Greenbelt Foundation funds critical restoration work in the Ganaraska Forest
Following months of recovery work, the Ganaraska Forest will reopen to members on September 30, 2022
TORONTO, September 23, 2022 — Greenbelt Foundation CEO, Edward McDonnell, was joined by the Ontario Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks, Hon. David Piccini, this morning for a first-hand look at progress on restoration work at the Ganaraska Forest. A derecho windstorm this May destroyed more than 600 acres of the forest with an estimated 100 trees damaged along every kilometre of trail. McDonnell commented on the Greenbelt Foundation’s funding for the recovery efforts, which will continue through 2023.
This devastating storm caused damage that can’t be easily reversed. We must come together to respond to extreme weather events, supporting rehabilitation projects that build climate resilience."
“This devastating storm caused damage that can’t be easily reversed,” noted McDonnell. “We must come together to respond to extreme weather events, supporting rehabilitation projects that build climate resilience. Thanks to support from the Government of Ontario, we are able to provide funding to ensure that, once again, this greenspace can be enjoyed by everyone.”
As a result of the May storm, the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority (GRCA) restricted public access and began the enormous task of clearing the trail, salvaging trees, addressing health and safety issues, and determining the ecological status of the forest. The Greenbelt Foundation grant supported the rehabilitation work and will also include the installation of new trail signage when the project is completed.
“I’m proud that our government continues to support the ongoing work of the Greenbelt Foundation to create new opportunities to experience nature, including recent efforts to restore trails in the Ganaraska Forest — for the benefit of Ontarians today and for future generations,” said David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “As southern Ontario’s largest forest, the Ganaraska Forest is a destination for many. It serves as a living example of how integrated resource management can be used to balance a variety of uses and needs, sustainably protecting the forest and its many inhabitants for generations to come.”
After months of hard work, and with support from the Greenbelt Foundation and neighbouring Conservation Authorities, GRCA is preparing to welcome forest members back to its trails next week on September 30. Upon further recovery efforts and salvage logging, more of the trails will be opened to the public for access through a day pass or membership.
“The May 21 storm represents the largest natural disaster to hit the Ganaraska Forest. The continued understanding and patience of all visitors is appreciated, as GRCA staff and contractors work to recover the Forest and multi-use trail system,” said Linda Laliberte, CAO/Secretary-Treasurer, GRCA. “It is through strong relationships and partnerships, with organizations such as the Greenbelt Foundation, that trail recovery can occur in such a timely and safe manner. The GRCA thanks the Greenbelt Foundation for their support and understanding throughout this challenging situation."
About Greenbelt Foundation
The Greenbelt Foundation is a charitable organization solely dedicated to ensuring the 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. Ontario's Greenbelt is one of the world's largest with over two million acres of farmland, forests, wetlands and rivers working together to provide clean air, fresh water and a reliable local food source.
Greenbelt Foundation Media Contact
Senior Media and Communications Officer
(416) 960-0001 Extension 311
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About Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority
The Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority's overall goal is the conservation, restoration, development, and management of natural resources on a watershed basis while providing for the public enjoyment of the lands it oversees. The GRCA was formed in October 1946 under the Conservation Authorities Act and is one of the oldest conservation authorities in Ontario. The watersheds of the GRCA cover an area of 932 square kilometres from Wilmot Creek in Clarington to east of Cobourg and from the south shore of Rice Lake down to Lake Ontario.
GRCA media contact
Communications and Creative Design Specialist
905-885-8173 x 235