On May 26, 2014, we will be hosting a Tweetup to build support for our #LoveTheRavines campaign. Urban planners, community activists, environmentalists, and the public will come together for a discussion on the future of Toronto's ravines.
Sounds interesting... What is the #LoveTheRavines campaign?
In September 2013, with partners including Environmental Defence, Toronto Environmental Alliance, Dot Dot Dash, and Patagonia, we launched Love the Ravines, a social media campaign aimed at getting Toronto in love with the city's unique and internationally-renowned ravines. Although many people walk, bike, drive or TTC through and over the ravines every day, few of us are aware of what they do for the city, or that they face a number of challenges.
|Rainbow trout move through Toronto's Humber river.|
Some of these challenges can be addressed by adding the ravines to the Greenbelt. This will add an extra—and permanent—layer of protection to these vulnerable areas, ensuring any future development that could harm them is prohibited.
So far, more than 1,200 people have added their names to a petition asking Toronto City Council to add the Don and Humber River Valleys to the Greenbelt. Hundreds of people have also joined in on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #LoveTheRavines (check out the photos at www.lovetheravines.com) and at our Jane's Walk earlier this month.
But what on earth is a Tweetup?
A Tweetup, or Twitter meetup, is a chance for Twitter users to gather, listen, and tweet about what they are hearing to their followers. On May 26, event guests will hear from an expert panel on The Future of Toronto's Ravines, moderated by "Toronto’s most famous flaneur," Shawn Micallef.
So, what happens after I sign the petition?
In February, Toronto City Council voted almost unanimously to begin the process of adding public lands in the Don, Humber, and Etobicoke Creek to the Greenbelt. City staff will report to the Planning and Growth Management Committee on May 29, and City Council will then vote on these recommendations soon after.
We already have great support from the public and watershed and community groups in Toronto! The Tweetup will be a chance to get the word out to many thousands more through social media—inspiring support for the ravines and, we hope, some ideas for making them even better in the future.
Okay! Sounds great. How can I take part?
The Tweetup has a limited guestlist; if you'd like to register your interest, please email me. But if you are unable to attend fear not! Take part on Twitter by following #LoveTheRavines and @greenbeltca from 6pm on Monday May 26—we will be retweeting the best comments and questions along with our panel's answers.
-- PROGRAM OFFICER