Media Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Making Natural Connections Across Ontario’s Greenbelt

MAKING NATURAL CONNECTIONS ACROSS ONTARIO’S GREENBELT Innovative Projects Support Farmers, Environment, Economy, and More

July 30, 2014 -- From guided tours and workshops in Northumberland County to engaging landowners in Hamilton-Burlington’s Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark, the latest projects from the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation continue to support the viability and protection of Ontario’s vast and worldleading Greenbelt.

Projects being funded include the Royal Botanical Gardens’ (RBG) Stewardship and Conservation within the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System and the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC) Destination - Greenbelt East. Both programs focus on preserving the natural landscape, creating opportunities for land stewardship, and deepening the awareness of the Greenbelt.

“Helping communities within the Greenbelt restore unique and important areas like the Black Oak Savanna and Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark is essential for the Greenbelt to continue to thrive,” says Burkhard Mausberg, CEO of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. “From those who farm the land to those who work to keep our natural habitat preserved, we all work together to ensure the Greenbelt is maintained as one of the most valuable features enhancing the lives of Ontarians.”

Funding to RBG goes towards promoting the long-term ecological viability of the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System. The RBG will work with the Hamilton Halton Watershed Stewardship Program to inform 200 property owners on opportunities for land stewardship and protection. They will also connect directly with a smaller group of landowners to offer technical and fundraising support for conservation actions.

“Private landowners have an important role to play in protecting and restoring natural heritage,” says Mark Runciman, Chair of the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System’s Governing Council and the CEO of RBG. “The new funding from the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation will allow us to work more closely with landowners to enhance and expand green space and wildlife habitat in the ecopark system area.”

The Nature Conservancy of Canada’s project aims to garner awareness and support for the Greenbelt in Northumberland County by partnering with Alderville First Nation to host workshops for conservationists, guided public tours, school outings, and a Greenbelt Prairie Day in the Rice Lake Plains area.

“The NCC, in partnership with the Alderville First Nation Black Oak Savanna Ecology Centre are excited to receive support from the Greenbelt Foundation. We look forward to highlighting the eastern end of the Greenbelt over the next year and building awareness of activities in Northumberland County,” says Todd Farrell, NCC Conservation Biologist for the region.

“The area has unique natural heritage features and habitats that will be showcased to landowners, visitors, and school groups.”

Funding was also awarded to the Credit Valley Conservation Foundation, Grape Growers of Ontario, Ontario Headwaters Institute, and Ontario Nature. To review all of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation grants, photos, and more please visit: greenbelt.ca/grants

-30-

About the Greenbelt:
Ontario’s Greenbelt is the solution for fresh air, clean water, healthy local food, and a thriving economy with good jobs. At nearly 2 million acres, it’s the world’s largest permanently protected greenbelt, keeping our farmlands, forests, and wetlands safe and sustainable. The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation works to help keep farmers successful, strengthen local economies, and protect and grow natural features. Join us! Learn more at: greenbelt.ca or find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Contact:
Jennifer Asselin
Communications Manager
Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation
Phone: (416) 960-0001, ext. 306
jasselin@greenbelt.ca

BACKGROUNDER: FRIENDS OF THE GREENBELT FOUNDATION RECENT PROJECTS

About the Projects:

Credit Valley Conservation Foundation: Achieving Wetland Restoration Through an Environmental Benefits Index - $40,000 (18 months)
Wetlands are the most ecologically beneficial features on the Greenbelt and their restoration can greatly enhance its natural capital. This project will develop and test an Environmental Benefits Index for wetlands in the Greenbelt that will allow users to determine the environmental and social benefits of individual restoration projects. These scores can be used to prioritize restoration and land securement projects and to allocate funding for cost-share stewardship.

Grape Growers of Ontario: Celebrity Luncheon - $20,000 (two years)
The Grape Growers of Ontario’s Celebrity Luncheon is the official kickoff event to the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival, and is a celebration of locally grown Greenbelt food and VQA Ontario wines. This event enables growers, industry partners and consumers to connect the land to the table, with VQA wines and a Greenbelt-grown menu.

Nature Conservancy of Canada: Destination - Greenbelt East! - $52,000
As a way of broadening awareness and deepening support for the Greenbelt in Northumberland County, the Nature Conservancy and Alderville First Nations will host workshops for conservationists, guided public tours, school outings, and a Greenbelt Prairie Day in the Rice Lake Plains area. With the First Nation’s Ecology Centre as the project “hub”, the partners will also connect with private landowners to encourage stewardship on their lands; and, with public landowners and community partners to help promote the Greenbelt.

Ontario Headwaters Institute: Headwater Hikes in the Greenbelt – $22,550
The Ontario Headwaters Institute will develop ten headwater hikes in the Greenbelt. The hikes will look to improve public understanding of the important role of these features in the health of the Greenbelt’s biodiversity and downstream watersheds.

Ontario Nature: Roots of the Greenbelt Phase II - $39,000
The project builds support among the public and municipal leaders for natural heritage systems planning in the Greenbelt. Ontario Nature will reach out to select municipalities to promote greater uptake of progressive municipal policies such as those highlighted in the Best Practices Guide to Natural Heritage Systems Planning developed in Phase I of the project.

Royal Botanical Gardens: Fostering Stewardship and Conservation within the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System - $156,405 (two years)
The project addresses habitat fragmentation and promotes the long-term ecological viability of the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System by improving conservation on privately-owned lands mapped as part of the Park Vision. Royal Botanical Gardens will collaborate with the Hamilton Halton Watershed Stewardship Program to inform 200 property owners on opportunities for land stewardship and protection; and, connect directly with a smaller group of landowners to offer technical and fundraising support for conservation actions.

Back to top

Caribou can't survive without a place to live. Tell industry and government that you expect them to take action to secure a brighter future for this species at risk.

Donate Now
Sign up for  E-news
   JOIN US
Twitter   Facebook   YouTube

Pinterest   blog   instagram
On Nature