 2015
The 9 January, 2012 staff report INS-12-010 recommended that the Local Environmental Action Fund (LEAF) be cancelled and that the remaining $3.4 million be used for current operations. Representatives of the Friends of Hidden Valley addressed the Finance Committee on 9 January and suggested that a significant part of the $3.4 million be used to purchase all 200 acres of Hidden Valley. In January of 2012 the Waterloo Region Record published an editorial supporting the purchase of Hidden valley and requested readers to write letters. In the weeks that followed about fifteen letters were published that supported the Record's editorial.Council decide to reject the staff proposal and freeze the LEAF money until they had time to consider the options.
At the 25 March, 2012 meeting Kitchener Council voted to give Compass Kitchener the task of acquiring citizen input about the future of the LEAF programme. Two meetings were scheduled for June 9 and 12.
2. Share the pictures and other features of this web site with friends who are concerned about preservation of natural environment in Kitchener.
Citizens from many groups attended these meetings and the competition for the LEAF money was intense. Even though the Friends of Hidden Valley were well represented at these meetings and in the press and despite the support of Councillors Fernandez, Gazzola and Janecki, Kitchener Council decided to spend the LEAF money on a variety of small projects. The request to use the money to purchase the Hidden Valley property from the developer was denied and Kitchener lost the chance to own this large environmental area close to the growing population in the centre core of the city.
The question now is :--Where do we go from here & how can you get involved in helping ?
The good news is that the new Region of Waterloo official plan, passed in July of 2015, has enlarged the environmentally protected area back to the 1976 boundaries. The next step is to get Kitchener Council to change their out of date zoning bylaws for this area- most especially the old bylaw that would allow commercial development on the 35 acres the Region has restored to ESL lands.
At this point public awareness of the long struggle can be increased by using this web site to:
1. Read why the Friends of Hidden Valley think the Hidden Valley should be preserved at Why Hidden Valley ?
Who Are we ?- Short history of the Friends of Hidden Valley
The Friends of Hidden Valley have been working since 2004 to try and preserve the Hidden Valley ESPA 27 as extended to the 1976 boundaries, the three Provincially significant wetlands and the open meadow areas. We believe the Growth Stategy proposal to expand Kitchener by 100,000 people in the next 20 years demands visionary planning and an action plan to expand the Kitchener park system to keep pace with this 50% population growth. Using the figures presented in the 2010 Park Master Plan (PMP), it is clear the Kitchener park system must be expanded at a rate of about 65 acres per year for a total of 1300 acres before 2031 so the current ratio of 1.64 acres of park land per 100 residents is maintained.
How does Hidden Valley fit into the Kitchener parks master plan?
The entire Hidden Valley property, including the forested ESPA, the wetlands and the open meadows, is appoximately 200 acres. The addition of Hidden Valley to the Kitchener park system would help start the action plan mentioned above and provide the following benefits:
1. Hidden Valley would provide a 200 acre park that would be accessible by the new LRT public transit. Eventually over 100,000 people will live along the central core of the three cities in Waterloo Region and a new public park will be essential.
2. Hidden Valley park would provide benefits such as cleaner air from the forested area and protection of the Region's water supply-- benefits that would add to the quality of life for all citizens living in the central core area.
3. Kitchener has not added park land in recent years at the rate of 65 acres per year to keep pace with the growing population. Purchase of the Hidden Valley property in the near future would help put park acquisition on track by acquiring a three year proportion in one large piece.
4. A suitable wild life corridor connection with Homer Watson park would create a large enough natural area for deer and other wild life to exist in a natural heritage setting close to the centre of the city. To view a slide show of these areas go to Heritage Trail
The Park Master Plan
It is available at either the library or at city hall. If you only have time for a shorter version then
Please visit our Hidden Valley and the Park Master Plan (PMP)page to see how Hidden Valley would fit into the PMP.If you agree with our proposal then add your support to our campaign by contacting the Mayor and Council. Thank you.
Add your support at : Contact your Kitchener councillor
Not sure what Hidden Valley has to offer ?
Take time to visit some of the other pages in this web site that are listed in the side bar at the left.