So Long, Farewell, and Thanks for All the Green…

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Burkhard Mausberg, CEO, and Allison Decker, exiting Communications Manager

It’s funny when you know that you’re leaving a place and you’re getting ready for that last day – you think you have all the time in the world, but then suddenly, that last day is here and you’re overwhelmed with the last minute details and wrap up.

That’s how the last few weeks have been for me, anyway.

Today, now that my last day is here, I’m happy to finally have an opportunity to reflect on my last two years with the Foundation. It feels like so much longer when I look back at all that the Foundation has accomplished and the projects that I’ve been part of in that short time:

Five events and activities celebrating the Greenbelt’s 5th Anniversary including my first project near and dear to me – the Quilt of Possibilities

  • Two videos celebrating the Greenbelt’s 5th Anniversary and the five farmer recipients of the Friends of the Greenbelt Award  
  • The expansion of our social media presence with a consolidated Facebook and Twitter presence and consistent blogging
  • Two videos about water and local food shown on Cineplex screens across the Greenbelt
  • The launch of the Foundation’s online local food marketplace – Greenbeltfresh.ca, complete with a mobile version to help consumers find local farmers’ markets and Greenbelt-grown products close to them 
  • The research, development, consultations, outreach and build of our soon-to-be-launched website promoting the business of local food across Ontario –Ontariofresh.ca

 And this summer, our fantastic promotion of Greenbelt farmers’ markets with radio spots, online contests and a weekly update to our website with fresh Greenbelt grown food and recipe ideas 

And those are only the projects that I’ve had the pleasure of working on. Unbelievably, our Foundation, with a staff complement that tends to hover around 12, has also hosted the first ever international Greenbelts conference, published a report on the proceedings, agreed to spearhead an international coalition of Greenbelts to continue to share best practices, launched an updated and better-organized website at Greenbelt.ca, and partnered on a project to promote the growth of world crops in the Greenbelt, and Ontario. Our office has also grown with the addition of the BPS Investment Fund allowing us to offer new grants to local food projects within the broader public sector.

What all this horn-tooting really has me trying to say, is that it has been an absolute inspiration to go to work every day with these remarkable, passionate, and super nice people who live and breathe their commitment to the Greenbelt every day by accomplishing extraordinary projects in extraordinary circumstances and timelines.

I’m also grateful for my time at the Foundation in that I feel that it has given me a deeper awareness of and greater understanding of environmental and agricultural issues and in particular the importance of minimizing our footprint. I am also thrilled to have had the opportunity to get out into the Greenbelt frequently and enjoy the beautiful landscape in Toronto’s backyard.

As I look back, I know that I am forever touched by the involvement that I’ve had in making Ontario’s Greenbelt something truly iconic, that can be and is celebrated by all Ontarians, and that makes Ontario and the GTA a better place for my son to grow up and enjoy.

-Allison Decker

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