Archaeology Centre Wetland Nature Area
The Archaeology Centre Wetland Natural Area is a wetland that is nestled between roads and a parking lot. It is a vibrant wetland bordered mainly by cedar, with seasonally-fluctuating water levels, cattails, and is home to several bird pairs, and is part of the larger drainage system for the land that Trent University occupies.
In August 2019 this wetland was identified as Provincially Significant by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. View the full report here (PDF).
A) Satellite Imagery
1. Created in ArcGIS Pro (click to view full size). The red outline in centre of figure delineates the nature area boundary. This winter satellite image clearly shows the cedar row on the west side of the nature area, and the wetland on the east, as well as the small area of open water within the wetland.
2. Via Google Maps (shows latest satellite image available via Google Maps; will not show boundary).
Location and Use
The Archaeology Centre Wetland Natural Area is located between Gzowski Parking Lot, Gzowski Way (road off East Bank Drive), East Bank Drive, Pioneer Road, and Nassau Mills Road. It is a vibrant wetland bordered mainly by cedar, with seasonally-fluctuating water levels, cattails, and is home to several bird pairs.
Trails, Access, and Points of Interest
This Nature Area has no trails through it, but much of it can be viewed from the east side, walking along East Bank Drive and Gzowski Way roads.
The wetland does have a small pond area that in most years is present all year around. The rest of the wetland consists of mostly cattails with seasonally-fluctuating water levels. This is part of the larger drainage system for the land Trent University occupies. Water from this wetland eventually drains into the Trent Canal.
Ecosystems & Species
Cattails are prominent in this Nature Area, bordered by cedar on the west side, and scattered Buckthorn and other grasses, shrubs, and trees along the other sides. There is an occasional shrub and tree within the wetland area.
There has been considerable construction on East Bank of Trent University since the turn of the century, and this has had some impact on the Archaeology Centre Wetland Natural Area. Gzowski College, the parking lots to the south and west of the College, and Gzowski Way access road, along with the completion of the loop road East Bank Drive have all been completed in the past 2 decades. Impacts include:
- A fundamental change in the pattern of surface water flow in the area. Gzowski Way runs right alongside the Wetland, and runoff from the large adjacent parking lots and the road either flow right into that wetland (with no infiltration possible on the road surface), or run into storm drains along Gzowski way. The former results in massive amounts of water flowing into the wetland all at once during heavy precipitation events, while the latter results in a drastic reduction of overall water input into the wetland from surrounding terrain. The road and parking lot also form a break between possible runoff from lands higher in elevation (upstream) into the wetland.
- In winter, salt and sand deposition on the parking lot and roads generate salt- and silt-laden runoff, some of which runs into the wetland. There are still remnants of the protective barriers that were placed along the wetland to protect it from construction in 2004-05, and this might help mitigate some silt infiltration, but the not the salt.
- Many vehicles leak oils and other fluids, and lose rubber and other pieces over time. These are deposited on the surrounding roads and parking lots, which then are drained into the storm drain and wetland in times of precipitation events, resulting in some contamination of the wetland.
Nature Area History
The Archaeology Centre Wetland Natural Area was established back in 1994. It is one of the larger wetlands on Trent University Symons Campus, and one of the most visible, due to its close proximity to buildings on the east bank.
Updates to Come!
Stay tuned for maps and physical descriptions, coming soon!