FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 21st, 2019
GREENBELT FOUNDATION AND PARK PEOPLE ANNOUNCE SECOND YEAR OF GREENBELT RIVER VALLEY CONNECTOR PROGRAM GRANTS
Five 2019 grantees were announced 9/21 at a launch event for City of Vaughan’s – Doctors McLean Urban River Valley Outreach Project.
CITY OF VAUGHAN – Greenbelt Foundation Program Director, Shelley Petrie, announced the five 2019 Greenbelt River Valley Connector program grantees at a launch event Saturday morning in Doctors McLean Park. The event was a celebration for City of Vaughan’s project, and an announcement of all five 2019 grantees: Corporation of City of Vaughan, Friends of the Rouge Watershed, Ontario
Streams, Bowmanville Valleys 2000, and the Riverwood Conservancy.
The Greenbelt River Valley Connector Program was initiated in 2018 as a partnership between the Greenbelt Foundation and Park People. The program is in its second of three years, and supports five municipalities, conservation authorities or other groups each year in running place-based projects that engage Ontario residents with the enhancement and enjoyment of their local urban river valley.
These river valleys, which have been Greenbelt protected since 2017, are critically important waterways that flow through Canada’s most developed region. They provide a protected source of clean drinking water for 9 million Ontarians, mitigate flood risk, provide integral greenspace, and act as a natural refuge for biodiversity.
“Our Greenbelt-protected urban river valleys and associated coastal wetlands provide vital natural infrastructure for our urban centres and rural communities,” says Edward McDonnell, CEO of the Greenbelt Foundation. “In order to protect them and realize their potential for mitigating climate change impacts, we need to engage local citizens in their ongoing stewardship, which is exactly what the Connector Program is all about.”
“Last year, over 2000 people were engaged through this program. There was such great work happening across the GTA,” said Dave Harvey, Executive Director Park People. “We’re very excited to see the community impacts the projects will have this year.”
About The Greenbelt Foundation
The Greenbelt Foundation is the only charitable organization solely dedicated to ensuring that Ontario’s Greenbelt remains permanent, protected and prosperous. We make the right investments in its interconnected natural, agricultural and economic systems, to ensure a working, thriving Greenbelt for all.
About Park People
Park People supports and mobilizes community park groups, community organizers, non-profits, park professionals and funders who activate the power of parks. Through Canada-wide and city-specific programs and events, funding, resources, research and professional services we help realize the power of parks to build strong communities, healthy environments, and resilient cities.
“Wings, Wildflowers and Wilderness at Riverwood” Project By The Riverwood Conservancy
The “Wings, Wildflowers and Wilderness” project is intended to engage school children and community volunteers through restoration and stewardship events and educational activities to enhance the biodiversity within Riverwood Park and the Credit River Valley, as well as promote broader awareness of the Greenbelt.
“Doctors McLean Urban River Valley Outreach Project” By The Corporation of the City of Vaughan
The “Doctors McLean Urban River Valley Outreach Project” is intended to engage the community in enhancing the local Humber River Valley through an educational open house event and the planting of a
pollinator garden at Doctors McLean Park.
“Connecting Communities and Creating Resilient River Valleys in the GTA” Project By Ontario Streams
The “Connecting Communities and Creating Resilient River Valleys in the GTA” project engages local volunteers to take part in hands-on stream restoration and stewardship initiatives, while also deepening
understanding of the aquatic and ecological health indicators of the urban river valleys (URV) and the broader benefits of the Greenbelt ecosystem.
“Resilient Circle of Green Education Project” By Bowmanville Valleys 200 Inc.
The “Resilient Circle of Green Education Project” aims to engage local residents to build broader community awareness of the Greenbelt and the Bowmanville/Soper Creek urban river valleys through signage and supporting implementation of wayfinding projects.
“Youth and Community Greening the Rouge Watershed” Project By Friends of the Rouge Watershed
The “Youth and Community Greening the Rouge Watershed” project intends to engage youth and community volunteers in hands-on restoration and stewardship initiatives that will increase the resilience of the Rouge River Watershed. This community-powered project will deepen participants’ understanding of watershed health, the Greenbelt, and our interconnectedness with these natural systems.