Natural Areas and Streams

Sixteen Mile CreekOpen our Natural Areas and Streams flyer (pdf, 586 kB).

Help protect our natural areas

  • Don't stray from designated trails and pathways to limit soil compaction and the trampling of plants.
  • Don't cut trees or grass in naturalized areas, store wood or other material, build tree houses or fire pits, or otherwise encroaching on public natural areas.
  • Leave wildflowers and plants alone so they can regenerate rather than picking them.
  • Keep dogs on a leash as pets can disrupt natural areas by frightening wildlife and trampling vegetation.
  • Pick up after your pet to prevent harmful bacteria from polluting stormwater.
  • Use organic and biodegradable products on your lawn and garden instead of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers––chemicals from these products are transported into our streams, ponds and lakes during rainfall events.
  • Plant additional trees and shrubs to absorb rainwater in your yard.
  • Limit the amount of hard surfaces on your property like asphalt and concrete by constructing and preserving grass, gardens and gravel areas.
  • Wash your car at a commercial car wash to avoid soap and chemicals washing off your driveway and into the storm sewer systems. If you do wash your car at home, use biodegradable soap and a sponge and bucket rather than your hose to conserve water.
  • Keep your vehicles in good repair and properly dispose of waste automotive fluids. Dispose of oil, paint thinners and other hazardous waste at your local hazardous waste station. Oil does not dissolve in water and oil and automotive fluids are poisonous to people, wildlife and plants.

Help protect our streams

Stormwater (rainfall and snowmelt) flows across our lawns, roads and parking lots and can pick up pollutants such as animal waste, soil, pesticides, fertilizers, oil and grease. All these pollutants are carried into the storm sewer system, which flows into our natural streams and on to Lake Ontario. Natural creek channels provide habitat for fish, wildlife and vegetation.

  • Don't dump debris and yard waste such as grass clippings, soil and brush into the creek or adjacent valley. These items can be composted or taken to your local transfer station.
  • Do not place or build structures including sheds, wood piles, decks or fencing so that they encroach on the valley or stream system.
  • Refrain from using pollutants including herbicides, pesticides and oils as they eventually make their way into our creek systems during rainfall events.
  • Consider recycling grass clippings as organic matter on your lawns instead of using chemical fertilizers.
  • Maintain a vegetated buffer along your property line to stabilize banks and filter pollutants.
  • Control non-native, invasive plants that can smother and kill other native plants and trees.
  • Plant trees, shrubs and native ground cover along the buffer zone between your property and a valley or stream system.
  • Direct downspouts from your roof gutters away from impermeable areas like driveways or streets. Ideally downspouts should run into your yard or garden and away from your home or adjacent homes. If downspouts are directly connected to storm sewers, consider disconnecting downspouts and redirecting either into a rain barrel or towards the yard and garden.
  • Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks.
  • Do not direct pool drainage into adjacent streams or valley lands. Pool or spa water containing chlorine can be toxic to aquatic life. This action is prohibited by by-law. Allow the pool water to sit for 72 hours before draining the pool to allow the chemicals to evaporate. Discharge pool water over grassed areas before draining to the storm sewer.
  • Do not drain water directly into ravines or forested areas as this can cause soil erosion and slope failures.

For more information on waste water management visit the Ministry of the Environment site.

Studies related to natural areas and streams

The following studies are available for your reference:

Current Stream Construction and Rehabilitation Projects

The following construction activities are scheduled to commence or are currently underway:

For more information about natural areas and streams, contact ServiceOakville at