The University of New Brunswick Woodlot is over 3,500 acres of wondrous wild woods found across from the Regent Mall on Regent Street or south of Vanier Highway centered on Highway 101. The land was given to UNB to be used for the benefit of “the fledgling institution.” This land is traditional Woolastook territory, never ceded to the British Crown or Canada in the way of treaty or land claims agreement.
Corbett Brook, UNB Woodlot. Photo: Earle Arnold.
Many citizens of Fredericton enjoy the Woodlot as a place of recreation and refuge and escape from the increasing proliferation of concrete, asphalt, litter, light, noise and visual pollution.
Ski trail, UNB Woodlot, January 2007. Photo: Earle Arnold.
UNB Woodlot Watchers were shocked to read the following statement in the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the proposed road through the Woodlot, prepared by environmental consultants Jacques Whitford for the City of Fredericton: “..the Woodlot is of low social and cultural value.”
In recent years, UNB and the City of Fredericton have reached the conclusion that it is best to develop this land. For instance, 99 year leases are being granted to big business like the Home Depots.
The Department of Environment quickly granted approval of the EIA prepared for the proposed road that will cut through the woodlot and affect a number of wetlands. Machines were busy clearing land at the corner of Alison and Kimble before the EIA was approved in March 2007. Conditions of the EIA proval can be read here.
Map of road extension.
Clearing begins at corner of Alison and Kimble. March 2007. Photo: Earle Arnold.
Road through UNB Woodlot. July 2007. Photo: Earle Arnold.
The development of the Woodlot is unconsciousable in today’s knowledge of the conservation importance of such natural gems.
- The Woodlot is one of the most unique treasures found in Fredericton. How many cities can boast a wild area of its size in its city limits? The UNB Woodlot is four times the size of Vancouver’s much celebrated Stanley Park but sadly the UNB Woodlot does not garner the same respect and protection.
- The Woodlot is home to mature forest, wetlands and wildlife including several species of conservation concern. Green spaces are becoming increasingly more valuable and appreciated particularly near urban centres. Natural wetlands and mature trees and the associated flora and fauna are necessary to ensure protection of water sources.
- The Woodlot is used by students and faculty as an important natural research lab for fish ecology, forestry and other studies.
- Urban forests such as woodlots reduce air pollutants and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which is a key factor in mitigating climate change.
* Take a stand for the Woodlot! *
3. Join the Woodlot Watch group, a group of citizens who care about the fate of the Woodlot. Contact us at 458-0163 or by emali at: firstname.lastname@example.org