The Greenbelt Foundation welcomes two new board members

The Greenbelt Foundation recently welcomed two members to our Board of Directors, and we're excited to introduce them to you. 

David Oved and Joyce McLean both bring decades of experience in government and in nonprofit organizations and a demonstrated passion for a more sustainable future.  





David Oved

David Oved has been involved with environmental issues since 1985 when he joined the staff of Ontario Environment Minister Jim Bradley. He worked as a ministerial communications advisor at Queen's Park for 15 years, eight of them for the environment minister.

Since the launch of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation until his retirement from government in 2014, David was the primary contact between the foundation and the Minister Responsible for the Greenbelt Foundation. He provided liaison with board chairs, and information and advice to GBF staff.

David spends warm weather weekends at his cabin north of Madoc, where he plants and tends trees when he's doing anything at all.




Joyce McLean

Joyce McLean has a range of experience in the public and non-profit sector. Most recently, Joyce worked as Director of Strategic Issues and managed the Office of the President at Toronto Hydro. She has led communication and policy efforts for renewable energy, conservation, and climate change initiatives at Toronto Hydro during her 17 years at the utility. Joyce was involved in the installation of North America’s first urban wind turbine at Toronto’s Exhibition Place.

Prior to joining Toronto Hydro, Joyce spent twenty years in a number of roles, including: senior political policy advisor to two Ontario Environment Ministers; Chair of the Canadian Wind Energy Association; Founding Chair of Ontario’s Community Power Fund; Chair, Green$aver and as an international campaign director for Greenpeace. 

She studied political science, marketing, negotiations and journalism at York University, Ryerson University and Harvard Business School. 




Where to get a Greenbelt-grown Christmas Tree

Christmas Trees in the Greenbelt

It’s almost December, and for those of us who celebrate the holiday, it's time to start thinking Christmas Trees.

While there’s no shame in lugging a well-loved plastic one up from the basement or grabbing one from a nearby store, if you’ve never chosen your own tree from an Ontario Tree farm, you’re missing out.  

Not only do our tree farms offer great selection--from Scotch and White pine, to Balsam, to Douglas Fir--they're also just fun to visit. 

So if you’re up for an adventure this year, why not grab your own Greenbelt-grown tree.

To make it easy we’ve put together a list of Greenbelt Christmas Tree farms open for business this holiday session. Every Farm on our list not only offers a variety pre-cut and cut-your-own trees, they also offer warm drinks and family fun events.

Support local producers, get outside, and get yourself Greenbelt-grown tree.  



Watch growth in the Golden Horseshoe!

Watch the growth in the Golden Horseshoe! Our 40 second animation shows changes in urban development and protected areas in the Golden Horseshoe from 1945 to 2014.


Agriculture Profile Brochure


Agriculture by the Numbers Web Brochure

Download the two page brochure of our latest agriculture study to get the 101 on farming in the Greenbelt.

Released in October 2014, the Greenbelt Foundation study Agriculture by the Numbers captures the changes in agriculture from 2001 to 2011 and highlights the natural and locational advantages of farming in Ontario’s Greenbelt


Guest Blog: Nature Conservancy of Canada annouces launch of new trail


On a crisp fall day in early October twenty donors, volunteers, and neighbours gathered at the Nature Conservancy of Canada's (NCC) Hazel Bird Nature Reserve to celebrate the opening of brand new trail.

It was a big day. With support from the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, the NCC and the Oak Ridges Trail Association had spent the last month getting the trail ready, blazing paths and creating and installing signs to guide visitors.


Friend of the Greenbelt Award 2014

The 2014 winners of the Friend of the Greenbelt Award. From Left to right: Glenn De Baeremaeker from Save the Rouge Valley System; Debbe Crandall from STORM Coalition; Caroline Schultz from Ontario Nature; Amber Ellis from EarthRoots; and Steve Gilchrist, former Cabinet Minister.

Last week, at an award ceremony held at the University of Toronto’s Hart House, the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation announced the 2014 winners of the Friend of the Greenbelt Award.

At high noon on a beautiful November day, close to a hundred Ontarians gathered at Hart House’s Great Hall to acknowledge the significant contribution that five individuals have made to the protection of the Oak Ridges Moraine.


Celebrating the protection of the Oak Ridges Moraine


 November 6, 2014


Award Recognizes Those Who Have Gone the Distance to Protect Vital Landscape

Today, the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation announced the 2014 winners of the Friend of the Greenbelt Award. Recognizing those who have worked hard to protect the Oak Ridges Moraine, part of Ontario’s Greenbelt, this year’s award was shared among five individuals representing a number of organizations: Glenn De Baeremaeker, Save the Rouge Valley System; Debbe Crandall, Save the Oak Ridges Moraine Coalition; Amber Ellis, Earthroots; Steve Gilchrist, former Cabinet Minister; and Caroline Schultz, Ontario Nature.

“The Oak Ridges Moraine is an integral part of Ontario’s Greenbelt,” said Burkhard Mausberg, CEO Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. “By honouring those who have worked so hard to protect it, we’re ensuring the protection of Ontario’s most precious water resources for generations to come.”

Stretching more than 160 kilometres across the most populated area of Ontario, the Oak Ridges Moraine is the source of 64 major streams or rivers, providing clean, safe drinking water to over a quarter of a million people. A contentious issue in its early days, the Oak Ridges Conservation Act, 2001 was recognized and supported by all political parties when passed by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.


Listen to a recording of our Telephone Town Hall


On Monday October 20th we hosted our second annual Telephone Town Hall.

From 7pm to 8pm we had a live conversation and answered questions about the Greenbelt's watersheds and the importance of protecting urban river valleys, with more than 8,000 people joining us!

This year's Town Hall was hosted by our Program Director, Shelley Petrie, our Director of Public Affairs, Sarah Petrevan and two special guests -- Deborah Martin-Downs, Chief Administrative Officer of Credit Valley Conservation and Franz Hartmann, Executive Director of the Toronto Environmental Alliance.

It was an lively and informative conversation. Listen to it in full below.




October 2014 Newsletter

October 2014 Newsletter

October was a big month for us.

This month's newsletter features:

  • Our new Niagara Office
  • Our CEO's thoughts on our Annual Report
  • Tips for the last days of fall
  • And more... !

The Greenbelt Foundation's new Niagara office



The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation has a new Niagara office.

It’s an exciting time. We’re tapped into a great community and we’re here on the ground in one of the Greenbelt’s most specialized agricultural regions.

Niagara is the core producer of the province’s tender fruit and the anchor of the VQA and Ontario wine industry. It's also one of only two designated specialty crop areas in the Greenbelt (the other is the Holland Marsh). Fun Fact: More than 80% of Ontario’s acreage in tender fruit is found in the Greenbelt - the vast majority of that acreage in Niagara.

Niagara's also home to some of Canada's most diverse natural landscapes. It's got a bit of everything - from wetlands, to waterfalls, to wildlife habitats.

A lot of work goes into to protecting and supporting Niagara's agricultural land and its ecologically sensitive areas. At the Greenbelt Foundation we know that many, many, Niagarans are engaged in that project. We want to make sure we're doing our best to support them - so we got ourselves an office space and moved on in!

It’s still early days for us here – but you’ll be hearing much more from the Niagara team in the weeks and months ahead.

In the meantime, Robin Garrett, director of the new regional office, has been busy setting up shop.

We asked her to give us the rundown of what she’s been up to so far.