Changes on the horizon at Captain Cornelius Park

This post, from November 2, has information from the Hamilton Naturalists Club about restoring biodiversity at Capt. Cornelius Park.

Hello Ward 8 Neighbours,

Thanks to a group of dedicated volunteers, some changes will soon be noticed at the Rolston Forest beside Captain Cornelius Park. The Hamilton Naturalists Club has shared what to expect below.

For more details, please continue reading below…

The following information is thanks to Jen Baker, Land Trust Manager of the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club:

Changes are coming to the Rolston Forest at Captain Cornelius Park!

Thanks to a group of dedicated and hard-working volunteers exciting changes are coming to Rolston Forest starting in 2022. The volunteer team has methodically removed hundreds of invasive, or weedy, European buckthorn shrubs and has recently planted dozens of trees, shrubs and wildflowers to enhance biodiversity and improve wildlife habitat.

Buckthorn is a Eurasian species with glossy green leaves, deep purple berries, and small thorns on its branches. It was brought to North America as a hedgerow species but quickly takes over, outcompeting native species, and the berries can make birds very ill. We have planted oaks and pines to provide habitat for birds, along with berry-producing shrubs that are healthy for birds. We have also planted a variety of wildflowers to help support pollinators.

Buckthorn, like many shrubs, will keep trying to grow even after it is cut to the ground by sending up suckers at the base of the trunk. In order to manage this, we are cutting back the suckers and are covering the stumps with plastic to prevent air and light from reaching the stump. The plastic coverings will need to stay on until next year to be effective. In the meantime, this is allowing the trees, shrubs and wildflowers to grow which also makes it difficult for buckthorn to regrow.

Restoring biodiversity is an ongoing effort and if you have questions or would like to help with the work, please contact Jen at

Jen Baker, Hamilton Naturalists Club

Thank you to Jen and her crew of volunteers for the hard and fabulous work they are doing to beautify and sustain Ward 8.

Questions or concerns?

If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact our office here.

Councillor John-Paul Danko