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Editor,

In an attempt to illustrate to Saugeen Shores Council the importance of the last significant woodland and wetland in Southampton and thereby reject an Official Plan amendment application before them, concerned residents are holding a “Circle the Woodland” event on Saturday, May 18 from 3 to 4 p.m. Hundreds of residents, ratepayers and visitors are expected to converge along the perimeter of the subject property and will spread out, effectively encircling the woodland.

In a show of support for the unique natural features of the woodland, which is home to beavers, bears, deer, red foxes, bald eagles, egrets, rainbow trout, spawning fish, migratory monarch butterflies and sensitive hardwood trees, the area from Huron Street east to Albert Street South and from Cole Boulevard to Island Street in Southampton has been under a development freeze for many years. The planning application, submitted by a developer with intentions to seek to have the development freeze lifted from the lands, will be decided by Town Council at its upcoming Planning meeting on Tuesday, May 21 at 6:30 p.m. in Council Chambers.

“We openly invite the Mayor and all members of Town Council to join us as we peacefully and respectfully demonstrate our support for the unique natural heritage that our last significant woodland and essential wetland has to offer," said Brian Putman, one of the organizers of the rally. “The area is also a sensitive wetland, absolutely essential in flood control to dozens of properties along the perimeter of the subject lands. This comes at a time when we see record flooding across the province. Flooding that has exceeded the former “hundred year flood”, recorded only two years ago. Clearly our climate is changing rapidly and our communities absolutely need the natural buffer that only wetlands can provide," Putman added.

Over 470 people have signed the petition requesting Saugeen Shores Council reject the official plan amendment application. Persons interested in showing their support are similarly invited to take part in the rally on Saturday afternoon, May 18.

Brian Putman,
Southampton summer resident