The project raises awareness of, and support for natural heritage system planning in the region, enabling stronger connections with natural heritage inside and outside the Greenbelt. The project works closely with municipal planners, conservation groups and ENGOs and encourages protection in areas facing future development (e.g. Whitebelt, Simcoe County). Major activities include: 1) identification and documentation of leading-edge practices and the conditions under which these approaches were possible; and 2) the development and dissemination of a best practices guide to natural heritage system planning.
The project involves a cost-share program to support Greenbelt farmers in adopting energy efficiency Best Management Practices. The program is an evolution of the Environmental Farm Plan, utilizing a cost-benefit analysis that rewards projects that achieve the greatest energy efficiency targets for the best price. Approximately 30 farm businesses will benefit directly from the program. Farmers will be recognized for their achievements and participation in this new program through an award ceremony.
The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation is proud to share that starting this week, the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing is hosting a series of public consultations sessions on growing the Greenbelt. The potential expansion includes the Glenorchy lands in Oakville and the addition of the Urban River Valley designation.
With this grant Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) engages communities on proposed amendments to the Greenbelt Plan that will add provincially owned lands in Oakville and a new Urban River Valley designation.
Photo published with permission and (C) Conservation Halton 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 20, 2012
Statement from Burkhard Mausberg on the announcement of growing the Greenbelt
Today, Burkhard Mausberg, CEO of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation released the following statement on the Ontario Government announcement to grow the Greenbelt:
Foundation Grantees are Grande! Sustain Ontario and the Greenbelt Farmers' Market Network Talk Solutions on November 19th - Join in!
Farmers’ market voucher programs are popping up across North America as a means to connect low-income people with nutritious, local food, while at the same time supporting small-scale producers. While market voucher programs have commendable goals, there are still many questions that need to be addressed regarding the opportunities, barriers and viability of these programs in Ontario.
When it comes to protecting prime, productive agricultural land from urban development, Ontario's Greenbelt is the solution. Packing an economic punch of more than $9 billion dollars annually for the province's economy, the Greenbelt is home to more than 5,500 farms, producing healthy local food from peaches and pears to beef, pork and poultry.
This week at the InterVin International Wine Awards, Southbrook Vineyards took home the 2012 Winery of the Year. In addition, they were awarded “Best in Show” for their Framboise, and placed handsomely for a variety of their decadent wines; bringing home medals for 13 of 17 creations entered.
Congratulations, Southbrook! You have always been a Friend of the Greenbelt and prove once more that possibility truly does grow in Ontario's Greenbelt.
These days it’s not only farmers, food activists and chefs that are advocating for local food production. Everyday consumers are asking for local produce on their plates. For Ontario’s growing number of newcomers, this could mean okra, bitter melon, and yard long beans alongside the now ubiquitous crops of previous immigrant communities like potatoes, tomatoes, and lettuce. While backyard and community gardeners have long been representative of Ontario’s changing demographics, commercial farms are starting to catch on too. Through funding to Vineland Research and Innovation Centre and the World Crops Project, The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation has been supporting Greenbelt farmers in their transition to some of these new, diverse crops.
Recently, as part of a tour coordinated through the Diasporic Foodways Conference held at U of T, I helped facilitate a tour to both a farm and garden in hopes of exploring the evolving intersection of local food and the newcomer communities that have settled in and around Ontario’s Greenbelt.
Looking for some Halloween family fun? There are plenty of activities to look out for all over the Greenbelt this year for kids of all ages.