The Greenway Initiative
The first thing that comes to your mind when you think of southern Ontario may not be threatened wildlife, rare plants and gorgeous pockets of unique ecosystems -- but it should be! This area of the world contains some of the rarest and most precious plants and animals in Canada.
Plants and animals need space to live -- places to move around, find food and mate. People need natural space as well to keep air and water clean, and to experience the natural world.
Protecting nature in southern Ontario is a complicated issue in a crowded landscape. To do so, Ontario Nature has created the Greenway Initiative.
A greener way forward
The Greenway Initiative is focused on protecting and restoring a connected landscape of key natural areas, or "cores," linked together through natural passageways, or "corridors."
To see our vision of what a Greenway would look like, click here.
Core natural areas already exist here, from parks and conservation areas, to nature reserves to well managed tracts of privately owned land. Corridors that connect these core areas to each other exist in some cases or must be restored in others. Read more in our Cores and Corridors article (PDF: 395k)
Successfully connecting these natural cores and corridors will:
- protect and restore large areas of natural heritage;
- ensure water systems remain clean and intact;
- provide and protect habitat for wildlife and species-at-risk;
- connect farmers, conservationists and communities; and,
- keep natural areas healthy for present and future generations.
Many hands make light work
Protecting natural areas is a big job in southern Ontario where many people live and work. That's why a central component of the Greenway Initiative is partnership between farmers, conservationists, governments and community members.
While Ontario Nature is taking the lead on the Greenway Initiative, it will not succeed without the help of many people in many different areas.
For more information on the Greenway Initiatives in these regions:
There are three major approaches to establishing the Greenway:
- protecting large core areas through land acquisition (land trusts and conservation organizations)
- encouraging private land stewardship through corridors that connect cores together
- influencing municipal, regional and provincial policy to ensure that important natural areas (woodlands, wetlands, wildlife habitat etc.) are identified and protected.
Land use and the Greenway
Landowners, farmers, naturalists and others all play a role in the protection of lands and waters for in support of ecological integrity, wildlife conservation and human health.