Covering an area of over 25,000 acres, the Credit River watershed is connected to ten different municipalities, populated by 600,000 people.
The Credit River Watershed is home to diverse species of plants and animals. Facing pressures of drought and flooding, natural hazards, sediment and erosion, loss of habitat, spills, fragmentation and pests among others, the Credit Valley Conservation Foundation is heightening the visibility and identity of the watershed area.
Clean and safe drinking water is high on Ontarians’ minds. It is also what the Greenbelt protection provides. The Credit Valley Conservation Authority increases their watershed identity with a road signage program, consisting of fifteen signs which identify the Credit River Valley as a vital Greenbelt watershed, emphasizing clean water and healthy watersheds as one of its crucial, long-term benefits.
Bringing food and education to a shared forum, Greenbelt sponsorship of this premier horticultural event attracts over 1,100 participants and includes two days of educational sessions with expert speakers from around the world. This year’s event features a local food seminar to address the challenge of demand over supply for locally produced food.
During his 18 years with the Hamilton Conservation Authority, Bruce Duncan was a teacher-naturalist, ecologist and manager, leading over 45,000 children throughout his career in various outdoor education programs and nature hikes and sharing his love of nature with the public.
The Dundas Valley Conservation Area, home of the Hamilton Conservation Authority’s outdoor environmental education program, hosts a teaching garden, created in memory of one of HCA’s teachers, Bruce Duncan.The late Bruce Duncan, former General Manager and Chief Administrative Officer of the Hamilton Conservation Authority, worked tirelessly to instill younger generations with a passion for protecting and enhancing the natural environment. This teaching garden in the Dundas Valley Conservation Area is a tribute to his legacy.
In the spirit of dialogue, awareness of food security and celebrating and supporting sustainable food systems, this month-long Toronto festival features a wide variety of events throughout October 2007. With a tour of the Ontario Food Terminal and an art exhibition on local food, the festival kicks-off with Toronto Mayor David Miller making a public proclamation on the value of local food and the importance of supporting local farmers.
The Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy (CIELAP) produced a report on the legal, regulatory and policy barriers that constrain the production, distribution, and sale of local food in the Greenbelt. Approximately half of Ontario’s fruit farms and a fifth of its vegetable farms are located in the Greenbelt. Identifying barriers will inspire a drive towards recognizing solutions, which will benefit Ontario’s farmers significantly. It is a useful resource for educators, students and the general public on food security ad local agriculture.
The Credit Valley Conservation Foundation is publishing a Greenbelt edition of its tabloid, Currents, to 650,000 residents. Eight articles highlight issues affecting the Greenbelt such as agricultural biodiversity, natural areas, providing clean water, and protecting the local watershed
“You may be a droplet of water in an ocean, but the ripple has to start somewhere.” – Youth forum participant
Aiming to engage youth in creating positive change that supports the Greenbelt in their communities, 4-H Ontario creates the Greenbelt Youth Forum to bring together youth from across the Greenbelt for an educational experience.
High school students in the Greenbelt Youth Forum gather annually at Camp Cedar Glen in Bolton, for a 3-day educational session. Joined by youth leaders from the “Leaders Today” program of Me to We, youth discuss the significance of the Greenbelt through workshops and field trips and are encouraged to create positive change within their communities that supports the Greenbelt. Students present what they learned at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.
Since 2005, organic farming and production in Ontario have grown by 1.6% and 8% respectively, In fact, Ontario houses 497 certified organic farmers, which is close to 14% of Canada’s organic farmers.
The Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario (EFAO) is an organization established in 1979 to promote the advancement and understanding of ecological agricultural methods.
The EFAO, recognizing an opportunity to enhance farmers’ profits while strengthening their commitment to the land through sustainable organic practice, ushers in an era of farmer-to-farmer training and support. This project encourages farmers in the Greenbelt to benefit from market trends, and focuses on current courses, workshops, farm tours, and a structured mentorship program, which allows established farmers to share their knowledge with newly interested organic farmers.
40,000 copies of the Eat Local Map were distributed in 2008, which now includes 65 Greenbelt and Hamilton area farmers.
Aiming to build a local food network in the City of Hamilton, Farm Fresh Hamilton expands supplies of local Greenbelt-grown foods into markets, business and schools in the area, and promotes the bounty of foods that the Greenbelt has to offer through communication materials.
The City of Hamilton is buzzing about local food as residents use the new Hamilton Eat Local Map to find farmers and products in their area, to fill their cupboards with fresh and prepared food from area farms. Even restaurants and stores find the maps handy and are adding locally-grown food items to their menus and shelves.
MentorLINK is an exciting internship program being established to link up new farmer interns with professionals who can provide technical farming and business planning assistance.
Immigrants face many obstacles when attempting to become farmers, but a new initiative by the University of Guelph’s Centre for Land and Water Stewardship helps support and ease new farmers into successful farming relationships in Ontario.
The University of Guelph’s Centre for Land and Water Stewardship supports new farmers in the Greenbelt by offering multiple tours of the regions, successfully planting plots of 6 ethno-cultural crops, and providing training and resources to help new farmers onto their feet.