Sarah Harmer performs at the 2014 Greenbelt Harvest Picnic.
At the end of August, we celebrated our fourth annual Greenbelt Harvest Picnic. Put on by Daniel Lanois and September Seventh Entertainment, the day was a celebration of music, food, and art.
While the music was front and centre, the many farmers, food vendors, artisans, and NGOs added a unique flavour that I can only see at the Greenbelt Harvest Picnic. From the most flavourful garlic to the juiciest grape tomatoes, you would not find the usual “burger and fries” fare at this event.
I'm not known to be a fashionable guy. I've been known to wear shirts inside out (accidentally!) and I have been told that shorts are not professional work attire.
But my respect for ethically- and environmentally-made clothing is prevalent. Despite my relaxed attitude about professional attire, I am interested in where my wardrobe comes from, and Patagonia's mandate and activism are worthy of recognition.
This August, I had the pleasure of joining more than two thousand cyclists from Quebec on a tour of the Niagara Region. Visiting for the Grand Tour Desjardins 2014, one of the largest organized multi-day cycling tours in Canada, cyclists enjoyed mobile bike shops, shuttle service, full catering, and even massages! The Grand Tour really is the apex of cycling holidays. Plus, this year all of these tourists took their bicycle holiday in the Greenbelt.
Greenbelt by Numbers. Credit: Touchwood Design
We take financial duties seriously and as a charity we are diligent in spending our donations and contributions.
So we aim for, and are proud of, keeping our administrative outlays to less than six per cent of expenses. We do this with tight cost-controls, exhausting volunteer and job-creation positions, applying multiple accounting reins, and by always negotiating a substantial charitable discount.
Fostering Stewardship and Conservation within the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System
$156,405 (Two years)
The project addresses habitat fragmentation and promotes the long-term ecological viability of the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System by improving conservation on privately-owned lands mapped as part of the Park Vision. Royal Botanical Gardens will collaborate with the Hamilton Halton Watershed Stewardship Program to inform 200 property owners on opportunities for land stewardship and protection; and, connect directly with a smaller group of landowners to offer technical and fundraising support for conservation actions.
Roots of the Greenbelt Phase II
$39,000 (One year)
The project builds support among the public and municipal leaders for natural heritage systems planning in the Greenbelt. Ontario Nature will reach out to select municipalities to promote greater uptake of progressive municipal policies such as those highlighted in the Best Practices Guide to Natural Heritage Systems Planning developed in Phase I of the project.
Headwater Hikes in the Greenbelt
$22,550 (One year)
The Ontario Headwaters Institute will develop ten headwater hikes in the Greenbelt. The hikes will look to improve public understanding of the important role of these features in the health of the Greenbelt’s biodiversity and downstream watersheds.
Destination - Greenbelt East!
$52,000 (One year)
As a way of broadening awareness and deepening support for the Greenbelt in Northumberland County, the Nature Conservancy and Alderville First Nations will host workshops for conservationists, guided public tours, school outings, and a Greenbelt Prairie Day in the Rice Lake Plains area. With the First Nation’s Ecology Centre as the project “hub”, the partners will also connect with private landowners to encourage stewardship on their lands; and, with public landowners and community partners to help promote the Greenbelt.
$20,000 (Two years)
The Grape Growers of Ontario’s Celebrity Luncheon is the official kickoff event to the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival, and is a celebration of locally grown Greenbelt food and VQA Ontario wines. This event enables growers, industry partners and consumers to connect the land to the table, with VQA wines and a Greenbelt-grown menu.
Achieving Wetland Restoration Through an Environmental Benefits Index
$40,000 (18 months)
Wetlands are the most ecologically beneficial features on the Greenbelt and their restoration can greatly enhance its natural capital. This project will develop and test an Environmental Benefits Index for wetlands in the Greenbelt that will allow users to determine the environmental and social benefits of individual restoration projects. These scores can be used to prioritize restoration and land securement projects and to allocate funding for cost-share stewardship.