FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 28th, 2013
The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation Celebrates the Greenbelt’s Anniversary
Today is Greenbelt Day, marking the 8th anniversary of the Greenbelt. Since 2005, Ontario’s Greenbelt has evolved from an idea into a thriving, vibrant, globally recognized swath of land.
“We are proud that the world’s largest greenbelt is right here in Ontario,” said Burkhard Mausberg, CEO Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. “This Greenbelt Day we are asking you to show your support by becoming a friend of the Greenbelt. Whether it’s skating in the winter or enjoying the summer’s tender fruit, we want to know what you enjoy!”
Become a friend by joining us at an upcoming Greenbelt event and filling out a postcard telling us what the Greenbelt means to you. By sharing Greenbelt experiences, you become a friend of the Greenbelt and will be first to receive information about upcoming events and interesting Greenbelt facts. You can also become a friend online by clicking “I’m a Friend of the Greenbelt” and following the links.
One lucky friend of the Greenbelt will have the opportunity to see what 1.8 million acres of Greenbelt land looks like from the air. The airplane ride will fly over features like the breathtaking Niagara Escarpment, Bruce Trail and acres of agricultural land the Greenbelt offers. Share your Greenbelt experiences and you’ll be entered to win.
For more 8th Anniversary Greenbelt facts visit www.greenbelt.ca.
About the Greenbelt:
Fresh air, clean water, healthy local food – all brought to you by Ontario’s Greenbelt. At more than 1.8 million acres, it’s the world’s largest permanently protected greenbelt, keeping our farmlands, forests, and wetlands safe and sustainable. The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation works to help keep farmers successful, strengthen local economies, and protect and grow natural features. Join us! Learn more at: www.greenbelt.ca or find us on Twitterand Facebook.
(416) 960-0001, ext. 337
BACKGROUNDER: EIGHT GREAT YEARS, EIGHT GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENTS
February 28th marks the 8th Anniversary of Ontario’s Greenbelt. Over the past eight years, the Greenbelt has achieved remarkable results:
Benefits for Millions of Ontarians.
With one of the fastest growing populations in North America, the Greater Golden Horseshoe is fortunate to have the Greenbelt. More than 90% of Ontarians agree that the Greenbelt is one of the most important contributions to the future of the province.
Ontario’s Greenbelt is Good for the Economy.
The Greenbelt’s land, farmland, and natural capital provide 161,000 full-time equivalent jobs (taking into account total employment impacts, direct, indirect, and induced). This volume of employment is larger than that of the entire fish, forestry, mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction sector in Ontario.
Growing the Greenbelt.
In January 2013 the Ontario Government announced an expansion of the Greenbelt of 265 hectares of land in Oakville in the form of the Glenorchy Conservation Area. The expansion also included the new urban river valley designation.
Agriculture in the Greenbelt.
Agricultural land represents 63% of the Greenbelt. The farms in the Greenbelt produce the highest volume of foods consumed in Ontario, including more than 27% of apples, 88% of peaches, and 85% of grapes.
A Source of Fresh Air and Clean Water.
The Greenbelt produces fresh air, in fact its forested area alone can clean the equivalent of 27 million cars driven over one year. The Greenbelt also helps to protect one of the most important water resources in North America; the Great Lakes, which store approximately 95% of North America’s water resources.
The Greenbelt Gives Back.
The Greenbelt saves the province approximately $2.6 billion a year in ecosystem services such as, climate control and wildlife habitat.
Checks and Balances for Urban Growth and Land Protection.
The expansion plans for the next 20 years in the Greenbelt regions of Durham, York, Peel, Halton, and the City of Hamilton, allow for the use of 17% of the ‘whitebelt’ for development, leaving at least 83% of the ‘whitebelt’, or 120,000 acres of land untouched.
A World-Class Greenbelt.
The Greenbelt protects more than 1.8 million acres of prime farmland and green spaces around the Greater Golden Horseshoe. It is the largest greenbelt in the world and is considered as an international planning model.