Harper Creek Subwatershed and Peterborough Natural Heritage Areas to be Studied by Trent University Students

This fall, our club has been very fortunate to have been contacted by two highly motivated, fourth year Trent students working on key policy issues impacting natural heritage in our community.

Vanessa Potvin will be revisiting the Peterborough Natural Areas Strategy 20 years after the 10 core ecological units were first defined.  Vanessa will begin her project by digitally mapping the 1996 and 2016 natural heritage areas. Then, using geographical information system (GIS) software, she will perform a map analysis to calculate changes in area over the two-decade period. Using her updated maps, Vanessa will be able to determine whether or not it is still possible to connect the original units to form a natural heritage corridor.  She will also be using the results of her analysis to advise on the need for long-term natural heritage governance in the City of Peterborough.  Vanessa is proceeding with her research under the guidance of the Trent Community Research Centre, her supervisor at Trent University, and the Peterborough Field Naturalists as the host organization for the project.

Trent University student, Emily Amon, wearing her chest waders, stands in the riffle section of a stream
Emily Amon is in her fourth year at Trent University. Interested in the health of watersheds, Emily is using the Harper Creek basin as her study area to research the impacts of urbanization with respect to the impacts of stormwater runoff on receiving waters.

Emily Amon is looking at the impacts of increasing urbanization on watersheds, and the resulting need for improved management of stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces. Using the Harper Creek basin as a case study, and taking into account the newly proposed casino development, Emily is seeking to determine priority locations for permeability projects, such as rain gardens, as a means of mitigating the impacts of stormwater runoff on Harper Creek and the associated wetland. Emily’s results will also inform current policy discussions surrounding the potential introduction of a municipal stormwater fee: the fee is intended to address budgetary shortfalls arising from the backlog of stormwater infrastructure in Peterborough. This research has the potential to guide program incentives for residents who choose to increase areas of permeability on their properties, and/or divert runoff from storm sewers using rain barrels, or other low impact development (LID) methods.

Our club has an opportunity to support these two students by providing them with the benefit of our lived experience and local knowledge of their study areas.  If you would like to help Vanessa and Emily, I know they would love to hear from you!

Vanessa Potvin:
vanessapotvin <at> trent <dot> ca

Emily Amon:
Emilyamon <at> trent <dot> ca
Cell: 1-647-402-0612