ENHANCING ONTARIO’S MOST VITAL FEATURE

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For Immediate Release

December 21st, 2012 

ENHANCING ONTARIO’S MOST VITAL FEATURE

Greenbelt Continues to Provide Fresh Air, Clean Water, Healthy Local Food

A new round of grants from the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation are continuing to support the protection and preservation of one of the province’s most vital natural features.

Seven organizations have been awarded grants focused on protecting green spaces near urban areas, encouraging stewardship and conservation, and working with municipal planning staff to explore growing the Greenbelt.

Providing more than $9 billion in economic benefits across the province, including local food production and water resources, the Greenbelt is responsible for more than 160,000 direct and indirect jobs; greater than the mining, forestry, aggregate and oil and gas sectors combined.

“The Greenbelt has meant greater protection for our food, our land and our water,” said Burkhard Mausberg, CEO of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. “We want to ensure the Greenbelt is maintained as a beneficial, valuable feature that can permanently enhance the quality of life for all Ontarians.”       

A grant to Environment Hamilton will support work with municipal planning staff, local groups and residents in ongoing efforts to protect natural heritage, and potentially grow the Greenbelt. By working within the community to identify existing natural systems, they will also clarify and overcome challenges to ‘Greenbelting’ lands in urban areas.

“Environment Hamilton is excited to be able to continue with efforts to see the Greenbelt grow in the Hamilton area,” said Lynda Lukasik, Executive Director Environment Hamilton.  “We are particularly keen to see the creation of ribbons of green by Greenbelting urban river valley corridors in order to create physical connections between the Greenbelt’s Protected Countryside and Hamilton’s urban neighbourhoods.” 

Grants were also awarded to the Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association to protect the local ecosystem and support sustainable land use on the Northern Bruce Peninsula.  They will collaborate with local not-for-profits and government organizations involved in conservation efforts on the Bruce Peninsula to develop a strategic plan which will result in better preservation and protection of water resources and lands.

In addition to grants that are dedicated to the protection and preservation of the Greenbelt, this round of funding supports the growth of ethno-cultural vegetables, increasing the economic potential of farmers’ markets, and eco-tourism. To review all of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation grants, photos and more please visit:www.greenbelt.ca

About the Greenbelt:

Fresh air, clean water, healthy local food – all brought to you by Ontario’s Greenbelt.  At more than 1.8 million acres, it’s the world’s largest permanently protected greenbelt, keeping our farmlands, forests, 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: www.greenbelt.ca  or find us on Twitter and Facebook

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Contact:

Sarah Petrevan                                                            

Communications Director

(416) 960-0001, ext. 337

spetrevan at greenbelt.ca

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