2018 OCC symposium logo2018 Ontario Climate Symposium

Mount Pleasant Natural Heritage System

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Thursday, October 11, 2018

1:30 to 4:30 pm | Room 550

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Balancing Ecological and Social Values in Natural Heritage System Design

Presented by Savanta

The plan for Mount Pleasant, a new transit-friendly community in Brampton, is based on an envisioned ecocentric natural heritage system (NHS) that links both existing and created aquatic, wetland and terrestrial habitats.

To inform how a future NHS might be designed differently to balance social and ecological values, Savanta conducted surveys to learn: 

  • How users interact with the NHS.
  • How the NHS contributes to users’ physical and emotional well-being.
  • How the NHS can be improved from a user perspective.

Through the use of mixed media (including drone footage, video and audio clips, and vignettes) we will illustrate both the current and envisioned NHS, share the experiences of NHS users, and propose changes to NHS design to balance ecological and social priorities.


aerial view of location for new Mount Pleasant community in Brampton

Image courtesy of Savanta



Heather Beam  |  Senior Ecologist, Senior Project Manager, Savanta

Heather BeamHeather Beam has 11 years of experience in ecological restoration for urban Natural Heritage Systems and public natural areas. She has an MES in social-ecological resilience and sustainability assessment and is a Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner.

Heather designs, implements and develops monitoring programs for: forests and grasslands; wetland habitat for amphibians and turtles; Species at Risk habitats and eco-passages.


Heather Whitehouse |  Senior Ecologist, Project Director, Savanta

Heather WhitehouseHeather Whitehouse has 13 years of experience in natural habitat design, construction and monitoring. Climate change resilience, enhancing local biodiversity, and connecting people with nature are key elements in her design.

Heather creates urban ecological habitats where residents can engage and foster a relationship with nature, and in the process become stewards through ecological monitoring and maintenance.


About Savanta

Savanta logoSavanta is the environmental consulting firm that delivers precedent-setting and meaningful outcomes. Our diverse team actively listens, thinks differently, and is passionate about delivering balanced environmental, economic, and social outcomes.

We are known for finding innovative solutions to difficult environmental and approval challenges. Our specialized natural heritage technical expertise, leading capabilities in socio-economic and climate change work, and our “out-of-the-box” thinking help us achieve desired outcomes for our clients. We work collaboratively amongst various stakeholders, turning away from the common reflex reaction to settle into polarized positions. We continue to successfully attract clients and staff that share this vision and approach to business.




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