Photos (L-R) by Peter Granka, Peter Kelly, Barbara Phillips
Grantee Spotlight is a blog series highlighting the experiences and successes of the Foundation’s grantees, as they work with communities and other Greenbelt partners to keep our province’s farmlands, forests, and wetlands safe and sustainable for future generations.
The Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System: Innovative partnerships, permanent protection and a natural legacy
Guest post from Peter Kelly, Coordinator, Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System
Nestled in Ontario’s Greenbelt, between the western shores of Lake Ontario and the Niagara Escarpment, there sits a remarkable collection of natural lands known as the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System.
It’s a special place, an area within the Greenbelt where a World Biosphere Reserve, Provincially Significant Wetlands, and nationally significant habitats all intersect within close proximity to the growing cities of Burlington and Hamilton. The EcoPark System is a biodiversity hotspot - home to almost 1,600 species of flora and fauna, over fifty of which are identified as “Species at Risk”.Read more
Growing the Greenbelt into Toronto
Toronto Environmental Alliance
$65,000 (1 year)
The project continues Toronto Environmental Alliance’s (TEA) work to include Toronto’s urban river valleys in the Greenbelt. TEA will use the opportunities created by the City of Toronto’s Ravine Strategy, and the 2015 Review of the Greenbelt Plan, to build support for protecting and enhancing the urban river valleys along their full length. TEA will engage its membership in the second round of public consultations for the 2015 Review and continue playing a leadership role in the Ontario Greenbelt Alliance.
Greenbelt Growth Supporting a Successful 2015 Review
Sierra Club Canada Foundation
$65,000 (1 year)
The project continues Sierra Club’s work to grow the Greenbelt into urban river valleys and headwater areas in Peel, Durham and Niagara Regions. Sierra Club will work through its local chapters to build grassroots and municipal support for growing the Greenbelt. The organization will also mobilize its members to participate in the 2015 Review and continue to play a leadership role in the Ontario Greenbelt Alliance.
Strengthen and Grow the Greenbelt During the 2015 Review
$150,000 (1 year)
Environmental Defence will continue to support and coordinate the participation of the Ontario Greenbelt Alliance (OGA) and the Municipal Leaders for the Greenbelt in the 2015 Review. These groups will build support for stronger farmland and environmental protection, respond to proposed amendments to the Greenbelt Plan, and promote smarter growth by communicating the costs of sprawl and the benefits of compact communities.
Stronger Laws, Stronger Landscape and a Stronger Legacy for the Oak Ridges Moraine and Greenbelt
$85,000 (one year)
The project continues the collaborative efforts of the Oak Ridges Moraine Partnership (EcoSpark, Earthroots, Ontario Nature and STORM) to strengthen protection of the Greenbelt and Oak Ridges Moraine. During the 2015 Review, the Partnership will work towards improving environmental protection policies in the Greenbelt and Oak Ridges Moraine Plans; extending the natural heritage and agricultural systems of the Greenbelt to a regional scale; call for hard urban boundaries and smarter urban growth; and ensure a strong Greenbelt legacy through public support, monitoring and stewardship.
Credit Valley Trail Master Plan
Credit Valley Conservation Foundation
$100,000 (2 years)
Credit Valley Conservation will work with partners, including the Credit Valley heritage Society, to develop a Master Plan for the Credit Valley Trail. When complete, the Trail will extend 90 km from the Credit River’s headwaters in Orangeville to its mouth at Lake Ontario. The Trail Master Plan will plan an optimal route, assess tourism opportunities, identify land securement priorities and points of interest, and build support for the Credit Valley Trail and the Greenbelt among the general public and municipalities along the route.
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.