One thing you’ll notice about the Greenbelt – whether you’re walking, cycling or driving – is the immense numbers of trees. In fact the Greenbelt is home to an estimated 200 million trees, and they do a lot more than provide a shady place to rest.
The Greenbelt’s forests capture and filter water, absorb air pollution, support crop pollination, and store and sequester carbon. These ‘eco-services’ are worth an estimated $1 billion – and the trees provide them for free.Read more
On May 10th, 2016 the province announced its recommendations for changes to the Growth and Greenbelt Plans.
We are encouraged by the proposal to grow the Greenbelt to include 21 urban river valleys and seven coastal wetlands, bringing the Greenbelt into cities and towns with over 6 million residents.
The province also added four parcels of protected countryside in the City of Hamilton and Niagara Region.
But...the widely supported grassroots initiative to expand the Greenbelt and protect a ‘Bluebelt’ of vulnerable water resources was left out of the amendments. We hear that the province plans to start a process to identify such areas in the coming months - let's hold them to their word!
The grassroots 'bluebelt' proposal, put together by a coalition of over 100 environmental and community groups, calls for an ambitious expansion of the Greenbelt in order to protect critical drinking water sources and to ensure an abundant supply of clean water.
Find out more about the proposal and take action at GrowOurGreenbelt.ca!
Cycle the Sights of the Greenbelt Route
It's been almost a year since the official launch of the Greenbelt Route and we're feeling celebratory.
Last summer's inaugural ride was overwhelming success, and, just in time for Bike Month (May 30 to June 30) we've rolled out even more functionality on our interactive mobile-friendly Greenbelt Route website.
With updated points-of-interest, customizable itineraries, and suggested hikes and day-trips greenbelt.ca/route website offers the best of cycling and hiking experiences in the Greenbelt.
Check it out to start planning your Bike Month cycling adventures.
Below are a few highlights to get you started!Read more
Photo Credit: Michael Manet
Ontario is fortunate to have a landscape and ecology that sustains us with soil to grow our food, with forests to clean our air, and with rugged wilderness to explore. In the Canadian tradition, the land shapes our childhoods, supports our economy and represents our future. The Greenbelt is part of this heritage, building connections between those who grow our food and act as stewards of the land, and those who live in cities nearby.
I am pleased that the Province’s recent announcement on the Land Use Planning Review recognized the value of compact complete communities and green landscape, with recommendations to protect clean water and agriculture, to contain sprawl, and to grow the Greenbelt.Read more
Jane's Walk is back!
The festival of free, citizen-led walking tours runs May 6th, 7th, and 8th.
We love Jane's Walk (we even helped plan a series of Greenbelt-inspired walks for last year's festival)! It's a not-to-be-missed chance to learn, from experts and civic champions, more about the region, and the communities, we inhabit.
And this year this year's two important Jane's Walk anniversaries are giving us even added incentive to take part. Not only is it the 10th year of the festival, this week also marks what would have been the 100th Birthday of Jane Jacobs - famed urbanist and activist and Jane's Walk namesake.
We're so excited that we combed through the Jane's Walk listings looking for walks that touch on issues Greenbelt champions care about the most - from the history of our protected natural landscapes, to the importance of spending time outside, to the need to build smart livable communities.
Want to be on the first public tour of the MacMillan Nature Reserve? Find out more about the tenets of Toronto's Complete Streets program? Better understand the health benefits of spending time outdoors?
Check out our team's top picks below!See all events
Grantee Spotlight is a blog series highlighting the experiences and successes of the Foundation’s grantees, as they work with communities and other Greenbelt partners to keep our province’s farmlands, forests, and wetlands safe and sustainable for future generations.
First proposed more than 60 years ago, the enduring vision of connected and protected trail along the Credit River is becoming a reality. This past September, the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation announced a $100,000 grant to support the creation of the Credit Valley Trail Master Plan.
The grant supports Credit Valley Conservation and the Credit Valley Heritage Society as they work towards the creation Master Plan by 2017 and a fully actualized 110-kilometre hiking trail within the next 10-15 years! It might seem like a long-time to wait, but there are lots of important milestones to celebrate along the way.
Read project-lead Susan Robertson’s latest Credit Valley Trail (CVT) update to get the inside scoop on this visionary project (see Susan's earlier update here).
Port Credit, Mississauga
If you’ve been following the conversations around the review of the Growth and Greenbelt Plans you’ve almost certainly heard about the importance of "smart growth", "intensification", and "compact communities".
But what do these terms really mean? And what would smart growth mean in practice?Read more
Growing our Greenbelt is a blog series focusing on "areas of critical ecological and hydrological significance" recently flagged by more than 100 environmental and community group as requiring Greenbelt protection. Over the next several months, we'll be highlighting the headwaters, ground water recharge areas, surface water features and urban river valleys that, if added to the Greenbelt Plan, would be part of protected and connected clean water system.
Want to see your Greenbelt grow? Follow our series and use #GrowOurGB on social media to join the movement!
Did you know….
Significant portions of the headwater catchment area for the Humber River are not currently protected under the Greenbelt and Oak Ridges Moraine Plans?
But here’s the good news, more than 100 community and environmental groups are recommending that the provincial government fix this protection gap before we lose these critical headwater areas to the pressures of urbanization.
It’s all part of a recently released "Bluebelt" proposal that calls for a 1.5 million acre Greenbelt expansion into Ontario's sensitive water systems (Find out more about the proposal here).
The “Bluebelt” proposal identifies three specific Humber River headwater catchment areas in Peel and York vulnerable to urban development. These areas, circled on the map above, are adjacent to and surrounded by Greenbelt protected lands.Read more