Of the many successes from the Greenbelt Youth Leaders program, an annual Green Day was established at Niagara College, building awareness of environmental issues and recruiting members for the next year’s Environmental Corps.
The Greenbelt Youth Leaders program has been introduced by the Niagara Environmental Corps, which was created in September 2006 to increase environmental awareness at Niagara College and to empower students to solve environmental problems and build healthy communities.
Niagara College, in collaboration with Durham’s Fleming College, has developed a sustainable model of student-led environmental action. The Greenbelt Youth Leaders learn to increase public environmental awareness, assist companies and non-proﬁt community organizations to develop and test environmental solutions to problems, and gives the students experience in applied research activities.
Environment Hamilton is creating an Eat Local Map, which is a directory of farms, stores, and other locations in Hamilton where residents can access locally-grown fruits and vegetables and locally-raised meats. The majority of farmers in the Hamilton area reside in the Greenbelt and the Map tells the story of the Greenbelt, how it preserves farmland and contributes to a local food system. The Map also educates residents about the importance of eating local to their health, the environment, and farm families.
Annual Clean Air and Environment Guide
The Clean Air Partnership, a charitable organization working to improve local air quality, produces an annual clean air and environment guide which provides information to help individuals conserve energy and protect the environment. It also encourages businesses to market their energy-efficient products in ways that will increase consumer demand. Such information guides educate the public and supports businesses committed to energy conservation and improving air quality.
The sponsorship program supports a diversity of cultural festivals across the Greenbelt.
“Exclusively Ours” is strategically positioning the areas of Caledon, Erin, Orangeville, Shelburne, Mono and Dufferin County as Greenbelt tourist destinations. A promotional campaign positions the natural landscape of the area within the Greenbelt; strengthens the Hills of Headwaters’ brand; increases tourism in the area; and, engages area businesses and the community to collaboratively offer a wider tourism “franchise” that includes marketing seven tourism experiences - trails, heritage, arts, culinary, equestrian and agriculture, golf and corporate meetings in the Headwaters.
The Greenbelt serves an important function as a natural air filter. The Ontario Medical Association estimates the costs of air pollution in Ontario to be 5,800 premature deaths, 17,000 hospital admittances, 60,000 emergency room visits, and a total of $7,800,000,000 in health care cost, lost work time, and productivity.
Raising awareness of the Greenbelt’s value is one of the most important steps in protecting it. Ontario Nature has led the way by performing outreach and education to local leaders and the public on the beneficial health values associated with the Greenbelt.
Showcasing the efforts of farmers and community volunteers to steward the land is a proud and productive opportunity. In partnership with the Ontario College of Family Physicians. Ontario Nature is creating booklets to highlight the significance of a farmer’s work to protecting the Greenbelt’s water resources, forests, and unique habitats, and to link rural and urban residents with the building blocks of a healthy lifestyle the Greenbelt has to offer.
The Caledon Countryside Alliance is working to raise awareness of the importance and value of the countryside. Its “Paint the Town Green through Community Mapping” project is a Caledon-wide community mapping undertaking that incorporates and shares the stories and knowledge of the local landscape. The map helps residents better understand and support these areas and make Caledon a more sustainable community. Closing the gap between people and their natural environment can build a spirit of pride and inspire responsibility for the natural landscape, which possesses valuable ecological good and services.
The Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy (CIELAP), a research not-for-profit organization, looked at greenbelts across North America as well as in international jurisdictions such as England, the Netherlands and Germany, producing a report on best practices and lessons learned of managing and sustaining greenbelts into the future.
OSEA will work with the Ontario Power Authority to make recommendations for a Standard Offer Contract program and run a Greenbelt-wide public awareness campaign. The project is needed to pave the way for ten renewable power projects in the Greenbelt, generating 100 megawatts of electricity. This requires consultations with farmers, farming associations, municipalities and rural cooperatives, in order to develop recommendations that provide incentives to entice generators to build locally-owned green power facilities and sell their excess energy capacity to the grid.
The project aims to raise conservation awareness among landowners in the Hamilton and Halton areas using over 6,000 brochures distributed at community meetings, presentations, displays and through project partners. It will educate landowners on the advantages and importance of land conservation.