With the myriad of ecological problems facing us in 2019 – extreme weather, depleted soils, habitat loss – litter may seem like a minor issue. So why is Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation focusing on litter with our #Pick5toThrive campaign, inspired by Earth Month?
The Greenbelt is not an abstract ideal. It is a working landscape of over 4,800 farms and 47 towns and hamlets. It is home to a rich array of plants and animals. It is a destination for tourists to enjoy Ontario food, beer and wine. It is where millions of Ontarians go to enjoy hiking, horseback riding, hunting, fishing, swimming and canoeing. It is also critical to Ontario’s health and well-being, providing fresh air, flood protection and clean water, and fresh fruit and vegetables to millions of people.
Ontario’s Greenbelt has become a topic of discussion in the provincial election. It has been heartwarming to see so many people discussing the importance of the Greenbelt to the health and prosperity of Ontario and communicating their support for its protection.
Last October, Ed McDonnell joined the team at the Greenbelt Foundation as our new CEO. On the occasion of his 4-month anniversary and the Greenbelt's 13th birthday, Ed answered a few questions about himself and his vision for the Greenbelt.
Twelve years ago, the government passed the Greenbelt Act in response to pressure from environmental groups to permanently protect vital farmland and natural systems at risk of being paved over for suburban sprawl. Now, over a decade later, as I prepare to leave the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, I am as determined as ever to ensure the Greenbelt remains a successful and permanent feature of the landscape.
It is with great sorrow that I inform you that Dan McDermott—a dedicated, long-time environmental advocate—passed away last week at a Toronto hospital, after battling an illness. Dan was a Greenbelt Foundation grantee with Sierra Club Ontario, and served as a steering committee member for the Ontario Greenbelt Alliance. He will be missed by the many people who had the pleasure of working with him over his 30 year career.
Photo courtesy of the City of Vaughan via Ryerson report
The GTHA is having a moment – that’s the finding of a new report out from the Ryerson City Building Institute. The report, “Suburbs on Track”, argues that with $32 billion in new transit spending planned as part of the Big Move, planning policies need to adapt to encourage smart growth along these corridors, especially in suburban communities.
Our IT Manager Jason is a nerd - in the best possible way. He doesn’t seek the limelight or glory; instead he focuses his efforts on ensuring our technological environment works efficiently.
He makes sure every computer is optimized, staff are trained on the software installed, does backup upon backup upon backup, and ensures we are connected at all times.
Land-use policies and growth forecasts are subjects that often lead to yawning, bewilderment and deep sleep. But they’re also central to determining the future of our neighbourhoods, our towns and cities, and our rural areas. It’s a bit like going to the dentist. You may not like it but have to do it.
Photo by Michael Gil via Flickr
Recently Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca suspended the Environmental Assessment for a highway known as the GTA West or “The 413.” The 413 would curve south-west from the 400 at King-Vaughan Road and meet the 407 and 401 roughly at Winston Churchill Blvd. It would have to cross the Greenbelt several times to get there.