The Greenbelt protection has extended to 21 major urban river valleys and 7 coastal wetlands across the Greater Golden Horseshoe!
River valleys connect the suburban and rural lands of the Greenbelt to Lake Ontario, and provide our communities with greenspace to explore, clean and filter our water and air, reduce our flood risks, and provide a home to wildlife. Protecting the urban river valleys is the first step to ensure these system remain healthy for generations to come.
To ensure the long term health of the urban river valleys and the Greenbelt we are working with the following groups on a range of projects:
The project recognizes the Greenbelt's newly designated urban river valleys and facilitates the use, enjoyment and stewardship of these unique spaces by local residents. A series of localized projects will create new destinations and ways for residents and families to connect with their river valley - enhancing community vitality and ecological stewardship.
Four Shinrin Yoku (forest bathing) trails connect Markham residents with nature through sensory experiences. A first in Canada, the trails will be located in city parks adjacent to the Don and Rouge river valleys and engage the areas substantial Asian populations and other residents to use, enjoy and steward these unique spaces.
Pollinator friendly art / canoe planters are installed in parks and public spaces in the upper reaches of the Rouge River and Don River (Mount Joy Creek) watersheds to facilitate the use, enjoyment and stewardship of local ravine areas. Over 2,000 neighbourhood residents will participate in plantings, learn about the importance of pollinators, urban river valleys and the Greenbelt.
Volunteers (50) are trained to facilitate the use, enjoyment and stewardship of local ravine areas along the Don River Valley in North Toronto. Volunteers will host guided walks with diverse communities, share knowledge about indigenous plants and organize plantings in the community to increase biodiversity and support the health of the river and the Greenbelt.
Riverwood’s secluded river valley lands (Mississauga) engage local students and residents to enjoy and learn about the ecology of these unique spaces. Stewardship training will help improve the health of the ravine and Greenbelt.
Ajax area high school volunteers and their families will explore their local river valley (Duffins Creek) through a citizen science program that trains participants in using digital Apps (i.e. iNaturalist) to collect data on the health of the river and the Greenbelt. The project encourages greater use and enjoyment of river valley lands by Town residents.
More to be announced in the next three years.
Want to learn more?
Our partners have organized numerous events across the Greenbelt. Find out all the events and consultations that are happening in the Urban River Valleys.
Find out more about the 21 urban river valleys and 7 coastal wetlands that have been added to the Greenbelt.