Toronto Lower Don Lands Redevelopment | ?m | ?s | Waterfront Toronto

No overhead wires, no trenching, if the city goes for solar-powered street lighting.​


How Solar Powered Street Lighting Saves Your City Money

From link.

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We're sure founding and developing a city is never an easy thing. Our hats go off to mayors, city planners, budget wizards, and other key figures in planning to find the best ways to support a city's operations. We'll leave the expert work up to you. However, we're doing meticulous research behind our doors in how to find the best ways to cut corners in energy spending for your city, and the good news is that we've slashed city budgets by several thousands of dollars in the past. We've got a secret in energy that can let your city prosper, and the answer is in using solar-powered street lighting.

No Trenching or Wiring Fees​

The second method that solar-powered street lighting uses to save you money is through being self-sufficient. As before, each solar light doesn't need connectivity to the main power grid, so that means project managers and city planners can skip paying the trenching, wiring, and labor fees altogether.

Trenching is extremely expensive. The price can vary by linear foot depending on what's nearby the project site, what condition the soil is in, and other factors. You'll need to rent the equipment and hire professionals for the labor. Then there are backfill fees as well.

Or, you could decide to switch to solar and skip all that hassle and expense.

The average price percentage saved for the total price of a lighting project, from the initial quote to the first night of operation, is typically 20%, but some projects can go as high as even 45%, depending on the needs of the project.

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Advantages of solar street lights


From link.

The use of solar power for illuminating streets and other public places is getting popular day by day. It has become a dependable source of lighting streets around the globe. There are multiple benefits of using solar street lighting fixtures, like conservation of energy, use of a conventional source of energy, and less dependence on the national grid. Tropical countries that receive ample sunlight most time of the year can be highly benefited from this source of light.

These days, outdoor solar lighting solutions are powered by an in-built battery, PV panels, smart sensors, LED lights, everything integrated into one compact unit. This form of lighting option has become an environment-friendly and cost-effective way of lighting streets and public places.

As much as solar energy is a cost-effective option for lighting, using LEDs with solar light becomes a super saver combo. LED lights are long-lasting, maintenance-free, and known for energy conservation. These specifications of solar LED luminaires are perfect for lighting-up roads, streets, parks, etc.

Advantages of solar-powered outdoor lights​


As infrastructure facilities around the world are getting stronger, the usage of modern solar street luminaries is increasing rapidly. It is because these lights come with inbuilt lithium-ion batteries, embedded solar panel, night and motion sensors, battery management system and automatic controls.

Some other notable benefits of solar street luminaires are mentioned in the pointers noted below:

● Solar street lights are water-resistance and weatherproof and have a low glare and low insect attrition rate.

● The solar panels in these lights convert solar energy into electrical energy that gets stored in the inbuilt battery and is utilized for dusk-to-dawn lighting operations.

● The main feature of contemporary solar street luminaires is the battery management system which aids the presence of motion and night sensors.

● In the first five hours of the night, the performance of the system is up to medium-level brightness. The intensity of light decreases progressively until dawn or till the time the PIR sensor is activated by the movement of humans.

● With a smart lighting option, it automatically turns on to full brightness when it senses human movement within a specific radius of the luminaire.

● In comparison to conventional street lights, solar outdoor luminaires require almost no maintenance.

These unmatchable and smart features of solar LED street lights allow people to rely on this type of luminaires.

The angle on the solar panels should aid in sliding snow off of them, along with the dark colours which would absorb the sun's heat to melt the snow. Hopefully, the batteries will last more than 24 hours, a week would be better.

Does mean the buildings should be configured so that sunlight would fall for a few hours each day, to charge the batteries. Solar panels on top of the buildngs?
 
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Many interesting comments here. I would say that even though there are good examples of high-rise districts, like Vancouver's Yaletown or the West End, this place could also be like Vancouver's Olympic Village... with vibrant street life, natural landscaping, and great public places... complemented by nice architecture.

