TORONTO, Oct. 21 /CNW/ - The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation today announced a number of recent grants for projects that strive to make the Greenbelt stronger still. All 25 of the grants announced today aim to fulfill the Foundation's goal of preserving and enhancing the Greenbelt's agricultural, rural and ecological integrity.
"The Greenbelt is approaching its 5th anniversary stronger than ever. That's in no small part thanks to the creative and determined efforts of our grantees working hard in communities large and small across the Greenbelt," said Burkhard Mausberg, President of the Foundation. "We're announcing these grants just as harvest season begins to wrap up. But for our grantees their work is just beginning. We look forward to watching their projects bear fruit in the months ahead."
Below is a list of projects that have recently received financial support from the Foundation. They include farming and local food initiatives, environmental protection projects and a number of efforts that focus on communicating what is great about the Greenbelt.
Alternatives Journal $10,000
With a focus on contemporary environmental issues, increasing awareness
of the Greenbelt and encouraging discussion of key protection issues,
Alternatives will profile the Greenbelt in six issues of the Journal.
Bike Train 2009: Greenbelt Express $36,750
Bike Train will expand on the success of the first season of the
Greenbelt Express, a service for travelers and their bikes between
Toronto and the Niagara area of the Greenbelt, with more trips and
enhanced information and guides on the recreational and tourism
opportunities available in the Greenbelt.
Coalition on the Niagara Escarpment $25,000
The Coalition on the Niagara Escarpment will work to protect the
Escarpment's natural heritage through research and education efforts and
by building partnerships with public and private sectors stakeholders,
conservation authorities, and educators.
Credit Valley Conservation Foundation $25,000
The Credit Valley Conservation Foundation will determine wetland
restoration priorities and characterize and quantify key ecosystem
services provided by wetlands in the Credit River watershed.
Ecojustice will lead a collaboration between Ontario Nature, Ducks
Unlimited Canada and Earthroots to review provincial regulations for
groundwater and wetlands. The group will assess the effectiveness of the
Greenbelt Plan with respect to wetlands and groundwater conservation, and
possible ways to improve protection.
Using their existing distribution network of fresh produce programs,
FoodShare will build awareness and connections to Greenbelt producers to
increase the amount Greenbelt-grown food reaching Toronto community
organizations, schools, and individuals. FoodShare will also work with
Greenbelt farmers interested in community outreach to provide
opportunities for education about the Greenbelt, its produce and the
people who grow this great food.
George Morris Centre $67,000
The George Morris Centre will partner with the municipalities of Hamilton
and Niagara to perform a feasibility study on establishing a Greenbelt
food distribution mechanism in these regions.
Grape Growers of Ontario $20,000
The Grape Growers of Ontario will continue to host luncheons in 2009 and
2010 to launch the annual Niagara Grape and Wine Festival, an event
attended by grape growers, wine makers and wine enthusiasts to recognize
the contributions of growers and to celebrate the grapes, soil, and
climate that contribute to Ontario's VQA wines.
Greenbelt Farmers' Market Network $100,000
This new Network was created for market managers to share knowledge and
help each other to run stronger and better-promoted markets by sharing
vendors and other resources, better advocating for market-friendly
policies at the municipal level, and conducting consumer and policy
research to empower markets to identify and address common issues.
Greenbelt Green Energy Program for Agriculture $250,000
Reducing farmers' dependency on fossil fuels is a priority of the Ontario
Soil and Crop Improvement Association, an organization leading the way
towards the responsible economic management of soil, water, air and
crops. This grant provides incentives for Greenbelt farmers to generate
their own energy for agricultural use from renewable sources.
Hamilton Conservation Foundation $2,500
This teaching garden in the Dundas Valley Conservation Area,
commemorating former Hamilton Conservation Authority Chief Administrative
Officer Bruce Duncan, will be a place for visitors to observe and feel
changes over time in the natural landscape and the wildlife species
native to the valley.
Environment Hamilton Eat Local $50,000
Environment Hamilton will work with partners to implement local food
procurement systems in elementary, secondary and post-secondary schools.
