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In 1913, there were 156,758 acres of forest remaining in Essex County. Today, there are approximately 24,507 acres of forest left in Essex County — a sad reminder of a land once teeming with natural beauty that has been lost.

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The habitats we naturally have here in this area are part of the Carolinian range which make up a small portion of what is southern Ontario’s forests. Our remaining Carolinian forests are full of rare and endangered species of wildlife found nowhere else in Canada.

The Ojibway complex is a part of this range and has been known through Windsor’s history for being “a garden of rarities” and for being abundant with life.

Walking through the old raceway property this is still true and with a bit of help the property could fully recover.

In 1965, 95 acres of rare prairie habitat was used to develop Windsor Raceway. In 2012, the raceway was shuttered, then torn down and no development has occurred since. The lands have remained under corporate ownership.

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Throughout the decades, the city of Windsor has done a great job acquiring land to expand and conserve Ojibway, including Black Oak Heritage Site, Spring Garden and hopefully soon to be acquired Ojibway Shores.

Essex County has the lowest forest coverage in Ontario, while Windsor has a lot of less green space due to development.

I see no better idea then for the city to acquire and re-naturalize the raceway lands. This would help in the preservation of a beautiful city gem.

The future legacy of these lands would not only benefit Windsor’s human residents, but also its wild ones.

Branden LunanskyWindsor

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