Landmark Natural Asset Management Plan: The Grindstone Creek Project

Nov 17, 2020   •   Climate Resilience , Grant

In the spring of 2018, the Greenbelt Foundation began working with Municipal Natural Assets Initiatives (MNAI) on a 3 year-project, geared towards mainstreaming natural asset management at the municipal level across the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

On May 5th, the Foundation announced the flagship initiative, the Grindstone Creek Project, in partnership with the City of Burlington, City of Hamilton, Halton Region, Conservation Halton, and the Royal Botanical Gardens. This landmark watershed restoration project will work to restore the Grindstone Creek area and demonstrate how proper natural asset management can save municipalities money, build the region’s resilience to climate change and ensure healthy greenspaces for residents.

This initiative will help the municipalities invest in the creek's watershed as a means of cost-effectively addressing local flood-risk and water contamination in the Hamilton Harbour.

The Grindstone Creek watershed, located within the Cities of Burlington and Hamilton in the Ontario Greenbelt, originates in wetland areas above the Niagara Escarpment and drains an area of 91 km2. Grindstone Creek passes through significant residential, as well as recreational areas (Cootes to Escarpment) and drains into Hamilton Harbour. 

There is currently a significant level of risk to life and property, due to potential flooding in Millgrove—a nearby settlement area.

The Grindstone Creek project is a site-specific evaluation of how through formal natural asset management:

  • The health of the watershed can be improved
  • Localized flooding can be minimized
  • Phosphorous loading in Hamilton Harbour can be mitigated 
  • The Creek can provide high quality recreational benefits to the region

The Greater Golden Horseshoe is one of the most densely populated areas in Canada. As the region’s population continues to grow, its ageing grey infrastructure will increasingly be strained. When managed properly, natural infrastructure, like the Grindstone Creek, can cost-effectively address the region’s infrastructural needs.

Hear more about the project from Hassan Bassit at Conservation Halton:


Hear more about the project from Mayor of Burlington, Marianne Meed Ward:



Tour the Grindstone Creek:


Stay tuned for more project updates and thank you to our project partners