I also want to just say how excited I am that we're getting this! It's such a great accomplishment for Toronto and I think one that'll make us proud!
Interesting point on Olympic Village, it certainly took a while post Olympics for it to really blossom into the neighbourhood it is today. People were really skeptical of it when it was first built in terms of living there afterwards, but now it's a destination that many I know have near the top of their list of places in Vancouver to live.
 
Interesting point on Olympic Village, it certainly took a while post Olympics for it to really blossom into the neighbourhood it is today. People were really skeptical of it when it was first built in terms of living there afterwards, but now it's a destination that many I know have near the top of their list of places in Vancouver to live.
I think the key is small retail. Where are places that people like to walk around? King West, Queen St, Yorkville, Kensington Market, Yonge St. All have small scale and a wide variety of retail. That's the big thing I would include if it was up to me. All ground level space would be devoted to small scale retail or live/work spaces depending on the conditions.
 
I think the key is small retail. Where are places that people like to walk around? King West, Queen St, Yorkville, Kensington Market, Yonge St. All have small scale and a wide variety of retail. That's the big thing I would include if it was up to me. All ground level space would be devoted to small scale retail or live/work spaces depending on the conditions.
Bad zoning that prevents higher density and mixing in commercial establishments is the main problem with the suburbs. In the suburbs, zoning prevents the corner store. We end up having to drive to pick up a litre of milk or get some batteries. The Don Lands must loosen up the zoning to allow for more mixed use middle density. No single story anything. Even fire halls should have a second floor.
 
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The link visually shows the ILS and RNAV (GPS) approaches for Billy Bishop:

https://www.navcanada.ca/en/publicnoticeytz-billy-bishop-instumentprocedureupdatesfinal.pdf

ILS 26 approach is the pertinent one. ILS will typically work plus/minus 3 degrees laterally on either side of the signal path but the ground obstruction safety margin is further beyond that. That safety margin extends over most of Villier's Island. You can have the current IFR airport or tall buildings in the portlands. You can't have both.
 
I think the key is small retail. Where are places that people like to walk around? King West, Queen St, Yorkville, Kensington Market, Yonge St. All have small scale and a wide variety of retail. That's the big thing I would include if it was up to me. All ground level space would be devoted to small scale retail or live/work spaces depending on the conditions.
And sometimes those small retailers grow. Remember that Honest Ed's started as a small retailer in 1948 on Bloor Street West, then expanded into adjoining buildings.

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From link.

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From link.
The original Eaton's store, portrayed above, opened in a lodging attached to an adjacent church (Image Source: City of Toronto Archives)

From link.
In 1869, Timothy Eaton sold his interest in a small dry-goods store in the market town of St. Marys, Ontario, and he bought a dry-goods and haberdashery business at 178 Yonge Street in the city of Toronto.

The first store was only 24 by 60 feet (7.3 m × 18.3 m), with two shop windows, and was located a fair distance from Toronto's then fashionable shopping district of King Street West. In its first year of operation, with Timothy Eaton responsible for buying the goods to stock the store, and a staff of four, expectations were low that a store with a no-credit and no-haggling policy would succeed.

The business prospered, and Eaton moved the store one block north in August 1883 into much larger premises at 190 Yonge Street. The new store boasted the biggest plate-glass windows in Toronto, the first electric lights in any Canadian store, three full floors of retail space featuring 35 departments, and a lightwell that ran the full length of the store. The store's first telephone, with phone number 370, was installed in 1885. In 1886, the first elevator in a retail establishment in Toronto was installed in the Eaton store (although only customers going up were invited to use the elevator, thus requiring them to pass by the various store displays on their walk down).

Eaton maintained the lease on the empty store at 178 Yonge Street until its expiry in 1884 in order to delay the expansion plans of one of his competitors, Robert Simpson. Over time, the competition between the Simpson's and Eaton's department stores, facing each other across Queen Street West, became one of Toronto's great business rivalries. The pedestrian crosswalk on Queen Street West, just to the west of the intersection with Yonge Street, was for years one of the busiest in Canada, as thousands of shoppers a day comparison-shopped between Eaton's and Simpson's.

