The first things that comes to your mind when you think of southern and eastern Ontario may not be threatened wildlife, rare plants and gorgeous pockets of woodlands, wetlands and grasslands – but they should be! The fertile soils, temperate climate and abundant freshwater that define this corner of the province offer a hospitable environment for many of Canada’s most rare and vulnerable plants and animals.
Equally attractive to humans, the area has been home to Aboriginal people for thousands of years and now hosts 92 percent of Ontario’s population. Towns, cities, farms, roads, dams, quarries and other forms of development dominate the landscape. Such intensive development has come at a cost, however, to human and ecosystem health.
Our Greenway Program Goals
To maintain and restore a livable landscape in southern and eastern Ontario in the face of ever-increasing population and development pressures. Premised on creating Greenways – webs of interconnected core natural areas and corridors – to conserve biodiversity and enhance landscape resilience in the face of climate change.
- Healthier wildlife populations and habitats
- Cleaner water and healthier water systems
- Enhanced recreational opportunities
- Greater ability to respond to drought, flooding, extreme weather events and other anticipated impacts of climate change
- Improved human health
Did you know that nature’s benefits – which include, for example, pollination, soil formation, water filtration, erosion control and carbon storage – have been valued at over $84 billion per year in southern and eastern Ontario?
The Greenway Program Approach
To achieve our Greenway Program goal, we work with conservation organizations, communities, farmers, businesses, land-use planners and governments to:
- Promote stewardship (e.g., Alternative Land Use Services, pits and quarries)
- Strengthen land-use policy (e.g., Best Practices Guide to Natural Heritage Systems Planning, Oak Ridges Moraine, Ontario Nature's Green Way Forward)
- Secure core habitat (e.g., Nature Reserves Program, Biodiversity Offsetting)
To learn more, click Land Securement, Stewardship or Stronger Policy in the image above.