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.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
20 March 2019
CLIMATE CHANGE WILL REDUCE ONTARIO’S OUTDOOR SKATING SEASON
“Outdoor Hockey in a Changing Climate” discusses how unpredictable weather could make rink-making a thing of the past for Southern Ontarians
The Greenbelt Foundation has partnered with RinkWatch for an in-depth look at how a changing climate impacts outdoor hockey in and around Ontario’s Greenbelt. RinkWatch, a citizen-science research initiative at Wilfrid Laurier University that monitors changing winter weather conditions via community skating rinks, has analyzed data from Toronto and Montreal. It predicts that climate change will mean fewer skating days and greater difficulty making rinks.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 6, 2019
Greenbelt River Valley Connector Program Continues for Second Year of Community Engagement
Community Groups invited to apply for funding for projects to animate Greenbelt river valleys across the GTHA
TORONTO – The Greenbelt Foundation and Park People have launched the second year of the successful Greenbelt River Valley Connector Program. Funding is now available to help connect people and communities to Greenbelt protected urban river valley (URVs) systems throughout the GTHA. Over three years, the Greenbelt River Valley Connector Program will provide up to $300,000 in funding to support fifteen place-based projects that will help people explore, celebrate and enhance their local URVs.
Building on an earlier study, a new report from the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, Agriculture Trends and Updates: Understanding the Greenbelt’s Unique Advantages, profiles the changes in agriculture in the Greenbelt from 2011 to 2016, compared to the rest of Ontario. Using Statistics Canada’s Census of Agriculture data, the report looks at key variables such as number of farms, area farmed, use of farmland, production levels, and farm revenue.