By 1896, Eaton's was billing itself as "Canada's Greatest Store". The store continued to expand in size, and new buildings were constructed to house the mail order division and the Eaton's factories. The number of people employed in Eaton's operations numbered 17,500 in 1911. In 1919, the Eaton's buildings in Toronto contained a floor space of over 60 acres (240,000 m2), and occupied several city blocks between Yonge Street and Bay Street, north of Queen Street West.

Lots of stores start small, then they grow. The city should be able to give the small business a chance to start. Also notice that they were not single-story buildings.
 
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Gee wizz, fuzz, 40 years ago I remembering drawing housing proposals for the islands and the harbour lands that didn’t exist yet, for next gen communities.

To me, the east harbour and the Portland’s is great place to have housing, employment, commerce centres. And today if the that city fabric includes towers so be it. Bring it, I’m a fan.

Or what, move to Mississauga or Scarborough?
 

50 Businesses Every Small Town (Neighbourhood) Needs


From link.

Grocery Store​

Everyone needs to buy groceries. And small towns aren’t usually attractive targets for huge chains, making them perfect for independent grocers.

Convenience Store​

Small town shoppers also need a convenient place to buy drinks, snacks and other items that might not require a full grocery shopping trip.

Gas Station​

Help local drivers fill up their tanks and get some extra business from those who are just passing through by opening a small town gas station.

Pharmacy​

Independent pharmacies fill prescriptions from local patients. And they can also offer a small selection of products for sale.

Hardware Store​

Local hardware stores offer all the products local residents need to fix things around their home. And they’re also known for providing personalized service and helpful expertise.

Garden Center​

Garden centers usually carry a wide array of plants and landscaping supplies for local homeowners.

Coffee Shop​

Every community needs at least one small coffee shop where people can pick up a morning brew and/or gather with others.

Diner​

Diners are usually fairly casual restaurants. Many specialize in breakfast and comfort food options.

Fast Food Restaurant​

People also need fast food or fast casual restaurant options where they can quickly grab a bite while they’re on the go.

Fine Dining Restaurant​

To serve customers who want a nicer night out, every community needs at least one steakhouse or fine dining restaurant that provides table service and an upscale menu.

Specialty Restaurant​

Most communities should also have a couple of restaurants that specialize in a specific type of cuisine, just to give people a bit of variety.

Pizza Parlor​

Pizza is a staple in any community. This type of business might offer food for delivery, carryout or dine-in.

Carryout Restaurant​

There are also opportunities for other types of quick carryout and delivery options like burgers or wings.

Sports Bar​

A local sports bar provides local fans with a place to enjoy a nice meal and watch various sporting events on TV.

Wine or Cocktail Bar​

Many communities could also use other types of bars that provide a different vibe and a different array of drinks.

Ice Cream Shop​

An ice cream shop is essential for any town, especially during the summer months. But there may be enough business to stay open all year.

Bakery​

A local bakery should provide things like cakes, cookies, and pastries. You might even offer coffee and sandwiches for breakfast.

Theater​

To keep local residents entertained, you could open a small movie theater or even a live theater venue.

Health Food Store​

Health food stores operate basically like grocery shops. But they only offer organic or healthy options, along with some specialty items that may be difficult to find in traditional grocery stores.

Beauty Salon​

Beauty salons can offer hair cutting and styling services, along with manicures, pedicures, facials, massages and makeup.

Auto Repair Shop​

Every town needs an auto repair shop that provides basic maintenance and emergency repairs.

Car Wash​

Car washes can also do very well in small towns, especially if there’s a major thoroughfare nearby.

Pet Grooming Service​

Plenty of people in small towns have pets. So they need a place to keep them professionally groomed.

Pet Supply Shop​

You could also open up a retail store that carries pet food, toys and various other supplies for pet owners.

Handyman Service​

A handyman business can help local homeowners with a variety of services, from hanging pictures to tearing down wallpaper.

