Julienne Spence, our Acting Communications Director, asked me if I was interested in attending the 2012 Brewers Plate. I immediately Googled it to learn about the event. I came to know that it is a fundraiser that celebrates local Ontario food and craft beer, all under one roof. This year, the beneficiary was Green Thumbs Growing Kids, an innovative program that seeks to reconnect urban youth to their food through a variety of garden-based programs. I gladly accepted the invitation.
The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation has vastly expanded over the past year–in both the scope of our projects and the team of dedicated support staff. Beginning in 2011 with 11 staff, the Foundation has grown to a staff complement of 18; allowing more efficient work and enhancing the quality of projects completed.
Some of these new staff members come to us from Skills for Change, a training school for new Canadians and others through the Toronto sector of Ontario Works. The Foundation is proud to support new Canadians and careers through these programs, not to mention the tremendous talent we have gained by participating.
A couple of weekends back I got the chance to finally check out the Sunderland Maple Syrup Festival. I’ve been anticipating the festival for a while now, and even preparing by upping my maple syrup intake through various recipes.
I had a couple of objectives I wanted to achieve at the Sunderland Maple Syrup Festival, so I’ll give you a run-down of the results.
Every week, we have a staff lunch where we share updates, talk about new projects, explain new research, and (my favorite) brainstorm ideas. It’s a great way to connect with coworkers and hear about the great work that everyone is involved in. With a small team, and a variety of projects, I think it helps us stay focused and get excited about the great things that everyone is involved in.
Yesterday, we tried something new.
Photo Courtesy of Conservation Halton
I have this incredible urge to call the Jefferson Salamander “Ol’ Jeffy” as if they are this incredibly wise, ancient creature that have had their share of hard times but always seems to fight back -- to some extent my nickname for them bears some truth.
This project aims to engage Hamiltonians in on-going efforts to protect natural heritage, and potentially grow the Greenbelt. Environment Hamilton will work with municipal planning staff, local groups and residents to identify candidate lands and natural systems, and build a case of support for growing the Greenbelt. They will also work to clarify and overcome challenges to ‘Greenbelting’ lands in urban areas.
The David Suzuki Foundation will continue to build the case for protecting natural capital in and around the Greenbelt. They are partnering with the Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health to promote the health benefits of near-urban nature, and to emphasize the connection between the Greenbelt and healthy communities. They will also undertake an analysis of municipal growth plans in the region to assess the degree to which local governments are adopting policy options to best protect their natural capital. This work will help equip and build a community of decision-makers and influencers that will support the non-market and health benefits of nature.
This funding supports a project to protect important natural and hydrological features in the region by engaging residents to participate in on-going planning processes to expand the Greenbelt in Halton and Peel Regions. Sierra Club will collaborate with community groups and municipal staff and councilors around the importance of protecting natural heritage, including its environmental, economic and health benefits.
Toronto’s ravines and parks are one of the city’s most distinct features, and play an important ecological role. Toronto Park People are providing support to help the city and the province overcome the challenge in growing the Greenbelt along the Humber and Don River Valleys, and engaging an excited public in designating Rouge Park as Canada’s first urban national Park.
Photo credit: Tides Canada
Produced by Econometric Research Limited, this study identifies, quantifies and showcases the economic contributions of the Greenbelt on the provincial economy and local areas dependent on its resource base. It provides objective, meaningful and sound estimates of the economic contributions of the main economic activities in, or based on, the natural capital base of the Greenbelt.