Martha Shuttleworth and Neptis Foundation Honoured at Greenbelt Ceremony

Toronto, June 4, 2008 – The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation today announced Martha J. Shuttleworth, President and Founder of the Neptis Foundation, as the 2008 recipient of the Friend of the Greenbelt Award. Shuttleworth received the award for the planning leadership of the Neptis Foundation and for their visionary research for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, which creates a better quality of life within and around Ontario’s Greenbelt.

Held at the University of Toronto’s Hart House, the award was presented by last year’s recipient, the Honourable William G. Davis. Former Toronto Mayor David Crombie joined Mr. Davis in celebrating the contribution Neptis has made to the planning community and the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

“Neptis is truly blessed to be receiving this award. It’s an honour to follow Mr. Davis and Sarah Harmer,” said Shuttleworth.

“Martha’s extensive work in research and regional planning made her a natural choice for the award,” said Burkhard Mausberg, President of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. “This commemorates the Neptis Foundation’s contribution towards solidifying the Greenbelt as a global leader, and a place where possibility grows.”

The Neptis Foundation is an independent, charitable foundation focusing on urban regions– their pasts, present, and future conditions in local and global contexts. In the late 1990’s, while searching for a focus for her foundation, Shuttleworth was struck by the fact that relatively few environmental organizations were considering the positive aspects of urbanization and their preferred effects on the environment as a whole. This prompted Neptis to build a holistic body of information on urban regions and their growth. Neptis focuses on research, scholarship and information with work that touches on all areas of a smart growth and livable communities agenda: environmental protection, community development, urban planning, sustainable development and capacity building. Neptis funds and publishes objective data collection and analysis to inform discussions on matters that affect the quality of life in urban regions. The significance and calibre of Neptis’ work as well as Shuttleworth’s leadership role within both the organization and the planning community has been duly noted by her peers.

“Martha is the Wayne Gretzky of Regional Planning,” quipped Mausberg.

The Friend of the Greenbelt Award was established by the Foundation in 2006 to recognize and celebrate those individuals who make a significant contribution to Ontario’s Greenbelt. Whether through their work, their art, or their advocacy, these Friends show an enthusiastic commitment to the values of our living countryside.

The inaugural winner of the Award was singer/songwriter Sarah Harmer for her “I Love the Escarpment” tour to protect the Niagara Escarpment and last year’s recipient was the Honourable William G. Davis for his work preserving the Niagara Escarpment.

The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation began its work in June 2005 as an independent, charitable foundation with a mandate to fund organizations in support of farming, the environment and rural communities located in Ontario's Greenbelt.

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For further information please visit www.OurGreenbelt.ca, and contact: Danielle Pignataro, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, (416) 960-0001 x301, (416) 559-3934 cell, or dpignataro -at- ourgreenbelt.ca.

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