Plumbing Service​

Plumbers are needed in basically any location. In a small town, you might work with both residential and commercial properties or just expand your service area a bit.

Electrical Service​

If you’re trained as an electrician, you can use a similar concept to run a successful small town business.

HVAC Service​

HVAC service providers usually offer a wide array of services aimed at helping property owners maintain their heating and cooling equipment.

Landscaping Service​

If you enjoy spending time outdoors, you can help local homeowners and businesses with their lawn care, gardening and landscaping.

Cleaning Service​

You can also work with both homeowners and businesses to provide interior cleaning services on a recurring basis.

Gym​

People all over the country need ways to stay healthy. Open up a small gym to give people convenient access to the space and equipment they need.

Yoga Studio​

You could also offer a more specialized fitness facility, like a studio that offers classes in yoga, pilates, kickboxing or barre.

Dry Cleaner​

Dry cleaners provide essential garment cleaning services, which are necessary for people in all locations.

Clothing Store​

Retail businesses can thrive in a variety of locations. Consider opening a store that provides clothing for a wide array of shoppers.

Toy Store​

If there are a lot of kids in your small town, you might even open up an old fashioned toy store that plays into the traditional small town feel.

Gift Shop​

A gift shop can thrive in nearly any location. But it can be even more successful in small towns with active tourist seasons.

Bookstore​

Bookstores are also popular in a variety of locations. If there’s not a ton of retail spending in your small town, consider opting for a used bookstore.

Thrift Shop​

Thrift stores are essential for customers who want to save money on their everyday purchases.

Florist​

Flower shops appeal to customers celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and even those attending funerals.

Daycare​

Parents in small towns need access to quality child care. If you have experience working with kids, consider opening a daycare center.

Real Estate Agency​

A real estate agency helps homeowners, businesses and potential buyers with their property transactions.

Tech Repair Service​

Gadgets like smartphones and computers are common throughout small towns. So people often need repair services for cracked screens, viruses or other issues.

Funeral Home​

Families always need caring and quality funeral home services to honor loved ones who have passed.

Event Venue​

Even if your town doesn’t have a ton of huge events, you still need a venue that can host small gatherings like anniversary and graduation parties.

Bed and Breakfast​

Plenty of travelers love small town charm. So most small towns could benefit from at least one bed and breakfast where tourists can stay.

Travel Agency​

A travel agency can help individual travelers and large groups plan their trips and get the best possible deals.

Financial Planning Service​

A financial planning service helps local residents plan for retirement and get all of their financial accounts in order.

Insurance Company​

A local insurance company can help residents and businesses with everything from auto insurance to life insurance.

Photography Studio​

Photographers can help their local community by opening a studio to take family portraits, senior pictures or even images of pets.

Health Clinic​

A health clinic is essential for keeping people healthy with regular checkups and providing urgent care appointments for people in need of fast service.
 
Reading through the past several pages of discussion, I think there is something very obvious that was missed in the back-and-forth.

While I agree that permitting 8-storeys is an underbuilt for the Lower Don Lands when you can easily push the barrier of mid-rise density to 11-15-storeys in a new district, and further, there is nothing wrong with a few high-rises here and there, density is ultimately not simply about height. It is about allocation of space across a site.

You cannot have density with such wide roads and space dedicated to automobiles. If you want to achieve a mid-rise district that meets your stated policy goals of density, vibrancy and pedestrian built-scale, you must use a tighter block pattern with a road hierarchy where tertiary roads are narrow or perhaps pedestrianized altogether. You can then cluster midrise blocks much closer together and achieve higher density without having to compromise on height.

For inspiration, one can check on Google Maps and Streetview the new Seestadt district in Vienna, Austria, a similarly contemporary master-planned community. It is by no means an urbanist utopia, but there are good realistic parallels to what we could do with the Lower Don Lands with a similar arterial spine to what is planned for Cherry Street, planned use of public space and wide sidewalks throughout the community, and reluctant accommodation of automobiles, while IMO escaping some of the urbanist pitfalls of what we did in the West Don Lands. It is more dense than what we have planned while largely being 8-storeys in built-form throughout, because it has narrower secondary and tertiary streets and makes smart use of space within and on the perimeter of each block.

