World Water Day offers us a chance to reflect on our connection to water and how we can best protect it. Across the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH), expanding urban footprints are threatening lands that filter water, control flooding and recharge aquifers. By guiding development in existing urban centres and protecting natural features, we can protect the source of drinking water for millions of residents. “Grow the Greenbelt to protect vulnerable water supplies” has become a rallying cry for the more than 35,000 Ontarians who wrote to the provincial government demanding greater protection for their water.
I’ve always been enchanted by forests: the delicate understory flowers, the smell of decomposing wood, the sound of leaves blowing in the wind—it’s magical! As a child, I spent hours running in the woods, imagining myself as Disney’s Pocahontas, naming my favourite trees and befriending squirrels and chipmunks. After studying forest conservation, my passion has become an academic interest.
To celebrate the International Day of Forests (March 21, 2017), I’m sharing some of the things I’ve learned about forests, both as a student and as a naturalist:
Decisions on the future of the Greenbelt are about to be made
The Premier and Cabinet are about to make final decisions on the updated Oak Ridges Moraine, Greenbelt, Niagara Escarpment and Growth Plans. They have a big choice to make: protect water sources, sensitive natural areas, and farmland in and around the Greenbelt or allow developers to pave over these areas for years to come.
With the support of the Loblaw Water Fund, rare undertook a restoration of Bauman Creek, a cold water stream located on rare property.