WEBINAR: Improving Access to Large Parks in Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe: Policy, Planning, and Funding Strategies
A free 1-hour webinar on Wednesday April 13, 1-2pm ET.
Please join the Greenbelt Foundation and the Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition (GIO) at our upcoming webinar launching our new report: Improving Access to Large Parks in Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe: Policy, Planning, and Funding Strategies. Together with our project partners, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), Re:Public Urbanism, and the Ontario Parks Association, we are excited to share the key findings and recommendations from this research.
This report is a follow-up to the State of Large Parks in Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe, published in 2019. In our new report we built on the 2019 findings and focused on the accessibility of large parks across the region, as well as strategies and recommendations to overcome barriers to planning, funding, establishing and managing large parks.
The webinar will highlight the critical role of large natural parks, which has grown even more evident during the pandemic with the vast increase in park usage, and the challenges of establishing large parks in an environment of increasing land values, development, and land scarcity. The webinar will provide you with an overview of the report, including:
- The methodology and results of the large park accessibility analysis.
- An assessment of underserved areas within the Golden Horseshoe with the greatest need for new large park creation.
- Strategies and recommendations to help decision makers overcome barriers and guide future large parks development.
- Examples of transferable models and best practices from across Canada and around the world.
The event will be moderated by Thomas Bowers from the Greenbelt Foundation, and speakers will include: Jennifer Court (GIO), Michelle Blom (Re:Public Urbanism), and Jackie De Santis (TRCA).
Thomas Bowers is the Director of Research and Policy at the Greenbelt Foundation. Tom joined the Greenbelt Foundation in December 2014 bringing more than 10 years’ experience of research and analysis from working in the public, private, and not-for profit sectors. At the Foundation he leads a research program covering a diversity of issues that relate to the Greenbelt, including land use planning, agriculture, natural heritage and green infrastructure. He holds a BA in Politics and Philosophy and a MSc in Sustainability, Planning and Environmental Policy. He is passionate about the role of the Greenbelt in building a sustainable and resilient region and enjoys the many opportunities for outdoor fun the Greenbelt has to offer.
Jennifer Court is the Executive Director of the Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition, and spends her time advocating for supportive policy and funding to make green infrastructure the new normal. She has over 15 years’ experience in the environmental space, working all across Canada on a range of issues including climate change, waste and the circular economy, environmental health, and of course, green infrastructure. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Design from the Ontario College of Art & Design, as well as a Master of Environmental Studies and a Graduate Diploma in Business & Sustainability from York University.
Jackie De Santis is currently an analyst in the Ecosystem and Climate Science team at the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. Her work focuses on applied research to support a range of green infrastructure, urban forestry and ecosystem services projects. She earned her Masters of Forest Conservation from the University of Toronto, and recently gained her Registered Professional Forester designation with the Ontario Professional Foresters Association. For this project, Jackie co-lead the policy review and analysis, aided in facilitating engagement, outreach, and workshops with key stakeholders and parks professionals, and assisted in writing the final report.
Michelle Blom is an urban designer and GIS specialist with professional experience in both Architecture and Urban Design. Her experience has provided her with a comprehensive understanding of project design ranging from small-scale residential developments to master planned communities. She has worked for both private and public sector clients in Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Nunavut and England. With a background in Urbanism, Michelle obtained her Bachelor of Architectural Studies in 2015. Michelle has successfully contributed to a broad range of design projects including Concept Plans, Urban Design Guidelines, Official Plans, Zoning By-Law, Design Manuals, Landscape Concept Design, Renderings, and other graphic design material. Her passion stems from her understanding of built-form and its role in shaping the future of our communities.