Last week, I was pleased to be a speaker at the 34th Annual Grape Growers of Ontario Celebrity Luncheon. It was our 12th year of supporting the luncheon and it was a beautiful day to celebrate the Grape Growers of Ontario’s achievements and accomplishments.
This year’s theme was “Grow Into the Future” and the celebrity speaker was Chris Hadfield - the first and only Canadian to ever command the International Space Station. Quite an accolade, if you ask me! When I heard that I would be sharing the panel with Chris Hadfield, I was personally quite excited and somehow became exponentially cooler in my children’s eyes.
At the Greenbelt Foundation – and the Greenbelt Fund, we are committed to supporting the viability of agriculture through our grants programs – and as we look to the future, it is the health of the agricultural system – and our natural heritage system - that comes top of mind for me. Ensuring a balance between sometime competing interests for land use – agriculture and green spaces with smart growth and development. And although I have not been to space – and don’t expect that I will be (though my children might), I imagine that our Greenbelt is visible from space – not as a line or a demarcation on a map – but as a swath of green space and fertile farm lands surrounding this – the most densely populated area in Canada.
And because this area is permanently protected, I hope that, in 20, 50, or 100 years the view from space when looking at this area has remained the same and that the Greenbelt has maintained and ideally has expanded its boundaries.
When Chris Hadfield sang the David Bowie song, “Space Oddity” the message came across loud and clear- "The planet earth is blue, and there is so much left to do....."
It certainly was a pleasure for my colleagues and I to be part of this event. We also got a chance to hike along the Twelve Mile Creek, which is one of the 21 urban river valleys and seven coastal wetlands that were added to the Greenbelt this year.
The Greenbelt group (L-R); Namgyal Dolker, Amanda Nasturzio, Susan Murray, Felix Whitton, Tamlyn Stuurman
From a hike to a lovely lunch featuring delicious local food and wine, to inspirational pictures of space, it was a wonderful event!