How a grade 11 Student in Niagara is saving a forest

Protect Niagara's Forests and Water | BY: Erica Woods, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation 

Last year, Grimsby resident and grade 11 student Colton Tew gained media attention for his campaign to save the Irish Grove Woodlot from the proposed extension of the Livingston Avenue. The woodlot is one of the last examples of rare Lake Ontario plain forests in Niagara and includes 130 trees more than a century old.

Concerned that this natural heritage would be lost to make way for a new road, Colton asked the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada “Launch and Link” program for help, and brought the issue to the public. “I feel that it is important for young people to get involved and make a difference in ensuring that there will be a sustainable environment for future generations,” said Colton about taking this initiative.


Image of Colton Tew

Picture of Colton Tew, advocate for Save the Woodlot.

As Colton was rallying support to save the woodlot, the Sierra Club was advocating for the addition of Lake Gibson into the Greenbelt. Their campaign was a success – in May, the Province announced that 21 urban river valleys in Ontario will be added to the Greenbelt, including Lake Gibson and 12 Mile Creek, along with an area in Grimsby. This is a positive move to permanently protect Niagara’s clean water sources.

But, while the Greenbelt expansion into urban river valleys is encouraging, it’s not certain that existing Greenbelt boundaries will be maintained to protect the Irish Grove Woodlot from future development and other green spaces across Niagara. That’s why Colton and the Sierra Club are working hard to make sure the Province stands by its commitment to protect these vital natural resources.


Take Action

Join thousands of Ontarians who have taken action to #GrowOurGB, by emailing Minister Bill Mauro to let him know that you:

  1. Support the addition of Lake Gibson and 12 Mile Creek to the Greenbelt
  2. Want to maintain the Greenbelt boundaries in Niagara and save the Irish Grove Woodlot   


Want to know why it’s important to add the Greenbelt protection to Lake Gibson and 12 Mile Creek? Read the top eight reasons from a Niagara resident.

Click the tweets below to share your support online:

I'm taking action to #GrowOurGB because I believe in protecting vital water sources. Join me! | 

Proposal to #GrowOurGB would protect our essential water sources from threat of urban sprawl. | 

Let's #GrowOurGB to include vital water sources left out of current #LandUseON Plan! @BillMauroMPP |