Ontario Nature Blog

Protecting wild species and wild spaces since 1931

Author: Joshua Wise

Greenbelt hanging in the balance

Add your voice to grow the Greenbelt and stop decades-old sprawl

Last Chance to Defend the Greater Golden Horseshoe

This petition is now closed.

End date: Oct 31, 2016

Signatures collected: 2252

Signature goal: 800

2,252 signatures

Now is our final chance to tell the Ontario government to take the lead to protect the water, nature and communities of the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH). Important decisions will be made in the coming months. Add your voice by telling the government you want a stronger landscape, stronger laws and a stronger legacy for this region.

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Ontario’s Greenbelt turns eight!

Glenorchy Conservation Area, credit: B. VanRyswyk Conservation Halton

Photo: Glenorchy Conservation Area, credit: B. VanRyswyk, Conservation Halton

Today marks the eighth anniversary of Ontario’s Greenbelt, a swath of protected lands that stretch from Niagara in the south to the tip of the Bruce Peninsula, and east of Cobourg. Creating the Greenbelt, at more than 700,000 hectares, it includes the Niagara Escarpment and the Oak Ridges Moraine, was the provincial government’s response to curbing urban sprawl in the Greater Toronto Area. Moreover, the Greenbelt supports the ecological services we all depend on: clean air, clean water and healthy local food.

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My work with the farming community

Ontario farm by Ian Muttoo

Photo: Ian Muttoo

During a visit to a Norfolk County farm last spring, I was reminded how the Alternative Land Use Services (ALUS) program helps to bring the farming and conservation communities together to work towards a shared vision: a healthy and productive countryside in Ontario.

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Keep wind turbines out of Important Bird Areas

Little brown bat by Chris Mathers

Little brown bat, photo: Chris Mathers

Taking a stand that supports Ontario Nature’s long-held position, Environmental Commissioner, Gord Miller, says that wind turbines should not be built in Important Bird Areas. His recently released annual report focuses on the delicate balance between the inclusion of wind power as an important source of green energy and the conservation of biodiversity, especially sensitive habitats that support important species.

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Environmental champions of tomorrow act today


This past weekend, I had the pleasure of helping out with Ontario Nature’s Youth Council Leadership Retreat. The weekend brought together a highly motivated and diverse group of 25 Youth Council members, all eager to promote a healthier natural environment.

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Life on a nature reserve

John Urquhart at Lost Bay
John Urquhart at his “second office.”

When Ontario Nature’s staff ecologist, John Urquhart, asked if I (the new guy) could spare a couple days out of the office to help with some field work at our Lost Bay Nature Reserve, I didn’t hesitate. John’s “second office” is a quiet lakeside cabin in eastern Ontario with no electricity or running water, a true escape to nature. We figured we’d undertake a turtle inventory and some plant identification in the reserve as part of Ontario Nature’s At-Risk Species Inventory and Habitat Assessment. We were especially focused on finding northern map turtles, a species at risk in Ontario.

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