Massing is also an interesting comparison. It seems like the built-form for the Lower Don Lands is going to be a repeat the West Don Lands. We can compare mid-rise blocks in Seestadt below to the completed block in the West Don Lands. What is up with all that missing space that easily could have supported additional density?

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Reading through the past several pages of discussion, I think there is something very obvious that was missed in the back-and-forth.

While I agree that permitting 8-storeys is an underbuilt for the Lower Don Lands when you can easily push the barrier of mid-rise density to 11-15-storeys in a new district, and further, there is nothing wrong with a few high-rises here and there, density is ultimately not simply about height. It is about allocation of space across a site.

You cannot have density with such wide roads and space dedicated to automobiles. If you want to achieve a mid-rise district that meets your stated policy goals of density, vibrancy and pedestrian built-scale, you must use a tighter block pattern with a road hierarchy where tertiary roads are narrow or perhaps pedestrianized altogether. You can then cluster midrise blocks much closer together and achieve higher density without having to compromise on height.

For inspiration, one can check on Google Maps and Streetview the new Seestadt district in Vienna, Austria, a similarly contemporary master-planned community. It is by no means an urbanist utopia, but there are good realistic parallels to what we could do with the Lower Don Lands with a similar arterial spine to what is planned for Cherry Street, planned use of public space and wide sidewalks throughout the community, and reluctant accommodation of automobiles, while IMO escaping some of the urbanist pitfalls of what we did in the West Don Lands. It is more dense than what we have planned while largely being 8-storeys in built-form throughout, because it has narrower secondary and tertiary streets and makes smart use of space within and on the perimeter of each block.

Massing is also an interesting comparison. It seems like the built-form for the Lower Don Lands is going to be a repeat the West Don Lands. We can compare mid-rise blocks in Seestadt below to the completed block in the West Don Lands. What is up with all that missing space that easily could have supported additional density?

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So, inspired by your post, I went to have a look at this development, and to compare it, curiously, to West Don Lands and to the Villiers area.

This is the official (English) site for the new community in Vienna:


The above page states that there will be 11,000 residential units and 20,000 residents over an area of 240 hectares.

Screenshot below:

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When you take 20,000 residents, and you divide by 2.4km2; you get a population density of 8,333 per km2

So how does this compare to the West Don Lands?

Using the same formula of 1.82 residents per unit, x 6,000 residential units, you get 11,000 residents in the WDL
They are spread over 32 hectares which is 0.32km2
That gives a population density for the WDL of 34,000 residents per km2, or or more than 4x as dense as the Vienna example.

WDL data, from:



As seen here:

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So.... what about Villiers?

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From: https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2017/pg/bgrd/backgroundfile-107839.pdf

So, Villiers is 22ha total, which is 0.22km2 (source Wikipedia) * (excludes the riverine parklands)
Lets use the same population formula as we have above to get 8,500 residents.
That gets you a population density of 38000 per km2 or roughly 4.5x as dense as the Vienna example.

** if you include the riverine parklands in the density, you use 35 hectares of land or .35km2 in the calculation

You get a density of 24000 per km2

*****

Is that really crying out for more density?

******

I will stand to be corrected if any of the numbers I have cited are incorrect, or in my haste to post them I messed up my math; but I'm fairly certain they are correct.
This would suggest both Toronto examples are far denser than the Vienna one offered above.
 

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This would suggest both Toronto examples are far denser than the Vienna one offered above.
Heh #theydidthemath. Goes to show that you can't rely on the eye-test alone.

I won't dispute the numbers, I was probably hyperbolic with saying Seestadt is higher density. Buildings within the West Don Lands are on average taller at 11+ stories, while 8-stories seems to predominate across Seestadt. I would also be curious to see how average unit sizes compare between newer Toronto condos and the buildings within the Seestadt community. The West Don Lands are part of the downtown Toronto market while Seestadt is very much suburban Vienna. It is possible a large part of that difference in density is that there is simply less units per building in Seestadt.

