600,000 people live in the Credit River Watershed, and the population is growing at a rate of 2%. By 2020, 40% of the watershed will be developed, based on official municipal plans.
The Credit River Watershed sources water to its 10 neighboring municipalities, protects the habitats of a variety of species, serves as a central location for community-oriented environmental initiatives, and provides recreational space for local residents.
The Credit Valley Conservation Foundation study on the economic value of wetland ecosystems is the first of its kind, with a primary valuation of wetlands in Ontario. This builds on the work done by the David Suzuki Foundation in 2008 to estimate the economic value of all of the ecological goods and services provided by the Greenbelt, and lends input into a wetlands restoration strategy.
"People are coming to understand that sprawling cities and shiny new highways are not proof of a burgeoning economy. There are ways for our economy to develop in tandem with our countryside. What we need is the political will to take the first steps toward implementing these mutually beneficial solutions.” - Nicola Ross, Alternatives Journal, December 29, 2008.
Focusing on contemporary environmental issues, Alternatives Journal appeals to both academics and the general public by increasing awareness of the Greenbelt and encouraging discussion on key issues of protecting it.
Feature Articles and Escarpment Blues Benefit: Alternatives Journal increases its profile through the use of a one-page feature article on an organization working towards sustainable change. The funding also supports a fundraising event featuring singer-songwriter Sarah Harmer.
Journal Issue, Protecting Near Urban Lands: The June 2008 issue of Alternatives Journal focuses on protecting near urban lands, such as the Greenbelt, with various articles by Foundation grantees.
Alternatives Journal Support: Multiple issues of Alternatives Journal are supported in 2009 and 2010, with many themes and topics directly related to the Greenbelt and support of the Greenbelt as a sustainable, permanent feature.
Feature Articles and Escarpment Blues Benefit:
$5,000 February 25, 2008
Journal Issue, Protecting Near Urban Lands:
$5,000 July 15, 2008
Alternatives Journal Support:
$10,000 December 10, 2008
Hamilton Conservation Foundation celebrates its 50th Anniversary on September 27th. It is a celebration all of the important work done by Hamilton Conservation Authority in acquiring, conserving and rehabilitating environmentally sensitive lands in the Hamilton area over the past 50 years
The Niagara Escarpment is the longest continuous natural corridor in south-central Ontario, extending over 1,000 kilometers and housing 1,000 year old cedars, Niagara Falls, and incredible rock formations resulting from 250 millions years of erosion.
Designated a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in 1990, the Niagara Escarpment is one of the “gems” of the Greenbelt, the pride of the region and a natural feature worth preserving and enhancing.The project creates the Water Research Network and Escarpment Kids to help fulfill the organization’s mission of conducting research and education in the region. Further, the project strengthens this charitable organization, enabling them to address key issues related to the escarpment, while building key partnerships with the public, private sector, conservation authorities, and educators.
The conference promotes organic agriculture and viniculture in Ontario, including the Greenbelt.
The project continues the work of the Ontario Greenbelt Alliance and Municipal Leaders for the Greenbelt to protect and strengthen the Greenbelt by garnering provincial and municipal support, encouraging stronger enforcement of the Greenbelt Act, growing the Greenbelt, and opening lines of communication among Greenbelt stakeholders.
The CBRA hopes to take advantage of booming internet usage through the introduction of ‘webisodes’, targeting the 38% of Ontarians who booked their holidays online and the more than 3.2 million users sessions banked on Ontario’s official travel website in 2007.
The Canadian Biosphere Reserves Association (CBRA) produces high-definition television programs and interactive website to promote awareness and exploration of the Niagara Escarpment – a World Biosphere Reserve in Ontario’s Greenbelt. The ‘Webisodes’ are streamed online in varying lengths, enabling viewers to choose between watching segments on culinary and agricultural life, travel, or other and healthy recreational opportunities in the Niagara Greenbelt region.
VO Kids draws in almost 4 million viewers every week, with the TVO Greenbelt Adventure television program reaching an average of 715,000 viewers per week.
Our children will play a key role in shaping the future of the Greenbelt and maintaining it for generations to come, so TVO Kids is playing a vital role in its preservation by recruiting thousands of children to jump in to the Amazing Greenbelt Adventure.
Children and their parents around Ontario are experiencing the Greenbelt through an awareness and education project aimed at children aged 5-11. The project includes multimedia programming on the popular and educational TVOKids show and website, short video vignettes introduce Greenbelt treasures, and special events. The aim is for children and their families to become inspired to protect the Greenbelt and maintain it for a bright and healthy future.
Over 1,000 students have now had the opportunity to participate in the hatchery program, which involves observation of the development of the eggs, and participation in “release days”, where fry are released into streams targeted for restoration.
In 2009, The Sierra Club helped champion the zoning of the Streetsville portion of the Credit River watershed as Greenbelt by the City of Mississauga.
Under continual erosive pressure from sprawling development, Ontario’s Greenbelt receives a boost from the Sierra Club, an organization which has stepped in to inform and help residents stand up and defend the Greenbelt.
Though primarily rural, the Greenbelt is neighbour to vibrant urban communities who value it deeply and want to protect this gem. Using resources such as a Greenbelt tool-kit, presentations, and public meetings, this campaign informs residents in urban communities adjacent to the Greenbelt about land use decision-making and the important role they can play in fostering effective municipal implementation of the Greenbelt Plan. Community groups, such as residents associations, church groups and conservation organizations, along with their municipal leaders, are encouraged to become defenders of the Greenbelt.