Last updated: October 31, 2022, 1 pm
The May derecho caused unprecedented damage to many sites in the National Capital Region.
This storm significantly affected the Greenbelt, especially the Pine Grove, and Southern Farm and Pinhey Forest sectors. We estimate that we have lost about 70 percent of the upper canopy layer in these areas, which cover about 2,700 hectares of land. The storm also left its mark on large parts of Mer Bleue and Stony Swamp.
While we have been able to secure most of our assets and reopen them to the public, our work has just begun. It will take many years for our natural areas to recover and look as they once did.
Phase 1: Making places safe for the public
Right after the storm, we focused our efforts on the following:
- securing and reopening recreational trails, roads and other public assets
- securing and cleaning up damage on private property near the Greenbelt
In this phase, we essentially removed trees and limbs that were blocking the way or creating hazards.
This work is ongoing in the Greenbelt, and we are working hard to assess, secure and reopen the sites that are still closed.
Closed until further notice
- Mer Bleue sector
- Trail 53 (North of Ridge Road) (Winter Trail)
- Pine Grove sector
- Parking lot: P16 (Winter Parking Lot)
Phase 2: Manage debris, and restore natural areas
We have spent the past few months addressing immediate safety concerns, but we still have a lot of work to do. Among other things, we need to finish cleaning up, assess the damage and establish restoration priorities.
Specifically, in this phase, we will do the following:
- remove coarse, woody debris that we have piled along the trails, pathways and boundaries
- repair fences, boardwalks and other recreational assets
- use geospatial data to identify the type and amount of damage
- prepare for the long-term restoration of natural areas
Thank you for your understanding, patience and vigilance while we continue our work. Please do not handle fallen trees yourself. It is risky, and our team of professionals is on it.