For many kids, this is a unique opportunity to get out into the country and speak with farmers about the important work that they do, deepening their understanding about our rural communities and lifestyles and helping them share with their families the importance of supporting healthy, local food systems.
The Lincoln County Fair has been around for over 150 years, but its newest addition, the Niagara Agri-Education Day, has already been successful in spreading valuable agricultural information to school children for the past three years.
From a delicious maple syrup tasting to a chat with beekeepers and a chance to see the baby animals up close, 400 students learn first-hand about agriculture in the Greenbelt during a special school day at the Lincoln Fair.
The David Suzuki Foundation will complete an economic assessment of the non-market value of the Greenbelt’s natural capital or “ecological goods and services,” providing an economic rationale for maintaining the Greenbelt in the Ontario landscape permanently. It will be a great contribution not only in support for the protection of the Greenbelt but for its expansion.
The day-long event features top chefs, a farmers' market, workshops, exhibits, and cultural performances, all celebrating Greenbelt foods.
This grass-roots organization creates a food festival and media event with the participation of over 50 Scarborough restaurants. Catering chefs, culinary students and volunteers create the “World’s Largest Multicultural Salad” made from local produce to serve 15,000 people at the Taste of Scarborough Festival on July 7, 2007 and to share with the Second Harvest Food Bank. The 200 foot-long salad incorporates seven distinct cuisines from regions around the world, reflecting Scarborough’s status as Toronto’s most multicultural community.
The Wine Council of Ontario represents 78 wineries in Ontario’s four major wine regions, including the Greenbelt’s tender fruit specialty crop area of Niagara. The first of its kind in Canada, this comprehensive sustainability program helps wineries and vineyard owners in the Greenbelt and beyond adopt best practices for environmental stewardship. It sets benchmarks for the entire Ontario wine industry around the usage of water, waste management, wastewater treatments, nutrient management, noise level, and air emissions.
Of the many successes from the Greenbelt Youth Leaders program, an annual Green Day was established at Niagara College, building awareness of environmental issues and recruiting members for the next year’s Environmental Corps.
The Greenbelt Youth Leaders program has been introduced by the Niagara Environmental Corps, which was created in September 2006 to increase environmental awareness at Niagara College and to empower students to solve environmental problems and build healthy communities.
Niagara College, in collaboration with Durham’s Fleming College, has developed a sustainable model of student-led environmental action. The Greenbelt Youth Leaders learn to increase public environmental awareness, assist companies and non-proﬁt community organizations to develop and test environmental solutions to problems, and gives the students experience in applied research activities.
The ‘Greenbelt Express’ builds public transit links from cities to recreational cycling activities in the Greenbelt and works with host communities to promote cycling tourism and the Greenbelt. The project expands the success of the pilot ‘Toronto to Niagara Bike Train,’ which is a sustainable tourism and transportation initiative that introduces bike racks onboard VIA Rail Canada service between Toronto and the Niagara Region. The Bike Train provides cyclists with a unique and sustainable transportation option for travel between the two regions. The Chamber of Commerce is working closely with Niagara area businesses and community leaders to promote the region as a great cycling destination.
The My Market project is expected to strengthen the role of farmers’ markets in the Golden Horseshoe’s local urban food system by creating a new model of farmers’ markets that feature 100% real farmers selling what they grow and opening four new certified farmers’ markets (with farmer-only vendors) in City of Toronto locations. A promotional strategy advertises My Markets and the Greenbelt, while recruiting Greenbelt farmers to participate at these markets.
Promotion of fruit wine at farmers’ markets
The project promotes the sale of fruit wines at farmers markets, which requires changes to current provincial legislation.
Environment Hamilton is creating an Eat Local Map, which is a directory of farms, stores, and other locations in Hamilton where residents can access locally-grown fruits and vegetables and locally-raised meats. The majority of farmers in the Hamilton area reside in the Greenbelt and the Map tells the story of the Greenbelt, how it preserves farmland and contributes to a local food system. The Map also educates residents about the importance of eating local to their health, the environment, and farm families.