Personal Stories Bring Greenbelt Winter Wonderland to Life

Toronto, March 5, 2008 – Greenbelt resident and grandmother of two, Georgina Laba, is the winner of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation’s Greenbelt Winter Wonderland story contest.

Fond recollections of beavers in their natural habitat, hiking the Niagara Escarpment, and snowshoeing on freshly fallen snow were among the entries received by the Foundation. However, it was Laba’s touching story of watching her grandchildren play in the snow and enjoy the abundant nature surrounding them that won her first prize.

“This was the first thing I’ve ever written and submitted to a contest,” said Laba when she got the news. “I am just overjoyed.”

Her piece recalled an afternoon spent in the Niagara Escarpment near Crawford Lake making snowmen with her family, enjoying maple syrup and coming face-to-face with a doe.

Laba, who currently resides in Mississauga, submitted her piece after reading about the Greenbelt in theFoundation’s series of articles in newspapers around the Greater Golden Horseshoe area, which began in October 2007. “I saw the article and decided I’d write the story for my grandchildren. In my heart of hearts, I did it for them,” she said.

The articles explore different facets of the Greenbelt and what it has to offer including things like the many winter activities to enjoy, how the Greenbelt provides clean air and water and the diversity of local food available.

Ontario’s Greenbelt is 1.8 million acres of protected land that wraps around the Golden Horseshoe and encompasses the Niagara Escarpment, the Oak Ridges MoraineRouge Park, some 7,000 farms and hundreds of rural towns and villages. It is vital to the quality of life of Ontarians.

“The stories we received were full of vivid imagery and great connections to the land,” said Danielle Pignataro, Communications Director for the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. “It was a tough decision but Georgina’s story stood out for us as both original and very personal. “

As winner of the Greenbelt Winter Wonderland contest, Laba receives a pass for her and a friend to ride the cross-country trails at Albion Hills Conservation Area sponsored by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authorityas well as two tickets to Theatre Orangeville to enjoy a performance of the comedies Rope’s End or Mesa. A special thank you goes to the Hills of Headwaters Tourism Association.

The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation began its work in June 2005 as an independent, charitable foundation with a mandate to fund organizations in support of farming, the environment and rural communities located in Ontario's Greenbelt.

For more information and to read the top three stories, log onto the Foundation’s websitewww.OurGreenbelt .ca. Look for the rest of the Metroland series to appear in your local paper biweekly.

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For a PDF of this press release click here.

To view the top three stories, click here.

For further information please contact: Jennifer Asselin, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, tel: (416) 960-0001, email: jasselin -at- ourgreenbelt.ca.

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