New Greenbelt River Valley Connector Program will fund projects to realize the potential of newly protected Greenbelt urban river valleys

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TORONTO, April 30, 2018–The Greenbelt Foundation and Park People have launched a new funding program to help connect people and communities to protected urban river valley (URVs) systems throughout the GTHA. The Greenbelt River Valley Connector Program will provide $100,000 in funding, to be matched one to one, to support five or more place-based projects a year that will help people explore, celebrate and enhance their local urban river valleys that are often undiscovered and underused.

In 2017, the Greenbelt was expanded to protect 21 major urban river valleys and associated coastal wetlands across the Greater Golden Horseshoe.  The newly ‘Greenbelted’ URVs connect watersheds in the Greenbelt with the Great Lakes as part of the regional water system.  Extending the Greenbelt into our urban centres provides people with a greater opportunity to enjoy the cultural and natural heritage of these unique areas in their own communities.

“The Greenbelt protects vital farmland, green spaces, and water systems across our region as we continue to experience tremendous population growth,” said Edward McDonnell, CEO of the Greenbelt Foundation. “Celebrating the protection of urban river valleys, the new Greenbelt River Valley Connector Program will build and deepen people’s connection to these valuable waterways within their own communities as well as the broader Greenbelt.”

The Greenbelt Foundation is working in collaboration with Park People, a national organization that supports and mobilizes people to help them activate the power of parks in cities across Canada. The organization’s Executive Director Dave Harvey shared his enthusiasm for the collaboration: “Communities across the GTHA will have more reason than ever to explore and experience their urban river valleys. We look forward to seeing place-based proposals that activate these important spaces by connecting people to art, recreation, gardening, food, citizen science projects and more in their own urban river valleys.”

Community-based organizations including Conservation Authorities, social service agencies, local schools, non-profits and Indigenous communities are encouraged to apply to receive up to $25,000 in funding. Submissions for 2018 are due Friday, June 1st by 5pm. The Greenbelt River Valley Connector Program will run for three years.

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About the Greenbelt:

Ontario’s Greenbelt is the solution for fresh air, clean water, and a thriving economy with healthy local food and active outdoor recreation. At 2 million acres, it’s the world’s largest permanently protected greenbelt, keeping our farmlands, forests, and wetlands safe and secure. The Greenbelt Foundation works to help keep farmers successful, strengthen local economies, protect natural features, and promote sustainable growth. Learn more at greenbelt.ca.

About Park People:

Park People’s mission is to build strong communities across Canada by

animating and improving parks, placing them at the heart of life in the city. Park People supports and mobilizes people to help them activate the power of parks to improve quality of life in cities across Canada.

On social media:

Website: www.parkpeople.ca/PossibilityFlowsHere

Twitter: @Park_People

Instagram: @parkppl 

For further information: Anthony Westenberg, Media Relations, Park People 416-831-7502 awestenberg@parkpeople.ca

 

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