What is a Master Plan and why do we need one

By Gene Matthews, Director, Operations

Conservation Halton is currently developing a new Master Plan for Kelso Conservation Area and Glen Eden. You might ask, what is a master plan, and why do we need one? There are a number of good reasons and if you visit Kelso or Glen Eden to enjoy the outdoor recreation opportunities which are offered, we think you’ll agree.

Kelso / Glen Eden is a busy place and visitation has grown. Every winter more than 300,000 people come to ski and snowboard at Glen Eden, making it consistently one of the three busiest hills in Ontario. During the other three seasons, Kelso attracts 175,000 people who come to hike, bike, swim, camp and more. When you factor in the location of Kelso / Glen Eden in Milton, (one of the fastest growing communities in Canada), and with it being within minutes of millions of people in the GTA, it is important proper planning be done for the challenges and potential growth opportunities which lie ahead.

The Master Plan is a document which will act as a blueprint to support business development and growth at Kelso and Glen Eden. A key component is to ensure continued protection for our natural heritage system while also providing appropriate recreation and educational experiences for the growing number of visitors. Given Kelso and Glen Eden’s location on the Niagara Escarpment a Master Plan is required so any future development can be reviewed and approved by the appropriate agencies such as the Niagara Escarpment Commission.

The last Kelso / Glen Eden master plan was conducted in 2002, and many of the goals have been accomplished, so it’s time to complete a new one. Much has changed in the last 15 years for Kelso / Glen Eden and a new master plan will help guide Conservation Halton in sustaining and growing business at Kelso and Glen Eden in a responsible manner.

Part of the exercise will be to assess facilities at Kelso / Glen Eden to determine if they are meeting current requirements, and look at future opportunities to either improve service or accommodate projected growth. Technology has advanced and the community demographics have changed as well, so we need to take those factors into consideration. The Master Plan Process will not be something we do on our own. We want to hear from everyone whether you come to Kelso / Glen Eden to … walk your dog, ski or snowboard in winter, send your child to a day camp, use our trails to mountain bike or hike, use the lake to swim or boat, attend events, really any of the many activities and programs you can do at Kelso / Glen Eden.

How can you participate? We recently closed an online survey where we asked people for their thoughts on our programs, infrastructure, operations and environmental conservation. If you completed the survey, thank you, if you didn’t complete the survey, don’t worry there are still ways for you to share your thoughts. Public meetings will be held later this year where you can come and hear more about the potential plans, ask questions and provide comments. Be sure to visit our webpage and watch our social media feeds and other sources of media for updates. We will let you know once the meetings have been scheduled! Conservation Halton will also be holding meetings with representatives from many of the large user groups who use Kelso / Glen Eden on a regular basis for programming or special events.

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