Aug 20, 2016
Greenbelt Awareness Summer Bike Ride: Worth it!

Greenbelt Awareness Summer Bike Ride: Worth it!

What does it feel like to be left out of the Greenbelt? 

This past weekend (August 20th) Environment Hamilton, the Langford Conservancy and Sustainable Brant co-hosted a bike ride from Hamilton to Heart's Content Organic Farmstead in Brantford. The ride served the dual purpose of engaging Hamiltonians in efforts to protect and grow the Greenbelt in Hamilton and to alert people about the critical need to also grow the Greenbelt (almost 2 million acres of protected farmland, water resources and natural heritage systems) into adjacent Brant County/Brantford.

35 individuals took to the rail-trail for the 44 kilometre ride (there and back) from Hamilton to the farm. At the farm, the cyclists enjoyed a hearty lunch of locally grown food, and learned about the issues that communities outside of the protective Greenbelt are dealing with.

“Hamilton is lucky to have most of its rural lands included in the provincial Greenbelt,” Dr. Lynda Lukasik, Executive Director at Environment Hamilton told the audience. “The province is recommending that more of the city’s rural lands be added. We believe that even more can be done to ensure the municipality’s prime agricultural lands and natural areas are protected.” 

Lukasik pointed out that there is plenty of opportunity to add more ‘whitebelt’ to our Greenbelt (agricultural land neither in the Greenbelt nor in the built area) and to protect Hamilton’s many urban river valleys—currently only one of which have been proposed for addition, out of 21 others throughout the GGH—helping to encourage more efficient use of land within urban Hamilton.  

“But we also know that better protection in Hamilton means more pressure for rural lands on the ‘other side’ of the Greenbelt,” a pressure that is building as a result of leap frogging development--from Greenbelted Hamilton over to Brant County/Brantford. 

Heart's Content Organic Farmstead is a beautiful 57-acre farm, right on the Trans-Canada rail trail running from Dundas to Brantford, only a stone's throw from the Greenbelt. They are fighting to be included. 

The message throughout the afternoon, was that Ontario's Greenbelt is the solution for fresh air, clean water, healthy local food, active outdoor recreation, and a thriving local economy.  It needs to grow in order to permanently protect more of our farmlands, forests, and wetlands.  

Add your voice to the thousands of Ontarios who want to see the Greenbelt grown. Learn how, by scrolling down:

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Tell the Province you want them to grow the Greenbelt!

We have made a Hamilton-specific letter available here. This is a response to proposed changes  to the 4 land-use plans, including the Greenbelt plan, that you can find on the Ministry of Municipal Affairs website.

Make sure to submit your comments regarding the proposed changes before the (extended) deadline, October 31st. The sooner the better! Tell Ontario to grow and better protect the Greenbelt.

Submit a comment online or through the Environmental Registry Type in #012-7195 and look for Proposed Greenbelt Plan (2016). 

We encourage individuals to submit via the Environmental Registry as this is a more formal way to get your comments registered.

 Other ways to participate can be found here.

Read more about our "Grow the Greenbelt" efforts here.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Grow Our Greenbelt: Environment Hamilton Meeting

Wednesday, September 14th at 7pm. 22 Wilson St., Hamilton, suite 4.

Need support writing your letter or submitting your comments concerning Ontario's proposed changes to the Greenbelt and Growth Plans? We are here to help! Please join us at our offices.

Growth Plan and Greenbelt Plan: How they interact to manage growth in the GGH.

 Wednesday, October 5th @ 7pm. Hamilton Public Library, Central Location.

This is a public lecture with guests from the Neptis Foundation. Stay tuned for details.

Contact Beatrice at bekoko@environmenthamilton.org or call 905 549 0900