The “Cootes to Escarpment Vision: Public Launch” is a celebration of the completion of the planning process. The public and stakeholder event launches the “Cootes to Escarpment Vision” plan document, with a formal ceremony followed by organized outdoor winter activities as part of celebration activities for the Greenbelt’s 5th anniversary.
The Greenbelt protects about 535,000 acres of lakes, wetlands, river valleys and forests, providing protected habitat for wildlife and endangered species.
Ecojustice is Canada’s leading non-profit organization of lawyers and scientists, with a dedication to the environment and conservation, and a mandate to assess the effectiveness of the Greenbelt Plan with respect to provincial groundwater and wetlands conservation.
This planning grant is an extraordinary example of the partnerships forming to implement effective change throughout the Greenbelt. Ecojustice scopes the potential for a comprehensive assessment of the implementation of the Greenbelt Plan in relation to wetland protection by reviewing selected case studies, transitional developments, and plans in action. This prepares the group to identify issues and geographic areas where implementation needs improvement, or where the Greenbelt Plan may need refinement.
In search of a distribution system, the study incorporates a random phone survey to about 275 Hamilton and Niagara food producers and processors, to assess the need and demand for such a centre.
As a Canadian not-for-profit independent think tank, the George Morris Centre fosters excellence in the agri-products sector by provoking informed dialogue and providing industry decision makers with analyses of critical issues affecting this sector.
In order to thrive, vibrant local food systems and their small and medium producers require infrastructure facilities to store, process, pack, and ship their fare. In line with their mission to foster excellence in the agri-products sector, The George Morris Centre partners with the municipalities of Hamilton and Niagara and the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation to perform a feasibility study on establishing a local food distribution mechanism in these regions.
“Farming in a way that looks after the environment is important for the land we work, for our family’s health and for those who live around us. It’s in our own best interest to learn, adapt, and keep up with the times” -Niagara area farmer Martin Schuele
In partnership with the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association, the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority encourages environmental stewardship actions among farmers in the Greenbelt.
Greenbelt Farm Stewardship Program - Phase I: Environmental Farm Plans encourage Greenbelt farmers to share in the protection of the environment, ensuring their farmland, the surrounding Greenbelt countryside and area residents continue to thrive. Led by farmers for farmers, the Plans includes management practices to create energy and water efficiency, protect wetlands, help with proper soil management, correct disposal of farm wastes and improve handling and storage of pesticides as well as a variety of other stewardship activities.
Greenbelt Farm Stewardship Program - Phase II: In response to tremendous interest from the farming community after the initial stewardship program, the expanded program enables more farmers to undertake environmental management projects. From water well protection, energy and water efficiency, to wetland maintenance, soil management, manure control, and farm waste disposal, farmers are innovating to ensure safe methods of food production and natural landscape preservation.
Greenbelt Farm Stewardship Program - Phase I:
$1,400,000 June 25, 2007
Greenbelt Farm Stewardship Program - Phase II:
$1,000,000 June 8, 2009
Though food distribution is a major component of Canada’s agri-food sector, with expenditures of $137 billion in 2005, the consolidation of major grocery chains and a lack of local distribution channels inhibits widespread access to local food products.
Bent on closing the policy gap in the local food web, Sustain Ontario builds a healthy and sustainable local food system in Ontario by creating new connections in the web and strengthening local food infrastructure.
While demand for local food seems to be ever-increasing, major infrastructure barriers prevent a local food web in Ontario from becoming fully developed. Sustain Ontario brings together diverse stakeholders from across the food supply and distribution system to create a road-map for success, offering concrete ideas about how to revitalize regional fruit, vegetable and meat processing infrastructure in Ontario.
The “Greenbelting Toronto” campaign has been successful in encouraging the adoption of a 50% target for local food procurement.
Many Torontonians are not aware of the abundance of resources provided by a healthy greenbelt right outside of their city. In its trademark campaigning style, the Toronto Environmental Alliance (TEA) is working with Torontonians and other organizations to raise awareness and generate pressure on policy makers, to help preserve and grow the Greenbelt.
Greenbelting Toronto: Greenbelting Toronto is the first phase of TEA’s successful Greenbelt campaign, which has successfully lobbied the Toronto City Council to adopt the Local Food Procurement Policy and Implementation Plan that prioritizes Greenbelt-grown food for purchase in City institutions.
Greenbelting Toronto 2.0: Greenbelting Toronto 2.0 build’s on TEA’s successful “Greenbelting Toronto” project to further encourage adoption and implementation of Greenbelt-friendly policies by the City of Toronto. The project focuses on maintaining a stable market for Greenbelt farmers by ensuring the effective implementation of Toronto’s Local Food Procurement Policy, and growing the Greenbelt in Toronto.
$250,000 March 1, 2007
Greenbelting Toronto 2.0:
$150,000 June 8, 2009
The project offers farmers enhanced cost share opportunities to encourage adoption of energy-saving practices on their farms and promote green energy generation for farm use. The link with the Environmental Farm Plan and its associated cost share program brings immediate exposure and credibility to this project, offering up to a 75% contribution towards selected Best Management Practices.
The Niagara Escarpment Foundation spearheads a collective of citizen groups to review regional water issues, and the work needed Greenbelt-wide to address these issues. The project aims to modernize the water policies of the Niagara Escarpment Plan, largely from the mid-1980s, in preparation for the Province’s review of the Greenbelt Plan in 2015.
The "CNE Peach Days" project involves a giveaway of Greenbelt-grown peaches and peach promotional materials for three days during the 2009 Canadian National Exhibition (The Ex) in Toronto. Visitors enjoy a free Greenbelt peach and receive peach recipe cards, children’s activity sheets and information on where to buy Greenbelt-grown peaches. The Ex is Canada’s largest fair and the fifth largest in North America, with an attendance of approximately 1.3 million visitors each year.
Local food procurement guides are a much needed resources to help public institutions take the first step to integrate local food into their commercial kitchens and encourage the adoption of local food procurement policies by Ontario municipalities, educational institutions and hospitals.