Ontarians are Asked to Get Involved with Greenbelt River Valley Protection
Three Videos Show How Urban River Valleys Provide Important Greenspace and Other Critical Services
Toronto, March 18, 2021, The Greenbelt Foundation and Park People have released three videos that profile the 21 Greenbelt-protected urban river valleys that cover the Greater Golden Horseshoe and provide important greenspace to its growing communities.
Often overlooked as prime sites for recreation and connecting with nature, these videos remind viewers of the benefits of urban river valleys, profile leading stewards who protect them, and ask viewers to get involved in stewardship efforts."
The launch of these videos comes ahead of World Water Day on March 22, held annually to celebrate the importance of water and explore ways to better protect this vital resource.
As part of the “Rivers for Resilience” campaign, the three videos (linked below) will be distributed across social media and show footage of familiar areas like the Humber and Don river valleys. Often overlooked as prime sites for recreation and connecting with nature, these videos remind viewers of the benefits of urban river valleys, profile leading stewards who protect them, and ask viewers to get involved in stewardship efforts. Efforts include shoreline restoration, planting native plants, removing invasive species, and creating pollinator gardens.
There’s good reason to want to protect these valleys. As one video explains, our urban river valleys provide important services to our communities, like protecting our freshwater, preventing our homes from flooding, and making the air feel up to 11 degrees Celsius cooler during heatwaves.
“The Greenbelt is a wonderful uniting force for connecting the impact of many diverse conservation and community groups across Ontario,” says Dave Harvey, Executive Director of Park People. “Our urban river valleys bring nature through our cities, right to the doorsteps of many diverse communities, so are the perfect place for us all to learn how we can contribute to helping to protect them.”
Community leaders like Derek Stone from Riverwood Conservancy, Annie Vandenberg from Evergreen, and Joce Two Crows Tremblay from ReSistering are profiled in one video. Urban river valley stewardship work has been supported by the Greenbelt River Valley Connector program, which ran from 2018-2020. The program was funded by the Greenbelt Foundation, operated by Park People, and supported important ecological restoration work.
“Especially in the context of ongoing social distancing, our urban river valleys provide critical greenspace for recreation and connecting with nature,” says Edward McDonnell, CEO of the Greenbelt Foundation. “For the past three years, our Greenbelt River Valley Connector Program has supported community-based stewardship and engagement initiatives, and these three videos are a culmination of our work. We hope they will inspire residents across the region to take an interest in their local river valley and get involved in stewardship efforts.”
To see the full videos, click HERE.
For the full project backgrounder, click HERE.
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.
About Park People:
Park People supports and mobilizes community park groups, community organizers, non-profits, park professionals and funders who activate the power of parks. Through Canada-wide and city-specific programs and events, funding, resources, research and professional services we help realize the power of parks to build strong communities, healthy environments, and resilient cities.
Greenbelt Foundation Media Contact:
(416) 960-0001 x 311
Greenbelt Foundation Social Media:
Facebook: Ontario Greenbelt
Park People Media Contact:
Senior Project Manager