The idea of preserving undeveloped land around an urban center is not new. Ebenezer Howard, the famous creator of the English Garden City in Great Britain, invented the idea of open space for agriculture and food-based gardening near urban centers in the nineteenth century (see picture of garden city Chatham Village, Pittsburgh). Even today this is one central goal of greenbelts around the world.
This year, we celebrate the Greenbelt turning eight with a skate. Foundation staff are visiting skating rinks in the Greenbelt communities of Markham, Toronto, and Hamilton. At the rinks, we share the Greenbelt spirit with hot apple cider from Geissberger Farmhouse and Spirit Tree Estate Cidery, local seeds from Richters Herbs, and some Greenbelt swag.
In 2015, Ontario’s Greenbelt turns ten. This anniversary triggers a formal review by the Provincial government.
Our Greenbelt is the largest and most robust in the world, permanently protecting an extensive area of productive farmland and vital natural features that provide food, clean air and clean water. Here at home, it is viewed as a watershed land-use policy that is turning the tide on sprawl and sustaining a high quality of life for residents in the rapidly urbanizing Toronto region
Every Family Day long weekend, the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum hosts Hamilton’s KidsFest, the country’s largest ‘bouncy castle’ playground. With more than 15 different indoor amusements that will have your kids jumping for joy, this is a great family outing for the middle of winter when you are looking to stay out of the cold. Along with my niece, nephew and mother, I explored the museum, the planes and KidsFest – admission gets you access to all three!
Call For Submissions: Become a part of of a Greenbelt Arts Project for the 2013 In the Soil Arts Festival
If you had the chance to creatively express your connection to Ontario’s Greenbelt visually or musically, how would you do it? Greenbelt Arts is providing the opportunity for artists of all practices to participate in a multimedia installation that represents what the Greenbelt means to you!
Experience the Greenbelt from a different perspective – the sky!
Enter the Fly the Greenbelt contest! Become a Friend of the Greenbelt and you could win an airplane ride for you and a guest over 1.8 million acres of farmlands, forests, wetlands, vibrant communities, and more!
Finding unspoiled nature is rare, especially in highly developed countries. So how can we protect it, how can we deal with the economic or political interests that stand in the way? Let’s have a look at Germany and an amazing example of building a new Greenbelt.
The German Greenbelt is the product of a unique development along the former inner German border between eastern and western Germany. The green band has an extension of 1,400 kilometers, is between 50 and 200 meters wide and home of thousands of species, many of them endangered.
Times of change
After the Second World War Germany was divided into two countries, East Germany and West Germany. It took nearly 40 years until Germany was reunited in 1990. The inner German border that separated the two countries wasn’t only a border but literally it was a ‘death zone’. Nobody was allowed to enter it and in fact, a lot of people were shot for go into while trying to flee from East Germany. For decades almost nobody entered the strip with its military installations like fences, walls, minefields, guard towers, and bunkers with automated guns (see picture: inner German border).
Study reveals Greater Golden Horseshoe unprotected green space provides $122 million in ecological benefits each year
TORONTO — A patchwork of remaining farmland and green space in Ontario's rapidly growing Golden Horseshoe region provides millions of dollars in services and benefits, according to a David Suzuki Foundation study. The report examines the Whitebelt Study Area, more than 94,000 hectares of unprotected farmland, fields and forests in the municipalities of Durham, York, Halton, Hamilton and Peel. The fate of these lands remains uncertain as the provincial government considers whether to approve proposals to develop prime farmland and green space as the region grows.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 6, 2013
Pilot Program Reduces Costs for Farmers, Increases Environmental Benefits
The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) and the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation have partnered to promote innovative, economic farming practices that support the environment.
With the Royal Bank of Canada as a partner, Pembina Institute will release a study assessing the key factors responsible for housing price increases in the GTA, which the objective to determine if the protection of the Greenbelt can be ruled out as a key driver. The study, however, will be conducted in an unbiased manner examining all factors equally.