Greenbelt Foundation to Build on 16 Years of Work with Renewed Provincial Funding
A Renewed Three-Year Agreement with the Government of Ontario will Allow the Foundation to Realize the Unique Social, Economic and Environmental Benefits of Ontario’s Greenbelt
TORONTO, February 23, 2021—The Greenbelt Foundation is pleased to announce $12M in funding from the Government of Ontario. Over the next three years, this funding will allow the Foundation to continue conducting applied research and providing strategic grants that protect and enhance Ontario’s Greenbelt and improve understanding of the economic, environmental, and social benefits it provides.
Over the next three years, this funding will allow the Foundation to continue conducting applied research and providing strategic grants that protect and enhance Ontario’s Greenbelt."
“It has never been more important that we protect our greenspaces. Our $12 million investment reflects our government’s ongoing commitment to safeguarding one of Ontario’s greatest natural treasures, the millions of acres of farmland, forests, wetlands and watersheds that make up our Greenbelt,” said Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks Jeff Yurek. “I am proud to support the tremendous work the Greenbelt Foundation does to protect and enhance this vital area of our province – both for the benefit of Ontarians today and for future generations.”
Through public education and engagement, stewardship and restoration initiatives, and collaborations with partner organizations, including all levels of government, the Foundation will continue to work across the Greenbelt region to promote natural solutions to climate change, strengthen the local food and agriculture sector, and support rural economies in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Canada is currently at the intersection of twin crises—COVID-19 and climate change,” says Edward McDonnell, CEO of the Greenbelt Foundation. “The Greenbelt Foundation is focused on projects and partnerships that create solutions for both. We look forward to working with the Province and our other partners to build on 16 years of success and deliver results that directly benefit Ontarians.”
The Greenbelt Foundation will continue to support conservation partners in protecting the region’s watersheds and hydrological systems. Watershed management is crucial to sustaining the quality and quantity of our freshwater, protecting our communities from flooding, and protecting biodiversity.
Other important Foundation work include the Municipal Natural Asset Management program, which supports municipalities across the region in using their natural assets to protect their communities against climate change, will work with 30 new municipalities starting in 2021. Research and policy initiatives, including work on climate-smart agriculture and expanding Ontario’s production of fruits and vegetables, will continue to support the growth and resilience of our local food system.
“We welcome this investment and look forward to working with the Province and key stakeholders to realize the unique value of the Greenbelt which contributes to the prosperity and livability of this region, home to two-thirds of Ontarians,” says Dr. David McKeown, Greenbelt Foundation Board Chair.
The Greater Golden Horseshoe is expected to be home to 15 million Canadians by 2051, putting added pressure on the region’s natural systems and water resources, increasing the need for near-urban nature and greenspace.
The Greenbelt Foundation’s work will be crucial to ensuring the Greenbelt continues to provide $3.2 billion worth of ecosystem services each year (including flood prevention and water filtration), support 177,700 full-time jobs in tourism, recreation, and agriculture, and contribute $9.6 billion to Ontario’s GDP.
“This funding announcement is great news for all of us who cherish the Greenbelt, and the work of the Foundation. The Foundation has been a trusted and strategic partner to us in Burlington and Halton Region. Most recently, their support for the Grindstone Creek project will help address flood risk and water contamination in the Hamilton Harbour, says Marianne Meed Ward, Mayor of Burlington. “The Foundation has an excellent track record, expertise, and relationships that will ensure that the Greenbelt continues to protect and improve the quality of life for Ontarians.”
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.
For the full backgrounder, click here.
For Government of Ontario News Release, click here.
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