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The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation has a number of ongoing research projects. If you have any questions or feedback we'd love to hear from you. 

Soil Projects

Community Action, Climate Change, and Soil Health in the Greenbelt:

We have commissioned a feasibility study of a potential multi-year project designed to measure and build soil carbon through innovative management practices around the Town of Erin. Building soil carbon helps mitigate climate change by taking carbon out of the atmosphere in the form of organic matter, and sequestering it in the soil. Soils with higher levels of organic carbon are also more resilient to climate change.

For this project, local community groups concerned about climate change will support farmers in their efforts and contribute to the measurement stage through a citizen science process. The feasibility study allows the project team to recruit farmers and develop a long-term fundraising plan to make it happen.

Evaluating the Potential of Greenbelt Soils to Mitigate Climate Change:

We have commissioned a study looking at the effects of soil management practices on the content of organic carbon in agricultural soils of the Greenbelt. This study will analyze the trends in farming practices across the Greenbelt and their impact of soil carbon levels. It will also look at current research on best practices relating to building soil carbon and provide an estimate of how much carbon we could realistically expect to sequester in the Greenbelt’s soils if these were widely adopted.

Natural Capital Projects

Role out of Valuing Natural Capital Report:

We are disseminating the results of our recent study, Ontario’s Good Fortune: Appreciating the Value of the Greenbelt’s Natural Assets, to various stakeholders via social media and targeted workshops. We are keen to hear from organizations that would like to apply the findings of the report in their own local context and are looking for future collaborations. You can also see the presentations from our recent workshop on the topic on our workshops page. 

Natural Capital Lab

We are participating in the Natural Capital Lab, a collaborative initiative to shape and align how we account for natural capital in Canada. Effective integration of natural capital valuations into decision making can significantly improve how natural systems are managed at all levels of government.

Green Infrastructure Projects

Green Infrastructure Guide for Small Communities:

We are working with Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition on a Green Infrastructure Guide. The purpose of this Guide is to support small cities, towns and rural settlements with the integration of green infrastructure into their communities. Many communities in and around the Greenbelt and urbanized areas inevitably have an impact on the natural systems that surround them. Green infrastructure can help mitigate those impacts and build resiliency to climate change while providing many economic and social benefits.

Green infrastructure can contribute to economic development by generating construction and maintenance jobs as well as recreational and educational opportunities. It also offers a framework for downtown and streetscape revitalizations, trail network expansions, and outdoor recreation, all of which can help attract businesses, services, and new residents. For small towns outgrowing their current conventional stormwater systems, green infrastructure can postpone or eliminate the need for infrastructure upgrades while increasing groundwater supply and quality, and improving local waterway conditions and aquatic species health.

For more information contact: Tom Bowers, tbowers@greenbelt.ca

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