Question of density aside, I still think there was room to sustainably pack in more block space for commercial and residential uses at the expanse of streets, in both the West Don Lands and as currently planned in Villiers Island. The narrowest streets in the Villiers precinct plan are 20 metres, while comparable streets in Seestadt are 12 metres and pedestrianized. The next level of the street hierarchy in Munitions and Villiers Streets are 30 metres ROW, while the comparable streets in Seestadt are approximately 15 metres ROW (shown below, albeit I am weary of trusting Google Maps measurement tool too much).

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And a cross-section of the above, with the pedestrianized street shown to the left. This sort of street should be sufficient for the new district.

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I won't dispute the numbers, I was probably hyperbolic with saying Seestadt is higher density. Buildings within the West Don Lands are on average taller at 11+ stories, while 8-stories seems to predominate across Seestadt. I would also be curious to see how average unit sizes compare between newer Toronto condos and the buildings within the Seestadt community. The West Don Lands are part of the downtown Toronto market while Seestadt is very much suburban Vienna. It is possible a large part of that difference in density is that there is simply less units per building in Seestadt.

Question of density aside, I still think there was room to sustainably pack in more block space for commercial and residential uses at the expanse of streets, in both the West Don Lands and as currently planned in Villiers Island. The narrowest streets in the Villiers precinct plan are 20 metres, while comparable streets in Seestadt are 12 metres and pedestrianized. The next level of the street hierarchy in Munitions and Villiers Streets are 30 metres ROW, while the comparable streets in Seestadt are approximately 15 metres ROW (shown below, albeit I am weary of trusting Google Maps measurement tool too much.

I agree w/the general thrust here.

That said, I think we need to make sure we're comparing apples to apples when discussing ROWs

Lets look at the 20M cross-section street in Villiers

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Of the 20M fully 11M is pedestrian/streetscaped space.

The curb to curb for vehicles is 9M.

In the Seestadt example above, directly at the same location, I get the following measurements from Google (appropriate asterisks apply)

8M devoted to vehicle lanes including parking, and 6M devoted to pedestrians for total of 14.6M

So a side by side comparison shows this:

Local Streets: Vehicle Space, Pedestrian Space, R.O.W.

Seestadt 8M 6M 14M

Villiers 9M 11M 20M

Seestadt also has far fewer trees, with no trees in the sidewalk, and instead a small number in the parking lane periodically, on only 1 side of the road.

Seestadt:

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8M for vehicles in this section including parking:

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Not as a big a difference as one might think. In both examples, I'd be happy to see the on-street parking removed; in the case of
Seestadt that could be replaced with more generous trees/landscaping, while in Villiers it could allow for a narrower ROW.
 

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WT Board of Directors meeting materials are up for tomorrow's meeting.

The featured item of discussion is the Public Art Plan for Villiers and Keating West.


In respect of the above, there is a proposal for an 'Art Trail through the valley/river parklands.

I'm frankly not on board with this at it appears quite intrusive in a space that should be about nature first and foremost.

However, that ship would appear to have sailed.

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Here's the big news on this one:

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WT Board of Directors meeting materials are up for tomorrow's meeting.

The featured item of discussion is the Public Art Plan for Villiers and Keating West.


In respect of the above, there is a proposal for an 'Art Trail through the valley/river parklands.

I'm frankly not on board with this at it appears quite intrusive in a space that should be about nature first and foremost.

However, that ship would appear to have sailed.

View attachment 380077

View attachment 380073

Here's the big news on this one:

View attachment 380074
View attachment 380076

Not sure if I totally agree - nature should be prioritized, but not necessarily to the exclusion of everything else - especially if they pose little to no disruption to the ecosystem. We are already planning a trail through the area in any case (nevermind the whole scheme is an engineered artifice in the first place - however beneficial)

Personally I am more concerned about well-intentioned mediocrity here.

AoD
 
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