August 2014 Newsletter
August was a month when we really, really rocked out.
This month's newsletter features:
- The Whole Harvest: A Day at the Greenbelt Harvest Picnic
- Working Frugally and Watching the Balance Sheet
- A Season of Change, Welcoming New Staff, Saying Farewell to Others
- And more... !
Performers at the Greenbelt Harvest Picnic, 2014. From left to right: Laura Cole, Ron Sexsmith, Sarah Harmer.
Not to brag, but I had a pretty packed Saturday.
I saw almost a dozen great performers live. I visited over 20 booths at one of the largest farmers' markets I've been to. I learnt how to identify stink bugs (hint: they smell like coriander). And I even went for a rainy-day swim.
Rock stars, farmers' markets, horticulture lessons and swimming—it might seem like an odd mix. But at the Greenbelt Harvest Picnic, all these things share a common greenbelt ground.
From left to right: Kat Snukal, Alexandra Lucchesi, Jessica Schmidt, and Josh Bentley-Swan, our new staff.
Autumn always feels like a season of grand change to me. I believe it’s all the years of institutionalized education compounding and weighing in on my subconscious, telling me that September spells the end of summer and the start of nose-in-book time.
It is a season of grand change here in the office, however. I am happy to introduce some of our newest Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation employees.
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.