What is the Environmental Reserve?
The University of Waterloo North Campus Master Plan has designated an Environmental Reserve approximately 109 hectares in size along the Laurel Creek Corridor. Laurel Creek is a perennial stream that flows through the center of the Environmental Reserve, in a southerly direction before discharging into Columbia Lake. Natural vegetation, including small wetland areas, occurs in the riparian areas adjacent to Laurel Creek. A mixed swamp forest occurs within the environmental reserve lands to the northwest within the floodplain of Laurel Creek. The Laurel Creek Watershed Study has identified this reach of Laurel Creek (including Columbia Lake) as a year round warmwater sporifish habitat.
The University of Waterloo Guidance Statement (January 10, 1997) for the development of the North Campus delineates a vision of the R+T Park development that underlines the quality and prestige of the University. The Research and Technology Park will reflect the character of the University of Waterloo campus, with a strong emphasis on the natural environment given its proximity to Columbia Lake and Laurel Creek. The Environmental Reserve Rehabilitation is a component of the approved Research and Technology Park.