Westminster Ponds/Pond Mills Master Plan Update
The Westminster Ponds / Pond Mills ESA Master Plan update was completed collaboratively by the City of London, the UTRCA, and interested community organizations and individuals. At a community meeting in May 2003, 65 people gave input into issues, concerns and opportunities for Westminster Ponds / Pond Mills ESA.
From this meeting a Local Advisory Committee (LAC) was formed.
The strength of the planning process was the 21-member LAC. This committee helped develop the mission, guiding principles, goals & objectives, criteria for decision-making, and recommendations for the update of the Master Plan. The LAC members, representing 13 different organizations, worked together from September 2003 to August 2004. The UTRCA provided technical information, including past reports and newly completed studies.
Westminster Ponds/Pond Mills ESA Master Plan Update (maps posted separately below)
Master Plan Maps
• Map 1 – Study Area
• Map 2 – Property Ownership
• Map 3 – Physiographic Regions
• Map 4 – Quaternary Geology
• Map 5 – Digital Elevation Model
• Map 6 – Surface Drainage
• Map 7 – Life Zones
• Map 8 – Vegetation Communities (ELC codes)
• Map 9 – Vegetation Communities (Polygon ID)
• Map 10 – Known Water Well Locations
• Map 11 – Former Township of Westminster
• Map 12 – Zoning
• Map 13 – ESA Boundary Review
• Map 14 – Buffers and Naturalization
• Map 15 – Carolinian Canada Big Picture Corridor
• Map 16 – Trail Recommendations
• Map 17 – Hazard Tree Removal Zone
The Westminster Ponds / Pond Mills Environmentally Significant Area Master Plan Update was presented to and approved by the City of London Planning Committee on June 20, 2005. Planning Committee sent the following report to Municipal Council:
That, on the recommendation of the General Manager of Planning and Development, the Westminster Ponds / Pond Mills Environmentally Significant Area Master Plan Update BE APPROVED; it being noted the Planning Committee heard a presentation from S. Sauder and T. Tchir from the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority;
it being pointed out that at the public participation meeting associated with this matter, [two] individuals [representing the London Coalition Against Pesticides] made an oral submission … noting that while they generally support the Plan, there should be revisions to ensure that alternatives to the use of pesticides or herbicides are explored and built into the final recommendations [and] … requesting further information with respect to the proposed use of herbicides in the Ponds area and requesting that there be a provision for the ongoing monitoring of any test areas or that interested City residents be utilized to assist with the manual removal of unwanted vegetation.
Municipal Council adopted the Planning Committee’s report on June 27, 2005, with the following amendment added to the end of the first paragraph:
it being further noted that the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority is encouraged to work with volunteers for the purpose of manually removing unwanted vegetation in the subject area to avoid, wherever possible, the use of herbicides.
More than 30 reports were reviewed and incorporated into the Master Plan update. An inventory of vegetation communities was also completed for the entire ESA. Studies of the ESA have found:
• more than 200 vegetation communities
• 757 species of vascular plants, including 30 that are nationally and/or provincially rare, and 60 % of the plant species found in Middlesex County
• over 200 species of birds
• 19 species of fish
• 14 species of amphibians
• nine species of reptiles
• numerous insect species
Seventeen maps have been created to support the background information and guide decision-making for the future including: the study area, vegetation communities, water well locations, ESA boundaries, property ownership, Carolinian Canada zone, naturalization recommendations and trail recommendations.
Over 85 recommendations have been developed to guide decision-making and the budget for Westminster Ponds / Pond Mills ESA over the next ten years. All recommendations have been written in collaboration with the LAC based upon the best technical information available. Implementation of the recommendations will go a long way toward fulfilling the new mission statement:
The City of London, the UTRCA, and community partners will preserve the ecological integrity of Westminster Ponds / Pond Mills Environmentally Significant Area while providing compatible educational and recreational opportunities.