Grass Lake wetlands is important to everyone

To the Editor,

I invite area residents of Haliburton to take a drive along Peninsula Road on Grass Lake to soak in the natural beauty and wildlife habitat of the Grass Lake wetlands, as they may be gone in a few short years – desecrated by development! You access Peninsula Road directly from County Road 21 just west of Tim Hortons. Immediately on your left is Grass Lake and 1,500 feet of shoreline with a forested and sloping terrain attached to the Grass Lake wetlands – an integral part of Lake Kashagawigamog’s ecosystem.
This is the site that Harburn Holdings proposes to develop four buildings with a footprint for 88 condominiums. The proponent has, over the years, cleared all of the underbrush and many of the birch, maple, pine and balsam trees. They have trucked in hundreds of loads of fill to make grassy, open areas, including a manmade pond. It has created a land bridge to the one small piece of treed land that borders the lake. Locals called it “the island.” It is surrounded by water no more!
Watch for a doe and her newborn fawns in the site’s forest, a great blue heron stalking the marsh, or a turtle crossing the road. There is a periodic stream in one section of the site that is designated Environmentally Protected. In summer, you can see the vast carpet of lily pads that blankets the waterfront and provides essential habitat for the amphibian, wildlife, fish and reptiles that call this pristine natural setting home.
Drive down Peninsula Road and take a long look at this site, so unsuitable for development, but so critical to our environment. Show your children and grandchildren, and explain to them what responsible environmental stewardship means. Better still, write to Dysart council to remind it what that means!

Don Ross
Peninsula Road, Haliburton

Editor’s note: On the Dysart et al website, the planning application from Harburn Holdings Ltd., which includes reports and studies, including letters of opposition by the Friends of Grass Lake.
D14-ZB-2021-006 for more information.