Greenbelt Getaway and Millcroft Inn Invite Local Farmer to Put Her Feet Up and Unwind

Toronto, March 4, 2008 - The hustle and bustle of early mornings and stressful work days -- we all want to get away from it all sometimes and what better place to do so than in the Greenbelt? Local farmer Linda Darby had that exact opportunity as winner of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation’s Greenbelt Getaway prize -- a luxurious spa weekend at Caledon’s Millcroft Inn and Spa.

“Having the chance to go away and experience one of the most exceptional weekends I’ve had, was more than I could have ever hoped for,” said Darby, owner of Sundance Meadows family farm in Sunderland, Ontario. “I love being on the farm but being pampered like this is a treat.”

Darby and her husband John have lived on their 32 acre farm for 20 years raising sheep, goats, llamas, miniature horses and more. The farm, which includes a petting zoo and a traveling exhibit, can be booked by groups for things like birthdays, special events or educational visits. Bringing up a family while taking care of the farm as well as working off the farm can be a handful. “Being able to provide children with the opportunity to get up close and personal with the animals on our farm and to take part in some great Greenbelt activities, makes all the hard work worth it but at the end of the day, who doesn’t like to be rewarded with a nice massage and a fancy meal?”

The Darby’s visit included a breakfast buffet with everything from smoked salmon to waffles, fruit, cereals and freshly baked breads. Massages, combined with essential oils and soothing music made for a relaxing and enjoyable spa experience. “After enjoying the aromatherapy session, it was a delight to sit down to dinner overlooking the waterfall. “ Linda and her husband enjoyed a delicious dinner of scallops, duck, pickerel and a sampling of cheeses, all prepared by the Inn’s Chef, Roberto Fracchioni who creates Four Diamond cuisine using fresh, local natural and organic fare found in the Greenbelt.

“We couldn’t have picked a better person as the winner of this prize,” said Wolfgang Stichnothe, Innkeeper. “Our team takes great pride in creating the ultimate escape here at the Inn -- one where you can forget the pressures of everyday life and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and the Greenbelt and renew your spirits.”

Situated in the rolling countryside of Ontario's Caledon Hills, the historic Millcroft Inn and Spa is a member of Ontario’s Finest Inns. Offering fifty-two guest rooms, the Inn is located just forty minutes from Toronto.

Originally built in 1881, this historical Inn includes a refreshing blend of rural serenity and sophisticated hospitality. Forty-five hectares (100 acres) of woodland and meadow in Southern Ontario provides for great hiking and cross-country skiing. The Millcroft Spa features full massage and aesthetic treatments.

Darby entered the contest at this year’s 85th Royal Winter Fair held last November. Canada’s premiere agricultural event, sponsored by the Greenbelt Foundation, featured Greenbelt Kiosks located in the horse, food, wine and environmental areas, where visitors had the opportunity to enter for a chance to win a Spa Getaway from the Millcroft Inn and Spa, including two nights of accommodation, dinner for two, a breakfast buffet both mornings, and $200.00 towards spa services.

“We were delighted to hear that one of our very own Greenbelt farmers had taken home the prize,” said Burkhard Mausberg, President of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. “The Greenbelt has such a diverse range of activities to explore. We wanted a prize that would reflect that. The Millcroft Inn had just what we were looking for. It’s here that you can experience the Greenbelt through hiking, cycling and cross country skiing all at your leisure.”

The Darby’s are well-rested and back at the farm preparing for spring visits in hopes that many visitors will make their way out to visit the animals and the farm.

Ontario’s Greenbelt is 1.8 million acres of protected land that wraps around the Golden Horseshoe and encompasses the Niagara Escarpment, the Oak Ridges Moraine, Rouge Park, some 7,000 farms and hundreds of rural towns and villages. It is vital to the quality of life of Ontarians.

The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation began its work in June 2005 as an independent, charitable foundation with a mandate to fund organizations in support of farming, the environment and rural communities located in Ontario's Greenbelt.

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For a PDF of this press release click here.

For further information please contact: 
Jennifer Asselin, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, tel: (416) 960-0001, email: jasselin -at-
Photos of the spa visit and Darby farm are both available upon request. 
Spa photos taken by Sandra Traversy.

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