Current Research and Reports:
The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation has a number of ongoing research projects. If you have any questions or feedback we'd love to hear from you.
Call for Proposals: Developing a Economic Valuation Framework for EcoHealth
Healthy ecosystems are essential for human health and survival. We all depend on clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, healthy food supplies and green spaces for recreation. Having access to and using green spaces promotes physical activity and improves health and wellbeing. The presence of green space is associated with reduced mortality, obesity, depression, anxiety, cardiovascular disease and low birth weight. It also provides places for stress reduction, mental restoration and social interactions.
The Greenbelt Foundation is a partner in EcoHealth Ontario (EHO), a collaborative of professionals in the fields of public health, medicine, education, planning, parks and the environment. We are working together to increase our understanding of the relationships between environment and health with the aim of finding ways to increase the quality and diversity of the urban and rural spaces in which we live.
One of the ways to increase the quality and diversity (including biodiversity) of urban and rural spaces through greater provision and access to natural or green spaces is by being able to demonstrate the economic value of making these changes. This information can be used to influence decision makers responsible for the design and management of public spaces.
On behalf of EHO, the Greenbelt Foundation is seeking expertise to develop a pathway that will enable us to frame and assess the economic returns of greenspace interventions in the public realm. We define greenspace as including (1) Public spaces including natural areas such as parks, conservation areas, greenways, trails, urban and rural forests, street trees, community gardens, school grounds, shorelines and ravines and (2) Private and institutional spaces such as gardens, rooftops, cemeteries, golf courses, and outdoor spaces associated with businesses, hospitals, care homes and universities.
Download full RFP HERE. The deadline for proposals is Friday 15th March 2019
Soil is one of the highest priority issues globally and locally for climate change mitigation and a sustainable food system. Soil health is essential to the long-term viability of farming – and our food system – and to local water quality and quantity. Increasing soil carbon not only removes carbon from the atmosphere, but also increases agricultural yields, improves flood mitigation and reduces run-off into water systems. The Foundation is working on two research projects during 2018 to further the goal of improving soil health in the Greenbelt
Erin Soil Health Coalition
The Soil Health Coaltion has brought together a cross section of Erin farmers to launch a collaborative pilot program to improve soil health and water quality in the Greenbelt. With funding support from the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, the Soil Health Coalition is inviting farmers to work with one another to share their knowledge of soil management approaches and measure results. The project is also recruiting citizen scientists to help with soil testing. For more information visit: http://www.soilhealthcoalition.ca/ or contact email@example.com.
Soil Health Farmer Case Studies in the Greenbelt
Later this year will be collect the stories of farmers in the Greenbelt who are demonstrating leadership on the issue of soil health. Further information will follow soon.
Agriculture Profile for the Greenbelt
We are currently updating the profile based on the 2016 Agricultural Census. The resulting report will feature research conducted by the University of Guelph’s Dr. Wayne Caldwell and Sara Epp on farmland loss since 2000.
Stay tuned for more information!
Green Infrastructure Guide for Small Communities
Green infrastructure encompasses a broad range of natural vegetative systems and green technologies that provide a variety of economic, environmental and social benefits to communities. It offers a framework for downtown and streetscape revitalization, trail network expansions, and outdoor recreation, all of which can help attract businesses, services, and new residents.
The Foundation recently published a Green Infrastructure Guide with the Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition. The purpose of the Guide is to support small cities, towns and rural settlements to integrate green infrastructure within their communities. Widespread use of green infrastructure can be cost-effective in controlling stormwater, lowering the risk of flooding, removing pollutants, and reducing sedimentation in Greenbelt waterways. These are all critical factors in improving water quality and building resilience to climate change.
If you want to learn more about green infrastructure or about how to take action against flooding in your community see our Green Infrastructure page.
Roll out of Valuing Natural Capital Report
The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation is disseminating the results of our recent study, Ontario’s Good Fortune: Appreciating the Value of the Greenbelt’s Natural Assets, to various stakeholders via social media and targeted workshops. We are keen to hear from organizations that are applying these report findings in their own local context.
You can also see the presentations from our recent natural capital workshop on our Workshops page.
The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation is a member and proud supporter of EcoHealth Ontario. EcoHealth Ontario is made up of a collection of health practitioners, planners, academics, researchers, educators and many more, committed to sharing information, developing the science, exploring the research and kick-starting the discussion on the important connections between the environment and our own well being.
You can find out more about EHO by visiting their website.
During the summer of 2018, the Foundation is hosting a student from the Sustainability Network Ecological Economist Fellowship (SNEEF) program with York University. The student will work with the EHO Research Working Group to determine how to determine the financial benefits of green space that are typically not valued in the economy.
For more information contact: Tom Bowers, firstname.lastname@example.org