The Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Fund is leading the way to discover and share things we need to know about the Escarpment’s biodiversity. During two seasons of field study in 2011 and 2012, we paid research teams to gather information in natural areas of the Escarpment. We are now working with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and the University of Toronto to analyze the data and finish our 2015 State of the Escarpment report. Here are the preliminary results.
The State of the Escarpment report will contribute to decision making as the Niagara Escarpment Plan is reviewed as part of the Ontario Government’s Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review. It will also provide information to conservation practitioners and support decisions by land managers, municipal government and conservation authorities to invest in land acquisition, restore natural area and protect species at risk.
Knowing what we have on the Escarpment and identifying what we need to know will ultimately help decision-makers make educated, responsible choices about land conservation and environmental sustainability. Knowledge empowers.
We’re planning a guided hikes series in summer 2015 with some of our wonderful partners along the Escarpment. Join us to learn about unique ecosystems, beautiful waterfalls, science monitoring projects, interesting species and more!
Researcher Shawn Geniole and Professor Cheryl McCormick at Brock University are exploring the link between nature and human health on the Niagara Escarpment. So far, they have conducted a pilot study to compare the effect of walking in a natural setting compared to an urban setting on mood, cognition and stress.
Results show that walking, irrespective of location, results in decreased feelings of sleepiness, enhanced cognitive processing, and decreased concentrations of stress hormones (cortisol). Walking in nature also enhanced the mood of the participants, while walking in an urban setting did not.