Hamilton, May 8, 2007 − At a press conference announcing three major Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation grants to Hamilton and Burlington area environmental organizations, Tiger-Cat fullback Julian Radlein challenged the people of Hamilton and the Golden Horseshoe to “do your part to help the environment... by raising your awareness of the positive role local foods and the Greenbelt play in combating climate change.”
“The power of the individual in combating global warming cannot be downplayed,” said Radlein. “It’s up to each and every one of us to do our part. By simply buying local foods from surrounding Greenbelt farms we each play a role in helping reduce transportation-related greenhouse gases. Support from organizations like the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation is key to building a better environmental legacy to leave to our children.”
For his own game plan, Radlein pledged to spend the upcoming football season reducing his ecological footprint by making local Greenbelt grown foods a major part of his diet. He will shop primarily at local farmers’ markets and keep track of his food purchase receipts, adding, “I encourage the people of Hamilton and the Golden Horseshoe to do the same.”
Environment Hamilton, through a $25,000 grant from the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, will help Julian Radlein and area residents both locate and track the amount of local foods they purchase over the summer. Their “Eat Local” pilot project will see the distribution of 30,000 maps directing people to local food sellers in and around Hamilton. People interested in participating in the challenge will be able to register in early June atwww.environmenthamilton.org to receive their “Eat Local” scorecard.
Local food is only part of the story. The second Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation grant announced today will help the people of the Golden Horseshoe enjoy and benefit from their surrounding green spaces for many years, and many generations to come.
The sum of $185,000 was awarded to Royal Botanical Gardens and a group of partner organizations for their “Cootes to Escarpment Conservation and Land Management Strategy.” The action plan will serve to promote the protection of 4,000 acres of ecologically rich Greenbelt lands shared by Hamilton and Burlington.
Project partners are: Royal Botanical Gardens, Hamilton and Halton Conservation Authorities, Hamilton Naturalists’ Club, Hamilton Harbour Remediation Action Plan, the cities of Hamilton and Burlington, and Halton Region.
“Public awareness,” said Burkhard Mausberg, President of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, “is extremely important to successfully managing our way out of our climate crisis. Thus we are pleased to also announce today our third grant, in the amount of $75,000, to the Conservation Halton Foundation.”
The Conservation Halton Foundation's “Greenbelt Community Outreach Program” project protects and restores natural areas by promoting environmental stewardship and increasing public awareness of the Greenbelt in Halton. The three components of the project: “Trees for Watershed Health,” the “Greenbelt Awareness Program” and the “Halton Great Outdoors Guide” will each bring exposure to the Greenbelt through community outreach − from planting 200,000 trees to teaching citizens about the Greenbelt through far reaching communications activities.
“All three grants announced today,” Mausberg concluded, “are to organizations dedicated to preventing urban sprawl from encroaching on the ‘jewel of the Golden Horseshoe,’ the valuable and sensitive Greenbelt lands that surround Hamilton and Burlington. The Foundation is proud to fund these efforts to improve the livelihoods of area farmers, promote healthy local food choices, and protect the region’s green space for generations to come.”
With polls showing over 89% of public support for the Greenbelt‘s goal of protecting area lands by curbing urban sprawl, the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation has to-date announced the awarding of over $5 million in grants to charitable organizations working in support of farming, the environment and rural communities located in the Ontario Greenbelt.
For further information, please visit www.OurGreenbelt.ca, and contact: Donald Wiedman, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, tel: (416) 960-0001, cell: (416) 559-3934, email: info -at- ourgreenbelt.ca