Province expands Ontario's protected green spaces



    Part Of The McGuinty Government's Plan For A Cleaner, Greener Ontario

    TORONTO, April 20 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is giving families more
opportunities to enjoy the outdoors by donating more than 200 acres of natural
heritage land to communities and organizations across the province, David
Caplan, Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal, announced today.
    "We are helping create a cleaner, greener, healthier Ontario, now and for
years to come," said Caplan. "By increasing parkland and protected natural
areas across the province we are demonstrating our commitment to the
environment and to building better communities for Ontario families."
    The McGuinty government is transferring 10 parcels of land to communities
and organizations stretching across southern Ontario to protect and expand
parkland and promote healthy living and wellness for Ontario residents. The
dedication of these lands expands on the government's creation of Ontario's
Greenbelt, which protects 1.8 million acres of green space for families to
enjoy for years to come.
    "Conservation Authorities have long played an important role in the
protection of Ontario's natural heritage, collectively owning some 300,000
acres of forests, wetlands, river valleys and publicly accessible recreation
areas," said Dick Hibma, Chair of Conservation Ontario. "This contribution by
the province will add to this public trust and further protect important
natural and cultural heritage values."
    "The safeguarding of green spaces near our urban centres is critical to
our quality of life as Ontarians," said Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director,
Environmental Defence. "The permanent protection of these 10 properties in the
most densely populated part of our province is a great gift to this and future
generations. We look forward to more such dedications."

    
    Today's announcement is just one of the ways the McGuinty government is
preserving green space for Ontario families. Other initiatives include:

     -  Protecting 5,500 acres of ecologically significant land in Rouge Park
        and the new Bob Hunter Memorial Park
     -  Delivering 650 acres of ecologically significant lands in the Town of
        Oakville into the care of Conservation Halton
     -  Protecting 180 acres of provincially significant natural heritage
        lands to create Hamilton's newest conservation area - Eramosa Karst
     -  Expanding city parks in Hamilton and Burlington by close to 50 acres.
     -  Providing tools to encourage voluntary efforts to conserve and
        restore natural areas on private land through the Natural Spaces
        program.

    All Ontarians have a role to play in making our province greener. The
government has already taken action by protecting a Greenbelt that stretches
across southern Ontario from development, introducing tough new laws that
protect our drinking water, producing more renewable energy and doing more to
conserve electricity. But we know more needs to be done. That's why our next
step will be the announcement of a climate change plan - a step that will help
all Ontarians do their part to make our province cleaner and greener while
keeping the economy strong.


    Disponible en français

                               ontario.ca/pir



    Backgrounder
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                      PROTECTING ONTARIO'S GREEN SPACES
    

    The province is transferring 10 key green spaces to communities across
Ontario. The properties contain a range of significant natural values,
including wetlands, hardwood forests, environmentally sensitive areas, and
unique ravines and trail systems.
    One property - John R. Park Homestead and Conservation Area - is unique.
Since May 1975, The Essex Region Conservation Authority has leased this
property, between Kingsville and Colchester on the shore of Lake Erie, from
the provincial government. To build opportunities for tourism, education and
recreation, the conservation authority has extensively restored the buildings
on the site and turned them into a living history museum interpreting farm
life in the 1850s.

    
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Property          Description                     Acres   Recipient
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Petticoat Creek,  This 80-acre parcel of           80     Rouge Park/
    Pickering         significant wetlands, borders           Toronto and
                      Petticoat Creek east from the           Region
                      Scarborough-Pickering Townline          Conservation
                      to Altona Road and north of             Authority
                      the CPR rail line.
                      Located in the Greenbelt, the
                      land is part of the Duffins
                      Rouge Agricultural Preserve
                      and will contribute to the
                      health of Rouge Park.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Woodlot,          Part of the former site of an    16     City of
    Brampton          OPP academy, this 16-acre               Brampton
                      woodlot is located north of
                      the Ontario Correctional
                      Institute and east of McCleave
                      Crescent.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Credit River,     The Credit River cuts through    19     Credit Valley
    Brampton          this 19-acre sensitive wetland          Conservation
                      and low lying property located          Authority
                      north of Highway 407 and south
                      of the CPR rail line.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Credit Valley,    This three-acre site of          3      Credit Valley
    Mississauga       environmentally sensitive               Conservation
                      valley land along Mullet Creek          Authority
                      consists of two properties on
                      either side of Burnamthorpe
                      Road, just east of Mississauga
                      Road.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Wildflower Woods  Part of the area known as        24.1   Conservation
    Green Space,      Wildflower Woods, this                  Halton
    Oakville          24.1-acre environmentally
                      sensitive property is a treed,
                      undeveloped parcel located on
                      the south side of Ford Drive,
                      directly east of the Ford
                      Motor Company.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hidden Valley     Located within a ravine area     20.1   City of
    Green Space,      known as Grindstone Creek               Burlington
    Burlington        Valley, the 20.1 acres of
                      environmentally significant
                      land will add an extra 42 per
                      cent to Hidden Valley Park.
                      The woodlands parcel extends
                      south of Highway 403 and the
                      railway tracks, east to
                      Grindstone Creek and west to
                      Howard Road.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Eramosa           Located in the vicinity of       7      Hamilton
    Karst Extension,  Upper Mount Albion Road and             Conservation
    Hamilton          Highland Road West, in the              Authority
                      Hamilton suburb of Stoney
                      Creek, this seven-acre parcel
                      of flat, low-lying land will
                      be added to the Eramosa Karst
                      Conservation Area.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Felker's Falls    This 13-acre property is         13     Hamilton
    Green Space,      located next to Felker's                Conservation
    Hamilton          Falls, a 22-metre ribbon                Authority
                      waterfall in the Felker's
                      Falls Conservation Area, a
                      beautiful spot on the Niagara
                      Escarpment within the
                      Greenbelt. The area is steps
                      away from an urban environment
                      on the north side of Mud
                      Street West.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Smokey Hollow,    Traversed by the Bruce Trail,    20     Bruce Trail
    Hamilton          this 20 acres of                        Association
                      environmentally sensitive land
                      with a pond is located in a
                      valley north of Mountain Brow
                      Road, south of Dundas Street
                      East (Highway 5) and west of
                      Flanders Road, in the former
                      Town of Flamborough.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    John R. Park      On the shore of Lake Erie,       14.6   Essex Region
    Homestead and     this 14.6 acre property with            Conservation
    Conservation      historically significant                Authority
    Area, Essex       buildings has been extensively
                      restored and turned into a
                      living history museum
                      interpreting farm life in the
                      1850s and features a house,
                      sawmill, blacksmith shop and
                      farm buildings.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Contact:
    Lori Theoret
    Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal
    416-325-1810

    Disponible en français

                               ontario.ca/pir



    Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                   MAP: PROTECTING ONTARIO'S GREEN SPACES
    

    Map showing green space locations is available at www.ontario.ca/pir.





For further information:

For further information: Amy Tang, Minister's Office, (416) 325-4048;
Lori Theoret, Communications Branch, (416) 325-1810

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Ontario Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal

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