Given that this year was the Greenbelt’s 10th anniversary, this was an especially important Annual Report for us, because we had the opportunity to focus on what we've accomplished over the last decade. We also recognized what the Greenbelt Fund has achieved over the last five years in seeking to create sustained and systemic change to the food system.
The tireless efforts of our friends, partners and grantees over the last 10 years have proven to Ontarians that the Greenbelt is one of the most important contributions to the future of the province and has ensured that the Greenbelt is a great place to live, work, play and grow.
Since the establishment of the Foundation in 2005 and the Fund in 2010, we have published annual reports to hold us accountable to the public, so that Ontarians know what we spend and how we spend it. For transparency and accountability, we publish our audited financial reports by KPMG online. Moreover, we report on the cumulative amount we have spent since the inception of both the Foundation and Fund, and we do this every year. Using our resources wisely has allowed us to invest and leverage more than $47 million into farming, environmental protection, and tourism projects.
We’re proud of our low administrative costs, at 6.1 per cent for the Foundation and 8.4 per cent for the Fund. Our fiscal responsibility is the result of tight cost-controls, negotiating for charitable fees, and administrative offsets for staffing.
The first decade of Ontario’s Greenbelt has been one of unqualified success—and now we’re at the doorstep of the next great opportunity. The Ontario government has initiated a review of the Greenbelt Plan, a process and outcome that will determine the next ten plus years of this protected landscape, and impact the future of our province.
We have been commended on the care and timeliness by which we prepare the Annual Report. By taking our accountability seriously, we bring the Annual Report into the hands of our Friends, stakeholders, political leaders, and NGOs across Ontario.
In addition to recognizing the projects and initiatives by both the Foundation and Fund, the Report is also an opportunity to thank our staff, Board, and volunteers, as well as those corporations and individuals that have gone above and beyond into supporting our work financially and otherwise. A big thank you to photographer Laura Berman, graphic design studio Touchwood Designs, and environmentally-friendly printer Warren’s Waterless Printing for making this year’s Report such a great success.