Friends of 12 Mile Creek, Niagara Canada
It all started in late June 2021 with an unaddressed flyer from the Niagara Canada Summer Games that was mailed to local residents in an envelope that was non-descript and looked like unsolicited advertising , easily dismissed and/or discarded. It informed residents that some periodic activity would be happening in “your” area involving the development of a mountain bike course to be used for the Niagara 2022 Canada Summer Games. The work to be done was stated as “upgrades” consisting of safety and other minor improvements to the trail system. Click on this link to see the flyer: Proposed Mountain Bike Course Flyer .
What was not shared in the flyer content itself was that the location for the course was no longer going to be on Brock University land (as per the original bid in 2017) but instead it was to be constructed along 12 Mile Creek ravines in a residential setting, involving natural areas where there were no established, existing trails: resulting in the destruction of large tracts of greenbelt land and blocks of protected wildlife habitat. What motivated the Games to make a decision that would result in cutting more trails that eliminate and impact more of our remaining natural environments, for such a limited use when there are so many existing trails that could be used for the same purpose? As we started to ask more questions, we received answers and information that was misleading at best, and untruthful. Click here to learn more.
The Friends of 12 Mile Creek was formed by local residents who have witnessed the unnecessary destruction from the “front lines”, and we have learned how something like this can happen so quickly, “under everyone’s radar”, and with a daily appreciation of what the consequences have been and learning what the longer term impact may be as well. Our community has always had walking and biking paths in parts of this ravine.
So the characterization of us as just NIMBYs by certain groups is dishonest and disingenuous. So-called “NIMBYs” play a critical role in any discussion of developments because they have extensive knowledge about the areas around their backyards. We think that it is important that the entire Niagara community be informed and engaged in protecting the environment.
This has been a huge undertaking trying to get at the truth and try and work out a solution that supports the Games but does not further harm environments like 12 Mile Creek, an area that has been abused for decades, by all of us. The decision-makers in this scenario have simply taken the course of least resistance in getting things done, because few people appear to care enough to ask the hard questions and to get involved.
Our exposure to what is occurring has served as a catalyst to the importance of the 12 Mile Creek biodiversity and the importance of helping to preserve the cultural and environmental integrity of the area. Our website has been created as a platform to share information and mobilize people to get engaged and to take action. We believe it is important for us to share what we have learned and to create greater awareness of what is happening because it seems to be happening all across Niagara, and beyond. And yes, everyone talks about the environment being the most important issue of our time, but who dares “walk the talk”.
We would encourage you to join our campaign opposing the completion of the 12 Mile Creek racecourse by becoming a member of the Friends of 12 MIle Creek. Our commitment to the 12 Mile Creek valleyland will continue after the Games have concluded, and we invite everyone to be a part of our long-term vision:
Friends of 12 Mile Creek has been established to help provide leadership in promoting environmental stewardship of the area, in partnership and cooperation with the greater Niagara community.
Sign up here Membership
We would also ask that you sign our petition on change.org and to let your friends and family know what is happening and encourage them to do the same. You may want to read our page entitled Reasons to Sign The Petition
About Friends of 12 Mile Creek – It began as a small group of local residents working together trying to respond to and understand the rationale for the location change for the mountain bike course for the 2022 Niagara Canada Summer Games. This change of location was to 12 Mile Creek, and much of our community backed onto where the new course was to be built. This learning process served as a catalyst to the importance of the 12 Mile Creek biodiversity and of helping to preserve the cultural and environmental integrity of the area. It prompted us to get actively involved and organized so as to ensure that the character and lifestyle of this unique natural setting would be protected and nurtured instead of being exploited and destroyed.