News Release: 2020 Friend of the Greenbelt Award Recipients Announced

Nov 12, 2020   •   Featured , News

2020 Friend of the Greenbelt Award Recipients Announced

Eight Prominent Ontario Leaders Recognized for their Dedication to the Greenbelt

TORONTO, November 12, 2020—The Greenbelt Foundation is recognizing some of the important individuals who have championed the Greenbelt and helped build its legacy over the past 15 years, since it was first protected by legislation.

For this year’s annual Friend of the Greenbelt Award, the Greenbelt Foundation is giving out awards in five categories: Community Engagement, Farming and Agriculture, Municipal Leadership, and the Restoration and Enhancement of both the Oak Ridges Moraine and Niagara Escarpment. The Friend of the Greenbelt Award recognizes leaders from across the Greater Golden Horseshoe region who champion, innovate, and ensure the ongoing success of Ontario’s Greenbelt.

The Friend of the Greenbelt Award recognizes leaders from across the Greater Golden Horseshoe region who champion, innovate, and ensure the ongoing success of Ontario’s Greenbelt.

“Looking back on our fifteen years, I’m very pleased to acknowledge some of the many community partners, government officials, and other leaders who have helped us make the Greenbelt the vibrant, protected landscape that it is today,” says Edward McDonnell, CEO of the Greenbelt Foundation. “Our award recipients in each category have demonstrated incredible leadership, innovation, and dedication to building, enhancing, and stewarding the Greenbelt in a variety of important ways.”  

Carolyn King, former Chief of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, is the recipient of the Community Engagement award for her ongoing work building relationships between First Nations and Ontario communities, especially with her Moccasin Identifier Project, which uses installations across the landscape, as well as a school curriculum toolkit, to help Ontarians understand the historic and current presence of Indigenous communities in the Greenbelt.

The late John Russell Powell has been awarded the Restoration and Enhancement of the Oak Ridges Moraine award after a lifetime of dedication to conservation in Ontario, especially his work protecting and stewarding the Oak Ridges Moraine—an area of the Greenbelt with unique geological and ecological significance.

Philip Gosling, an avid naturalist, founder of the Gosling Foundation, and a recipient of the Order of Canada, has been awarded the Restoration and Enhancement of the Niagara Escarpment award, having been one of the founders of the Escarpment’s Bruce Trail Conservancy and a champion of ecological research in Ontario. The Niagara Escarpment is another geologically and ecologically significant part of the Greenbelt.

The Farming and Agriculture award was given to the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) in recognition for their ongoing contribution to protecting and innovating farmland across Ontario, including in the Greenbelt—one of Canada’s most important food-producing regions. They represent farmers and producers and help ensure the success of the Greenbelt’s agri-food sector.  

Founding Municipal Leaders for the Greenbelt—Glen De Baeremaeker, Erin Shapero, Allan Elgar, and Steve Parish—have collectively been awarded the Municipal Leadership award. Each recipient in this category provided important early leadership that resulted in the creation of the Greenbelt and continued for many years to engage other municipal leaders in the work to protect and enhance the Greenbelt within their communities.

“Since 2005, the Greenbelt has fostered complete, vibrant communities, a strong agricultural sector, and provided much needed greenspace in Canada’s otherwise most developed region,” says David McKeown, Chair of the Greenbelt Foundation’s Board of Directors. “The Friend of the Greenbelt Award is an opportunity to acknowledge the collaboration, past and present, that has made the Greenbelt such an important part of Ontario today.”

Past recipients of the Friend of the Greenbelt Award have included Canadian singer-songwriter, Sarah Harmer (2006), former Premiers of Ontario, Bill Davis (2007) and Dalton McGuinty (2015), the Grape Growers of Ontario (2012), Executive Director of Save the Oak Ridges Moraine, Debbe Crandall (2014), and former Mayor of Toronto, David Crombie (2017). Each year, the Friend of the Greenbelt Award ceremony brings together a diverse community of policymakers, community leaders, executives and activists to celebrate the work done to make the Greenbelt a vibrant, working landscape that benefits Ontario communities. This year, the ceremony has been replaced with a series of videos released online, which announce and celebrate the award recipients.


About Greenbelt Foundation:

Greenbelt Foundation is a charitable organization, solely dedicated to ensuring the Greenbelt remains permanent, protected and prosperous. We make the right investments in its interconnected natural, agricultural and economic systems, to ensure a working, thriving Greenbelt for all. Ontario's Greenbelt is the world's largest, with over two million acres of farmland, forests, wetlands and rivers working together to provide clean air, fresh water, and a reliable local food source.

Media Contact:

Michael Young 
Communications Advisor

Greenbelt Foundation
(416) 960-0001 x 311
[email protected]

Social Media:

Instagram: @ongreenbelt
Twitter: @greenbeltca
Facebook: Ontario Greenbelt


For the full Friend of the Greenbelt Award backgrounder, click here.