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Environment

RIM Park

The RIM Park lands encompass two main ecological areas: the east RIM Park floodplains and the west RIM Park upland system.

The floodplains include the Horst floodplain, with the Horst tributary and Grand River corridor buffer, the Martin floodplain and the rural east woodland/wetland. The upland system includes Critter Creek, the cedar esker and kame and the Eastbridge woodlot.

A floodplain is built by a river as it erodes sediment from upstream locations and deposits it downstream. In creating the floodplain at RIM Park, the Grand River has at some point occupied every part of the valley.

Floodplains are constantly disturbed ecosystems, subject to erosion, deposition of sediments during late winter or spring flooding, and damage to vegetation caused by blocks of ice. Floodplain plants must adapt to survive in their unstable environment.

They also provide ideal habitat for weedy, invasive non-native species because they are regularly disturbed. This, along with their historical use as choice settlement areas, makes intact native floodplain communities a vanishing and valued ecosystem.

Some remains of the original floodplain forest can be found in RIM Park as small groves and scattered individual trees such as willows, bitternut hickories and black maples.

RIM Park is unique in providing one of the longest stretches of public access to the Grand River shoreline. In planning the park, City of Waterloo staff strived to balance land use by our citizens with recognition of the sensitivity of the watershed area and the historical significance of the lands.