Halton Region Museum unveils Jeff’s Home

As Halton residents, we are fortunate to live in the path of the Niagara Escarpment. The landscape, recreational and learning opportunities it provides truly add to the high quality of life we enjoy in Halton Region. 
Earlier this month the Halton Region Museum officially unveiled a new website featuring the Escarpment in Halton called Jeff’s Home. The interactive, informative and easy-to-use experiential exhibition on the Escarpment in Halton is named after the Jefferson Salamander, an Escarpment inhabitant.

Jeff serves as the site’s tour guide. He was chosen as guide through the site’s Escarpment Discovery Hike, Educators’ Corner and information resources in The Escarpment in Halton pages because he is an indicator species. (An indicator species provides clues about the quality of the environment. The disappearance of Jefferson Salamanders from an area may serve as an early warning of pollution.)
Jeff’s Home provides an accessible way for people of all ages to take a virtual hike, learn facts and find great resources for teaching about the Escarpment in Halton, without leaving home.

Work on the project began in the fall of 2009 and involved many community partners, including heritage and education groups in Halton. With the “virtual Museum” as the starting point, the site aims to foster an appreciation and awareness of the Escarpment as a significant natural heritage feature, further the conservation and preservation of Escarpment ecosystems, increase the viability of tourism on the Escarpment and promote organizations and sites conserving it.

Made possible with the assistance of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture’s Museums and Technology Fund, the site was developed with technical assistance from eSolutionsGroup.

Partners include Conservation Halton, Credit Valley Conservation, Halton-North Peel Naturalists, Willow Park Ecology Centre, Iroquoia Bruce Trail Club, Toronto Bruce Trail Club, Limehouse Kiln Society, Country Heritage Park, The Bruce Trail Conservancy, City of Burlington, Norval Heritage Society and Royal Botanical Gardens. The Niagara Escarpment Commission, the Ontario Heritage Foundation, the Halton Catholic District School Board, the Halton District School Board, and Halton Region’s Planning Services Division also contributed.

The site will serve as a teacher portal, offering access to environmental learning, heritage and escarpment facts and activities for students. It can also be used by the community at large, by a broader audience who may be thinking of visiting the Escarpment, as well as by those who are not able to visit in person, but who will now be able to enjoy a virtual experience.

Try your hand at Salamander Run, learn about ways to reduce your carbon footprint, or explore the many parks and historical sites located along the Escarpment.  Enjoy the site and then consider making a trip to the Halton Region Museum, your gateway to the Escarpment.

You can visit the site at http://jeffshome.halton.ca and share your Escarpment stories and photos on Facebook. The first 50 people to post an Escarpment comment or photo on the Museum’s Facebook page will be entered into a draw, to be held just after Earth Day, April 22, for a Museum prize pack, valued at $250. 

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”