In 1999, Lester Pearson College was fortunate to obtain the advice of the respected Canadian Environmental Architect Cornelia Oberlander. In a trip to Race Rocks, Cornelia gave us many ideas to help in planning the environmental restoration of Race Rocks. Chris, Garry and Angus accompanied Cornelia to the island.
Cornelia Oberlander with Mike and Carol Slater, the Marine Protected Area Guardians at Race Rocks since 1997. (photos by Angus Matthews)
One of the areas we were having to plan for was the concrete base and cradle which held the seven oil tanks in the old tank farm on the island. Cornelia was adamant that if the concrete could be removed, then it definitely should be taken away in order to restore the site by exposing the underlying rock and allowing for the return of vegetation as much as possible.
Link to the page on the old Tank Farm Restoration Project.
Cornelia agreed with us that we should allow the grass to return to native species wherever possible. Years of cutting with a grass whip had left invasive species such as brome grass thriving, but the native fescues were not being allowed to go to seed.
Areas with old artifacts were to be preserved in as natural a setting as possible. She saw that old bricks that we could dig out of debris piles were excellent for keeping grass suppressed in areas around artifacts, while still allowing good drainage of the area. The base of the old flywheel was one such area.
Another area to be set up was against the rock wall above the original concrete foundation of the old engine room. Hannah and Giovanni on one Project week did the digging out of soil, and replacement with crushed rock to create a natural looking corner for the old historic engine room equipment . See this file for the results:
During the construction of the Tidal Current Project, attention is being given to the mitigation of environmental impact. These files detail some of the methods used.