Working as a cook in Toronto for nearly a decade, I have experienced firsthand the amazing bounty of Ontario’s local food offerings. As Ontarians, we are fortunate to have year-round access to world class beef, pork, poultry, dairy and cheese. In the spring and summer, locally grown fruits and vegetables keep seasonal eating fresh and exciting. What all of Ontario’s local food has in common is it comes from amazingly fertile soil—an often overlooked and unsung hero. As Local Food Week approaches, June 3-9, 2019, I think it’s important to realize that Ontario’s soil has much more to offer our communities than just delicious food; it also plays a critical role in Ontario’s environmental health and climate change resilience strategy.
From Niagara to Northumberland the Greenbelt has plenty of ways to spend the May long weekend. No matter what you’re looking for whether it be ingredients for your BBQ, a bike route, or just taking a stroll in the woods we have the resources to help you plan the best long-weekend possible.
What do you do when your canoe tips at the beginning of a 10 km journey? Carry on and support the Don!
On Sunday May 5, 2019, the Greenbelt team had a blast at Paddle the Don. Sponsored by Manulife, the annual Paddle the Don event brings together recreationalists, conservationists, and corporations to voyage Canada’s most urbanized watershed, the Don River. Over the course of 3 hours, paddlers took on 10km of rapids, portages and Canadian geese to raise awareness about the health and importance of having protected, flowing urban river valleys.
With the myriad of ecological problems facing us in 2019 – extreme weather, depleted soils, habitat loss – litter may seem like a minor issue. So why is Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation focusing on litter with our #Pick5toThrive campaign, inspired by Earth Month?
Soil health is essential for ensuring the long-term viability of farming and sustainability of the environment. A new report from the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation tells the stories of 14 farmers in the Greenbelt who are using a variety of practices to improve their soil health. Farming different crops in different regions across the Greenbelt, these farmers are taking leadership in protecting and conserving the rich diversity of soils in the Greenbelt that are critical to our food system.
So, you may be asking yourself, “what exactly is the Greenbelt?”
Created by legislation known as The Greenbelt Act, passed by the Government of Ontario in 2005, Ontario’s Greenbelt is a 2 million acre stretch of land in southern Ontario which encompasses farmland, forests, wetlands, and watersheds; it extends as far north as Tobermory, and stretches 325 kilometres from Rice Lake in Northumberland County to the Niagara River. The primary objective of this The Greenbelt Act was to prevent urban development and sprawl on agricultural and environmentally-sensitive land in one of North America’s fastest growing regions – the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH). In fact, the population of the GGH is anticipated to increase from 9 million people to 13.5 million by 2041! This puts increasing pressure on the resources that provide us with clean air, drinking water, and healthy local food.
April 16, 2019 - On April 16, equipped with garbage bags, gloves, and other thing-a-ma-bobs, we set out to reduce litter in Ontario; one green acre at a time. Litter clean up is important, as litter can often find its way into our fresh water systems, affecting the drinking water of over 7 million Canadians.
Our team was quick to realize that, once you start looking for litter, it really is everywhere. That white speck in the distance? Litter. That blue and orange flower-looking thing 5 yards away? Litter. That dark mound of shreds looking like moss near the waterway? Litter. And what's more important, these little bits of litter and plastic often find their way into our Urban River Valleys; piling up and polluting our local water systems and great lakes!
Earth Day is the largest environmental event in the world, but participating only requires one small act:
To celebrate and protect our earth, the Greenbelt Foundation invites our friends and friends of friends to #Pick5toThrive!
How #Pick5toThrive works:
- Participate in a community or individual Earth Month clean up activity
- Take a photo or make a video – share your clean up on social!
- Nominate and tag 5 friends on social media to do the same
Are you up for the challenge? Join us in the movement towards a healthier, thriving planet.
Check out our recap video by clicking the image, below:
Along with a few words form our CEO on the initiative.
Apr. 1, 2019 - Spring is officially here and you might be asking yourself, “what can I look forward to this spring season?” Don’t worry, the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation has got you covered!
We all know that spending time out in nature is not only great for the body, but also great for the mind. Aside from the sheer goodness gained through ample amounts of Vitamin D (remember, you should be wearing shorts and a t-shirt and be outside for at least 20 minutes to receive any benefits), being out in nature also has an exceptionally effective calming effect on the mind. Pair that with a bit of good-natured exercise, and you have the perfect recipe for encouraging a more healthy, active lifestyle.
New Report! Agricultural Advisory Committees: Recognizing the Value of Agriculture in the Golden Horseshoe
Local Agricultural Advisory Committees (AACs) provide an agricultural lens to municipal policies, plans, and processes. Produced in collaboration with the Golden Horseshoe Food and Farming Alliance, this report examines the structure, challenges, and successes of AACs across the region. It highlights a number of lessons learned from AACs in the Golden Horseshoe that may be useful for existing AACs, as well as municipalities interested in establishing an AAC.