FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 30, 2014
MAKING NATURAL CONNECTIONS ACROSS ONTARIO'S GREENBELT
Innovative Projects Support Farmers, Environment, Economy, and More
From guided tours and workshops in Northumberland County to engaging landowners in Hamilton-Burlington’s Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark, the latest projects from the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation continue to support the viability and protection of Ontario's vast and world-leading Greenbelt.
Projects being funded include the Royal Botanical Gardens' (RBG) Stewardship and Conservation within the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System and the Nature Conservancy of Canada's (NCC) Destination - Greenbelt East. Both programs focus on preserving the natural landscape, creating opportunities for land stewardship, and deepening the awareness of the Greenbelt.
"Helping communities within the Greenbelt restore unique and important areas like the Black Oak Savanna and Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark is essential for the Greenbelt to continue to thrive," says Burkhard Mausberg, CEO of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. "From those who farm the land to those who work to keep our natural habitat preserved, we all work together to ensure the Greenbelt is maintained as one of the most valuable features enhancing the lives of Ontarians."
Funding to RBG goes towards promoting the long-term ecological viability of the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System. The RBG will work with the Hamilton Halton Watershed Stewardship Program to inform 200 property owners on opportunities for land stewardship and protection. They will also connect directly with a smaller group of landowners to offer technical and fundraising support for conservation actions.
"Private landowners have an important role to play in protecting and restoring natural heritage," says Mark Runciman, Chair of the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System’s Governing Council and the CEO of RBG. "The new funding from the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation will allow us to work more closely with landowners to enhance and expand green space and wildlife habitat in the ecopark system area."
The Nature Conservancy of Canada's project aims to garner awareness and support for the Greenbelt in Northumberland County by partnering with Alderville First Nation to host workshops for conservationists, guided public tours, school outings, and a Greenbelt Prairie Day in the Rice Lake Plains area.
"The NCC, in partnership with the Alderville First Nation Black Oak Savanna Ecology Centre are excited to receive support from the Greenbelt Foundation. We look forward to highlighting the eastern end of the Greenbelt over the next year and building awareness of activities in Northumberland County,” says Todd Farrell, NCC Conservation Biologist for the region. "The area has unique natural heritage features and habitats that will be showcased to landowners, visitors, and school groups."
Funding was also awarded to the Credit Valley Conservation Foundation, Grape Growers of Ontario, Ontario Headwaters Institute, and Ontario Nature. To review all of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation grants, photos, and more please visit: greenbelt.ca/grants
About the Greenbelt:
Ontario’s Greenbelt is the solution for fresh air, clean water, healthy local food, and a thriving economy with good jobs. At nearly 2 million acres, it’s the world’s largest permanently protected greenbelt, keeping our farmlands, forests, and 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: greenbelt.ca or find us on Twitter and Facebook.
Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation
Phone: (416) 960-0001, ext. 306