Lake Simcoe Greenlands Mapping
Rescue Lake Simcoe
$124,895 (over 18 months)
Grant Stream: Resilient Greenbelt
Grant Approved: May 6, 2019
Rescue Lake Simcoe Charitable Foundation (RLSC) is collaborating with local stakeholders and residents to identify a set of key recommendations in preparation for the Province’s review of the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan (LSPP). Community mapping is being used to support the project by illustrating the connection between natural-cover levels and watershed vulnerabilities. Ultimately, this will help policymakers understand the long-term health and resiliency of Lake Simcoe. The LSPP currently recommends that 40% of the watershed be in “high quality natural cover." This project will map-out how much of the area’s greenland is currently protected, and what remains to be done to reach the 40% natural cover target. Furthermore, the RLSC is:
• Developing a GIS-based mapping tool to help illustrate levels of greenland protection and enhancement across the watershed;
• Producing two reports outlining the options to achieve the 40% natural cover;
• Developing a rationale for increasing natural cover, including ecosystem goods and service provisions, recreation, and support for nature/lake-based tourism, etc;
• Integrating the results of Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) into the mapping, reports, and rationale; and,
• Supporting the TEK assessments by local First Nations.
Rescue Lake Simcoe Charitable Foundation is collaborating with local stakeholders and residents to identify a set of key recommendations for the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan & opportunities to reach 40% natural cover in the area.
In preparation for the provincial review, the RLSC is engaging local stakeholders and residents to identify successful Plan outcomes, current vulnerabilities to the health of Lake Simcoe, and recommendations going forward to protect and enhance the lake and watershed health. They are assessing policy gaps and considering community goals and needs, such as agricultural, business and farmland protection, shoreline protection, and settlement-area growth management.
RLSC is also conducting research to analyze the provincial and regional policies that protect greenlands in Simcoe County and Lake Simcoe Watershed. Using the findings of this research and the community mapping, RLSC is educating the public, local government, and MPPs on the benefits of increasing natural cover. They are also encouraging public participation in the scheduled LSPP review. The outreach to local decision-makers will include:
• Producing a series of communication materials for the public and elected officials, in order to increase awareness of opportunities, benefits, and options for achieving 40% natural cover;
• Hosting 2-3 stakeholder/community mapping events in collaboration with University of Guelph researchers, in order to produce a series of municipal Greenland maps and action plans;
• Engaging land-conservancy groups to provide input into community maps and action plans;
• Identifying recommendations for the LSPP;
• Hosting educational meetings/events for county councils, CLASS, MLGB, and local MPPs; and,
• Presenting the project at the Lake Simcoe Summit, in partnership with Barrie District Realtor Association's 'Education Day.'
RLSC will also deliver a formal submission to the province, as part of the review.