E.C. Brown Conservation Area is a great place to go for people who are interested in wetlands and the many different species that live within them. Located along the Welland River in the Town of Pelham, this Conservation Area was once used as agricultural land. After acquiring the land from a local farmer, the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority transformed the area into a conservation wetland. It consists of thirty-six acres housing over sixty species of native vegetation as well as various animal life. The area includes parking and a well-kept three kilometre trail that can be used for walking, bicycling, show shoeing, and is wheelchair accessible.
In addition, visitors to E.C. Brown are able to go boating in the large pond, fish, and have picnics. E.C. Brown is located directly across from the Niagara Central Airport, so visitors may be able to experience planes taking off and landing up close, or see individuals practise parachuting over-head. Visitors to E.C. Brown are encouraged to visit Welland's busy King Street, located just minutes away and home to the Blue Star Restaurant and the Welland Canal Memorial Monument.
1. Take the Gardiner Expressway West ramp
2. Merge onto Gardiner Expressway West
3. Continue onto Queen Elizabeth Way
4. Merge onto Queen Elizabeth Way/Highway 403 West
5. Keep left to continue on Queen Elizabeth Way, follow signs for Niagara/East Hamilton/Fort Erie
6. Take exit 57 for Victoria Avenue/County Road 24 toward Vineland
7. Merge onto Marina Boulevard
8. Turn left (South) onto Victoria Avenue
9. Turn left (East) onto Webber Road/Regional Road 29
10. Turn right (South) onto Cream Street
11. Turn left (East) onto River Road - Destination will be on the right
1. Take highway 420 West
2. Follow signs for Queen Elizabeth Way/Fort Erie and merge onto Queen Elizabeth Way
3. Take exit 21 for Regional Road 47 West/Lyon's Creek Road West toward Welland
4. Merge onto Lyons Creek Road/Regional Road 47
5. Turn left onto Montrose Road/Regional Road 98
6. Slight right onto Schisler Road/Regional Road 27
7. Continue to follow Regional Road 27
8. Turn left (South) onto Prince Charles Drive North/Regional Road 54/Regional Road 27
9. Take the 1st right (East) onto Riverside Drive/Regional Road 27
10. Turn right (North) onto O'Reilly's Road North/Regional Road 627
11. Turn left (West) onto River Road/Regional Road 529
12. Continue to follow River Road - Destination will be on the left
The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority obtained the agricultural property in 2005 and identified the site as a high priority area for wetland restoration. The wetland restoration project was planned later that year and initiated with the help of funding from project partners.
Restoration of the area has increased wetland and habitat coverage by 9.3 hectares. The restoration project included work such as excavation of the wetland area, trail development, and the planting of native wildflowers and grasses.
E.C. Brown Conservation Area resides next to the Welland River and contains a restored wetland area. This wetland is important for providing ecological services such as carbon storage, water filtration, as well as providing a natural habitat for wildlife. The wetland provides habitat for amphibians, ducks, and endangered species like the snapping turtle.
Other significant species that rely on wetlands in this area include the marsh wren and the black-crowned night heron. These two bird species are provincially rare, and a reduction in their habitat often results in their endangerement. This makes wetland restoration projects important within this particular region. Moreover, visitors at E.C. Brown can go boating or fishing on the Welland River, which contains fish species such as the large-mouth bass, yellow perch, and walleye.
Niagara This Week. (2008, September 26). E.C. Brown revamped. Retrieved from http://www.niagarathisweek.com/news-story/3285328-e-c-brown-revamped/
Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA). (2013). Our conservation areas: Your natural playground. Retrieved from http://www.npca.ca/conservation-areas/
Pelham News Staff. (2008). Wetland revival project at E.C. Brown Conservation Area will be unveiled. Retrieved from http://www.pelhamnews.ca/2008/09/10/wetland-revival-project-at-ec-brown-conservation-area-will-be-unveiled
Ministry of Natural Resources. (1989). The lakes and rivers improvement act. Retrieved from http://www.web2.mnr.gov.on.ca/mnr/omlc/Anthony%20Mete.htm
Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority
Free Parking, Picnic Pavilion, Boat Launch
No Admission Fee
480 River Road
Municipality Town of Pelham
Trail length: 3 Kilometres
Walking time: 30 minutes
Jogging time: 15 minutes
Surface features: Stone pathway, Dirt Pathway