Lincoln Agricultural Society: Niagara Agri-Education Day $25,000
The 150-year old Lincoln County Fair has welcomed a popular new addition
to the festivities with the Niagara Agri-Education Day, an event where
school children can taste, touch, feel and learn about common farming
practices in the Greenbelt.
Local Food Plus $200,000
Local Food Plus will work with community partners in Hamilton and St.
Catharines to certify farmers, processors, restaurants and other
organizations as suppliers and consumers of Greenbelt-grown, sustainably-
Niagara Escarpment Foundation $10,000
The Niagara Escarpment Foundation lead a process with citizen's groups to
review water issues and the work that is needed Greenbelt-wide to address
Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance $10,000
The 2009 Ontario Culinary Tourism Summit is an event which highlights the
abundance of opportunities for growers in the Greenbelt and provides an
opportunity for farmers, chefs, owner-operators and other buyers and
sellers of food to connect.
Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Convention $5,000
"Canada's premier horticultural event," the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable
Convention features educational sessions, speakers from around the world,
a trade show, and food and wine events to celebrate all that is great in
Ontario Greenbelt Alliance $375,000
The Ontario Greenbelt Alliance is a coalition of groups who are working
together to strengthen the Greenbelt by forming partnerships with
municipalities to expand the Greenbelt, clarifying a vision for further
Greenbelt expansion, and continuing to serve as a vital centre for
Ontario Tender Fruit Marketing Board $10,000
The CNE got a whole lot sweeter this year, as the Ontario Tender Fruit
Marketing Board spread awareness of the Greenbelt by handing out
Greenbelt-grown peaches to hungry visitors and recipe cards for people to
make their own delicious treats when they bring home Greenbelt-grown
peaches from their local store or market.
Durham Farmers Market Feasibility Study $10,000
Oshawa may soon enjoy a year-round farmers' market, as developers are
preparing a feasibility study and a review of best management models for
a new market in downtown Oshawa which will help Greenbelt farmers reach
Royal Agricultural Winter Fair $140,620
At the 2008 Fair, a Greenbelt-themed kids' activity book with puzzles,
games and coloring was given out to young visitors. In 2009, there will
be a special Greenbelt Day at the Fair with children's activities,
Greenbelt-grown meals featured throughout, and a chance for visitors to
meet the groups doing great work around the Greenbelt, as well as the
return of the popular wine competition where the best Greenbelt red and
white wines are awarded.
Sustain Ontario: the Alliance for Healthy Food and Farming $15,000
With the help of Sustain Ontario's local food mapping and sector
analysis, opportunities for food processing infrastructure will be
researched and identified to help close Ontario's gap in fruit, vegetable
and meat processing infrastructure to make Greenbelt-grown food a more
Share the Road Cycling Coalition $3,000
Cycling is an important recreational activity in the Greenbelt. The Share
the Road Cycling Coalition rode into this year's Ontario Bike Summit,
taking part in an event bent on developing public policy frameworks for
safe biking in Ontario.
St. Lawrence Market $15,000
The historic St. Lawrence Farmers' Market has been serving customers
since 1803, and adding Greenbelt messaging into the markets'
communication materials remind market customers that Greenbelt farmers
contribute immensely to the market.
Toronto Environmental Alliance $185,000
This grant has three distinct parts, all related to bringing the
Greenbelt into Toronto. The first phase produced two new Greenbelt grown
food guides, one for Toronto's Middle Eastern community and another for
the city's African-Caribbean community, building on the successes of the
previous Chinese and South Asian guides. These booklets list retailers,
markets and farms selling foods grown in the Greenbelt which are popular
in the cuisine of these major ethnic groups. The second phase will result
in the production of resource materials for municipalities, universities,
schools and hospitals which encourage the adoption of policies favouring
the procurement of Greenbelt-grown food. The final phase will grow the
Greenbelt into Toronto by supporting new Greenbelt-friendly municipal
policies, including the City of Toronto's Local Food Procurement Policy
and the expansion of the Greenbelt to Toronto's rivers and valley lands.
SOURCE Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation
For further information: For further information: Jennifer Story at (416) 461-6310 or by cell at (647) 966-6310 or by email at email@example.com