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  • "Imagine my surprise on moving to Toronto to find that the city not only contains a giant ravine system—our equivalent to the canals of Venice—but that the rivers running through it also contain fish; quite a lot of them."

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  • "Truth be told, I really like riding my bike. I like it so much that I have spent nearly a cumulative year of my life on cycling holidays, and in the first week of May I had the pleasure of adding one more feather to my cycling cap."

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  • Support local producers, get outside, and get yourself Greenbelt-grown tree!

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A day at the Horton Family Tree Farm

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Tales from York is a blog series focused on the people and places that make York’s Greenbelt great. The series will cover everything from local businesses, to seasonal events, to life on York farms. Look out for our upcoming posts to stay up-to-date and informed on exciting going-ons in York's Greenbelt. 

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On a foggy spring afternoon I travelled into the Greenbelt to experience my very first Maple Syrup Festival!

My destination was the Horton Family Tree Farm in the hamlet of Vandorf, where Aurora meets Whitchurch-Stouffville in York Region. Open since 1961, The Horton Family Farm sugar bush is among the first recreational sugar-bushes in the province.

As I arrived to the property I was immediately welcomed out of the fog and onto a wagon-ride. The wagon toured through fields of White Spruce and Douglas Fir trees. Our destination, a warm log cabin.

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The cabin air was smoky from the crackling fire outside and smelled delicious and sweet from the unending batches of pancakes being poured and flipped inside.

Maple_4.jpgFrom the warm cabin I ventured out into the the snow and was led by friendly staff to the farm's self-guided trail. The trail, using a mix of signposts and artefacts, took me through the history of maple syrup production.

As I walked I watched the plumes of steam escape the sugar shack in the process of tree sap turning into rich dark maple syrup. The sap from tapped trees was available for tasting, it was refreshing as cold fresh water with a sweet aftertaste!

To cap it all off, I ended my tour with an order of delicious pancakes smothered with hot butter and maple syrup along a steamy maple coffee.

I'd say it was a pretty "sweet" day! 

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Hawk watching in Niagara

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Red-tailed hawk. Photo Credit: Barry Cherriere

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Tales from Niagara is a blog series focused on the people and places that make Niagara’s Greenbelt great. The series will cover everything from local businesses, to seasonal events, to life on Niagara farms. Look out for our upcoming posts to stay up-to-date and informed on exciting going-ons in Niagara's Greenbelt. 
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After a long and frigid winter, the warmer temperatures of March are bringing more than just people back outdoors. 

The winged silhouettes of hawks, eagles, and other birds of prey can now be seen drifting over the Niagara Escarpment during their annual spring migration back into Ontario.

For anyone wanting to catch a glimpse of these birds, the best opportunity is at Beamer Memorial Conservation Area in Grimsby, where 14,000 birds are expected to fly through this spring!

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Have your say on the Greenbelt's Future

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From March 25th to May 28th, the province of Ontario is holding a Coordinated Review of the Greenbelt Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, the Niagara Escarpment Plan, and the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. 

For 10 years now, Ontario's Greenbelt has provided clean water, fresh air, healthy local food, and a thriving economy with good jobs. At almost 2 million acres, it's the worlds largest permanently protected greenbelt, and you can help make sure it stays that way by participating in a public consultation.

Town halls are being held across the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Find the one in your community and join the conversation! 

If you're not able to make it to a town hall, don't worry, you can submit your responses online too.

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Dispatches from White Meadows Farms

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Tales from Niagara is a blog series focused on the people and places that make Niagara’s Greenbelt great. The series will cover everything from local businesses, to seasonal events, to life on Niagara farms. Look out for our upcoming posts to stay up-to-date and informed on exciting going-ons in Niagara's Greenbelt. 
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Tucked away between woodlots and snow-covered fields, White Meadows Farms might seem an unusual tourist hot-spot.

Being hidden away, however, doesn't deter the tens of thousands of visitors who, come March, flock to the farm in droves. 

Coming from all over, the White Meadows Farms visitors all come for the same reason -  to experience authentic maple syrup straight from the source.

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Job Posting: Grants Officer - Greenbelt Fund

Grants Officer - Greenbelt Fund
Job ID #150301

The Greenbelt Fund, a non-profit organization, supports and enhances the viability, integrity, and sustainability of agriculture in Ontario and Ontario’s Greenbelt.

The Fund delivers support to farmers and local food leaders to ensure more of the good things that grow in Ontario are being served and distributed through our public institutions, retail, and foodservice markets. Helping to overcome challenges and support economic growth, the Fund’s goal is to create systemic change to permanently increase the amount of local food consumed in the province through grants, education, policy, and networking initiatives.

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February 2015 Newsletter

The Greenbelt turned 10! 

This month's newsletter features:

  • Details about the Greenbelt Review
  • Plans for our 10-year Anniversary celebrations
  • A Greenbelt Video Series
  • And more...
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Tides Canada

janeswalk.jpgJane's Walk, Greenbelt Series
Tides Canada
$22,000, 1 year
janeswalk.org/canada/burlington

Jane’s Walk is a global urban engagement project in which walking tours, led by local volunteers, allow residents to connect, share and develop ideas to enhance their communities. Tens of thousands of people participate every year. This project pilots a 'Neighbourhood Connector' training series in Burlington and surrounding areas, with the goal of engaging 20 community leaders in holding conversations and telling stories about the Greenbelt, and inspiring up to 15 walking tours during the May 2015 Jane's Walk Festival.

 

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Green Roofs for Healthy Cities

greytogreen_1.jpgGrey to Green Conference
$4,000 (2 years)
greytogreenconference.org

Grey to Green is at the cutting edge of design and policy practice, and showcases more than 75 leading thinkers and doers across a diverse range of fields that reveal the intersection of health and living green infrastructure. This theme for 2014 was the importance of green space to health and wellbeing, a key benefit of the Greenbelt. The multi-disciplinary program is packed with project case studies, design, analytical tools, and cutting edge research from across North America, including many featured projects from the Greater Toronto Area. This funding supports the 2014 and 2015 conferences.

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EcoSpark

ecospark.jpgSparking a Successful 2015 Review through Youth Participation
$50,000 (18 months)
ecospark.ca

The project engages youth in grades 8-12 to learn about and appreciate the Greenbelt through Ecospark's water-monitoring program. The students’ findings will be presented in public forums held in York and Durham regions. A Youth Greenbelt Charter will be launched in the fall highlighting the rights of young people to live in healthy, sustainable communities, which the Greenbelt helps to provide. The project also encourages youth and schools in environmental action by hosting a “10 for 10” contest, which will award 10 schools $1,000 each to undertake innovative environmental projects.

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Ecosource

FOODPROGRAM.jpgAlternative Avenues for Local Food Procurement in Ontario Schools
$25,000 (19 months)
ecosource.ca

Ecosource are working with hospitality programs in the Durham District School Board to increase the procurement of local and Greenbelt-grown food in schools. The project trains students and teachers in sourcing local food, encourages food literacy in school programming, and builds relationships with local farmers and other members of the food value chain in Durham.

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