Initiated in 2005 on a platform of farming reform to increase the industry’s viability, Local Food Plus certification system incorporates economic, environmental and social issues and opens new markets for Canadian farmers.
This project catapults local, sustainably produced food into the public consciousness in Ontario. Consumers are recognizing the label in their universities and grocery stores, and vendors and shoppers alike are recognizing the value of what it means to buy from certified farmers and processors: that the food is produced using environmentally and socially responsible growing practices.
Environmental Defence Canada is the coordinating organization for the Ontario Greenbelt Alliance, a coalition of groups who share a common vision for improving Ontarians' quality of life and protecting valuable agricultural and environmental lands.
Building upon the success of the Alliance, Environmental Defence’s Greenbelt-wide network draws on the collective expertise of Alliance members, municipal leaders, farmers and other professionals. The network is essential in fostering municipal compliance and implementation of the Greenbelt Plan through innovative community planning, and focuses on the creation of productive connections between urban and rural organizations.
A two-day event celebrates Durham farmers’ agricultural culinary tourism in Durham with farm tours and local fare. The tour reinforces the value of Durham’s local food economy and strengthens collaborations among farmers, local restaurants, B&B accommodations and others to buy, sell and promote locally grown foods.
The project increase sales, the number of farm vendors and the number of farmers' markets in the Greenbelt by recruiting new farmers diversifying products sold at markets, attracting new customers, and establishing four new urban markets. Project GREEN also brands markets as ‘Greenbelt’ markets and informs consumers on the important role farmers’ markets have in supporting local agriculture and the business of farming.
Grape Growers of Ontario hosts a Kick-Off Luncheon for the Wine Festival and produces and distributes educational material about VQA wine and the Greenbelt. The event is attended by provincial and municipal politicians as well as business and community leaders. The Niagara Grape and Wine Festival is held in September of each year to celebrate the wine harvest, showcase the industry and promote local Tourism. The event supports a viable agricultural sector by promoting agri-tourism and the consumption and awareness of local agricultural products.
The grant aids in the implementation of the following projects: Trees for Watershed Health, Conservation Halton Greenbelt Awareness Program and the Halton Great Outdoors Guide. The project protects and restores natural areas by promoting environmental stewardship and increasing public awareness of the Greenbelt in Halton. Each of these three projects brings exposure to the Greenbelt through community outreach and communications.
The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Foundation (NPCF) is building a 12,000 square foot Visitor Centre in their Ball’s Falls Conservation Area, located in the Town of Lincoln in the Twenty-Mile Creek Watershed. This includes a state-of-the-art interpretive display and educational programming. One gallery (1,100 square feet) tells the history of Twenty Valley and educates visitors about its natural and cultural heritage. Interactive displays inform visitors about water conservation and watershed stewardship practices, the impact of human activity on the ecosystem, and the need for wise land-use practices. A smaller gallery hosts traveling exhibits and community displays and educational programs cover the area’s rich cultural and natural history.
The Greenbelt is connected to wetlands and waterways which provide clean, fresh water for about 7.5 million Ontarians. The Rescue Lake Simcoe Charitable Foundation is working to protect one of the major watersheds in Ontario’s Greenbelt. This young grassroots environmental organization has seen success over the past 3 years with campaigns such as the popular 2005 Ladies of the Lake calendar, which brought awareness to the unique challenges facing Lake Simcoe. The project enables the group’s continued growth and their ability to educate Ontarians about the ways the Lake can be saved from ongoing pollution runoff and deteriorating quality using the Greenbelt as a forum for change.
$62,000 - June 5, 2006
Through the appraisal of existing programs and the building of partnerships throughout the Greenbelt’s agricultural sector, this project will determine the best ways to train and support new farmers, including recent immigrants and graduates of agricultural programs.
Approximately half of all newcomers to Canada settle in the Golden Horseshoe, bringing with them their skills, energy, cultures and often, farming experience. By exploring opportunities such as the farming of currently leased lands, development of a farm training centre and the creation of new ethnic food markets, this project will inject new life and perspectives into Greenbelt agriculture.
For two days in July, the town of Uxbridge is traveling 100 years into the past. The “Trails in the Valley Festival” offers a variety of attractions including, beard growing contests, live bands, an antique car show, horse rides, a farmers’ market, and an original drama acted by the local theatre company. The Fair brings Uxbridge history to life and gives guests an enlivened experience of the town.