By: Ella Haley, Sustainable Brant
Over the last three months, Sustainable Brant has collaborated with a number of environmental organizations, including Langford Conservancy, RARE Charitable Research Reserve, and Environment Hamilton to host “Grow the Greenbelt” events across Hamilton, Brant County and Waterloo Region. We've come together because we're part of communities that depend on the Grand River, from its headwaters in Dufferin County, towards Elora, Guelph, Waterloo, Brantford and, finally Lake Erie. The collaborative nature of our work makes the campaign to expand Greenbelt protection to vital water sources special. Here are a few examples of how we've worked together!
In August, we teamed up with Environment Hamilton to co-host a Lunch & Learn and bike ride from Hamilton and Brantford to Hearts Content Organic Farm, just outside the Greenbelt. The bike ride was combined with the annual Save Our Soil (SOS) Festival, with the theme Stop Outrageous Sprawl. Sixty people attended, with about 40 people biking the rail-trail from Hamilton (44 km round-trip) or Brantford (33 km round-trip). At the farm, the cyclists enjoyed a hearty lunch of locally grown food and learned about key goals of the Grow Our Greenbelt campaign.
In particular, in Brant County we are working towards permanent protection for our untouched and unusually pristine headwater areas and drinking water, wetlands, river valleys, and protected agricultural ribbon—by establishing a Bluebelt in our region. We also aim to protect Brant County from "leap-frog development" and the purchase of prime farmland by corporations and multinational organizations.
Photo by François Duclos, courtesy of Ella Haley
More recently, we co-hosted two Canoe trips in support of Grow Our Greenbelt. Around 20 people paddled down the Grand River with the generous donation of canoes and guides from Grand Experiences. Our first event was held at RARE Charitable Research Reserve, just south of Kitchener, and the second in Brantford. At both events, we shared knowledge and the need to work together along the Grand River watershed Grow Our Greenbelt and protect natural heritage, water and farmland. At Sustainable Brant, we look forward to continuing to collaborate and successfully establish protection for more water in our region!
Want to learn more?
We look forward to seeing the Ontario government's amendments to four land use plans in spring 2017. Until then, we encourage you to send a letter to the Premier and Minister of Municipal Affairs Mauro, asking them to Grow Our Greenbelt to protect vital water resources.