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Wetland Restoration

The wetlands systems on the Niagara-on-the-Lake campus were originally built by Niagara Region to treat waste water from a nearby office complex and a horse track located down the service road because there was no municipal sewer system extending out this far. The two cells were designed and functioning to treat waste water; the primary cell, the south cell located closest to the escarpment, is where settling and wave action would oxygenate the water, and from there it would trickle into the secondary lagoon, the northern lagoon, which was covered in cattails and phragmites and other aquatic plant species, and would treat the nutrients in the water. The resulting water was discharged into the 6 Mile Creek watershed. When the college was built in the late 90’s the municipal sewer line was extended to treat the wastewater, and as a result, the office complex was connected and the lagoons were no longer needed. After a series of negotiations, the college took over ownership of the 15 acres of land that was mostly occupied by the lagoons as they were no longer needed by the region for their original intent. Since taking ownership of the land, it has become a living lab for the environmental programs, particularly the Ecosystem Restoration program, and over the years it has evolved into a diverse wetland ecosystem through a variety of restoration methods and projects completed by students.