The Field and Stream Rescue Team: Grassroots Action in the Hamilton-Halton Region


The Field and Stream Rescue Team is an environmental charity with a mission to revitalize urban areas by rehabilitating watercourses, forests, and natural areas through community education and hands-on activities. Serving the Hamilton-Halton region, our volunteer events offer a variety of opportunities for all community members to participate in projects that improve the overall health of the local environment.

Volunteer opportunities including litter clean-ups, tree plantings, invasive species removals, and bio-engineering projects that focus on watercourse restoration or slope stabilization. The RescueTeam has also worked on pollinator garden projects, fish habitat creation workshops, and specialty planting projects, contributing to the creation of food forests or riparian buffer zones. In addition to our hands on projects, the Rescue Team is working to provide a baseline level of environmental knowledge to community members through the education centre located within Lowville Park, in Burlington, Ontario.

While much of the Rescue Team’s work takes place outside of the designated boundaries of the Niagara Escarpment, we recognize that the Niagara Escarpment is an important geological feature that shapes the surrounding environment within Halton region and the many watersheds that feed Lake Ontario. The Hamilton-Halton region is home to a vast array of ecosystems from wetlands and creeks to forests and grasslands or meadows. Each of these ecosystems have an abundance of biodiversity, with flora and fauna that all play very important roles in the overall function of the ecosystem. This region is also home to the ever-growing urban ecosystem and the Rescue Team is passionate in mitigating the impacts of urbanization through our many projects to help educate citizens on how to act positively as a part of the ecosystem, while simultaneously working to enhance and preserve natural greenspaces.

The Niagara Escarpment Biosphere Network and the Field and Stream Rescue Team share similar goals of environmental stewardship, stakeholder engagement, and the preservation of the local environment, prioritizing the ecosystems ecological form and function. Additionally, the Rescue Team works to collaborate and coordinate with different organizations in the region as we believe that protecting and restoring the environment should be a combined effort for the upmost success. The Rescue Team engages with various stakeholder groups including other environmental charities (ex. Burlington Green or Hamilton Naturalists Club), corporations, community members, and public sector organizations such as Conservation Halton and City of Burlington.

—  Rebecca Kempen is project coordinator for the Field and Stream Rescue Team (FSRT)