Barrie – Community members in Simcoe County are working hard to achieve greater protection for vulnerable water and natural systems in Simcoe County and the Nottawasaga watershed. During a sold-out event at the Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery, Ontario Nature, EcoSpark, STORM Coalition, Earthroots and the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition stressed the importance of meaningful community engagement to protect the region’s natural areas and the priceless benefits they provide to all who live there.
“Access to quality drinking water and land for agriculture and outdoor recreation are vital to our local economy and way of life in Simcoe County. I would like to congratulate all of these groups for the hard work that they do preserving and promoting our region’s natural heritage, and I thank them for their continued efforts,” said Barrie MPP Ann Hoggarth.
The environmental groups recognized the support and leadership of the Ontario Trillium Foundation and Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation in helping local citizens protect natural heritage across the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Community engagement is vital to ensuring the region remains a healthy, thriving place for all to live.
David Crombie (Advisory Panel Chair for the Coordinated Land Use Planning Review), Gord Miller (former Environmental Commissioner of Ontario) and Anne Bell (Ontario Nature’s Director of Conservation and Education) spoke about the pressing need to protect natural areas in the face of increasing urban sprawl and population growth in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
An agency of the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is one of Canada’s largest granting foundations. With a budget of over $136 million, OTF awards grants to some 1,000 projects every year to build healthy and vibrant Ontario communities. www.otf.ca
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Ontario Nature protects wild species and wild spaces through conservation, education and public engagement. Ontario Nature is a charitable organization representing more than 30,000 members and supporters, and More than 150 member groups across Ontario. For more information, visit www.ontarionature.org.
Save the Oak Ridges Moraine Coalition (STORM) is focused on protecting the ecological integrity of the Oak Ridges Moraine. Since 1989, STORM has been working at the local and regional levels to ensure that municipalities make good planning decisions to protect its ecological and hydrological functions. For more information, visit www.stormcoalition.org.
EcoSpark is an environmental charity whose mission is to empower communities to take an active role in protecting and sustaining their local environment. We do this by giving people the tools for education, monitoring and influencing positive change. To date, we have directly worked with over 57,000 people from across Southern Ontario in over 20 watersheds. For more information, visit www.ecospark.ca.
Earthroots is a grassroots conservation organization that works aggressively to protect wilderness, wildlife and watersheds in Ontario through research, education and action. Our dedicated staff and focused campaigns have achieved effective protection of threatened ecosystems for over 20 years on behalf of our approximately 12,000 supporters in the province. We use many techniques to propel issues forward including public education, advocacy, primary and secondary research, media awareness and creative peaceful activism. For more information, visit www.earthroots.org.
The Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition is a not-for-profit group that was established in 2015 as collaboration between various 30+ Simcoe County and provincial organizations aimed at growing the Greenbelt into Simcoe County to better protect our water, natural heritage and farmland. For more information, visit www.simcoecountygreenbelt.ca.