Archive for April, 2011

When did 80 become 30?

The UNB Woodlot development was promoted as an environmentally progressive and sustainable project, which should have been a state-of-the-art showcase for the university and a source of pride for students, staff, alumni and the greater Fredericton community.

Former President John McLaughlin proudly announced in a News Release on Oct. 4, 2004: “First and foremost we will seek to conserve and preserve UNB’s ecologically, educationally and environmentally valuable land holdings.”

Unfortunately this is not what is happening.  Phase 1 development is unfolding in a destructive and disappointing fashion, and contrary to the vision of current President Eddy Campbell, does not demonstrate adherence to the “best of current practices anywhere in the world”

But…what was promised?

The UNB Board of Governors, Faculty, Alumni, and the general public were guaranteed 80m buffers for “Ecologically Sensitive areas”. For example, on October 04, 2004, UNB President John McLaughlin held the UNB Open House on the Woodlot Implementation Plan.  A professionally-produced document was presented as ‘Display Panel 3’ (from the Internet Archive, page 1 and page 2) which explicitly detailed the 80m buffer guarantee for Ecologically Sensitive areas including … “Regent Bog, Larch Swale, Corbett Brook Marsh, Corbett Brook Caves, and various areas of known rare or uncommon plants and animals”.

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Thursday, April 14 at 12:15pm – 12:45pm
Wu Conference Centre (on UNB Campus across the street from St. Thomas University)

We have lots of extra signs for everyone. We want to make it clear to the UNB Board of Governors that the Costco development plan violates the guarantee of 80m buffers that was made to the Board of Governors. As documented by UNB, Corbett Brook Marsh and Larch Swale are “Ecologically Sensitive areas”, and the Costco building and parking lot must be built outside this 80m buffer.

If the UNB Woodlot continues to be developed as planned, we are going to see the loss of this valuable teaching and research resource, increased taxes, increased insurance costs, increased flood risk, and decreased quality of life for our community and children.

Don’t pave over our woodlot. Don’t pave over our future.

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killbigboxColourful floatation devices, signs and streamers are part of a rally to save Fredericton’s wetlands and the UNB Woodlot on April 7, 2011. Photo: Kevin Matthews. 

Over 50 people gathered over the noon hour on Thursday, April 7 to protest the University of New Brunswick’s development of its woodlot. Participants lined up along the New Maryland highway in front of the future Costco site and made up impromptu chants in favour of saving wetlands and the UNB Woodlot. They donned floatation devices, scuba gear and blue streamers to make the point that wetlands are essential for water retention and flood control, especially in a time of climate change.

Read more at nbmediacoop.org

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Saturday, April 9, 3:00pm – 6:00pm

Learn about the history, ecology and threats facing the UNB Woodlot. Present will be Friends of the UNB Woodlot and the UNB Environmental Law Society. Meet at 4pm in the back of Home Depot. If taking the bus from campus, meet at the SUB to grab the 3:22pm bus to Regent Mall, across from the Woodlot.

Contact: stusustainability@gmail.com

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Thursday, April 7, 12:15pm to 12:45pm

Beside the future Costco site (at the lights in front of Home Depot, Corbett Place, along new Maryland Hwy).

A group of concerned citizens in Fredericton, N.B. is calling on the University of New Brunswick to stop the development of its teaching forest and to conduct a flood risk study and economic study of its forested wetlands.

Contact: woodlowatch@gmail.com

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