The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation has a new Niagara office.
It’s an exciting time. We’re tapped into a great community and we’re here on the ground in one of the Greenbelt’s most specialized agricultural regions.
Niagara is the core producer of the province’s tender fruit and the anchor of the VQA and Ontario wine industry. It's also one of only two designated specialty crop areas in the Greenbelt (the other is the Holland Marsh). Fun Fact: More than 80% of Ontario’s acreage in tender fruit is found in the Greenbelt - the vast majority of that acreage in Niagara.
Niagara's also home to some of Canada's most diverse natural landscapes. It's got a bit of everything - from wetlands, to waterfalls, to wildlife habitats.
A lot of work goes into to protecting and supporting Niagara's agricultural land and its ecologically sensitive areas. At the Greenbelt Foundation we know that many, many, Niagarans are engaged in that project. We want to make sure we're doing our best to support them - so we got ourselves an office space and moved on in!
It’s still early days for us here – but you’ll be hearing much more from the Niagara team in the weeks and months ahead.
In the meantime, Robin Garrett, director of the new regional office, has been busy setting up shop.
We asked her to give us the rundown of what she’s been up to so far.
Robin Garrett is the Regional Director of the Greenbelt Foundation's new Niagara Office and has extensive experience with non-profit and government environments. She has also served in management roles at two of Canada’s leading food industry associations and most recently as the Chair of the Board of Food Banks Canada.
From my first day on the job on September 15th, I knew the Foundation was going to be an exciting and rewarding place to work. I'm delighted to join the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation to establish, and lead, the organization’s new Niagara Office
The role brings together my passion for all things related to nature along with my 30 years of work experience in the food industry, economic development and tourism.
It's really a perfect fit!
I'm also a proud Niagaran. I love living in Niagara’s Greenbelt with easy access to endless hiking and cycling trails, fabulous local food and wine, and spectacular gardens.
I believe in a protected and supported Greenbelt and I'm excited to bring my expertise to this important cause right here in my hometown.
My colleagues in the Toronto and Milton offices have been welcoming, helpful, and eager to collaborate. By the time I got the keys to our new office, I’d already been thoroughly briefed on the organization's structure and strategic plan, and had connected with several Greenbelt related organizations in the Niagara Region.
The new Niagara Office is located at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre Campus – a Niagara research hub dedicated to horticultural science and innovation. I received a warm welcome from Vineland Research and Innovation Centre staff as well as other tenants that rent space on the campus – the Wine Council of Ontario and the Twenty Valley Tourism Association. It’s energizing to work with like-minded organizations that are also working towards a brighter and more sustainable Ontario.
And it helps me to do my job of learning more about what makes the Greenbelt work for Niagarans and to work within the community to figure out how we can make it even better.
In the coming weeks I'll be announcing the Niagara Office's new Communications Assistant. Together, we'll be engaging Niagarans in a dialogue about the Greenbelt. We'll also be announcing new initiatives and events. Stay tuned!
I look forward to working with you.
--Regional Director, Niagara Office