Ontario Expanding the Protection and Preservation of Green SpacesPublished on March 15, 2021
Funding to help conserve more ecologically important natural areas
TORONTO — The Ontario government is investing $20 million over the next four years in the Greenlands Conservation Partnership to help secure land of ecological importance and promote healthy, natural spaces. The funding will enable the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Ontario Land Trust Alliance to conserve, restore and manage natural areas such as wetlands, grasslands and forests. This initiative will help mitigate the effects of climate change, a key commitment in the province's Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan and increase the number of conserved natural spaces for the public to enjoy.
"We are expanding the amount of conserved green space across the province, not only to help preserve the environment, but to promote physical activity such as hiking and improving our mental health," said Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. "By taking this approach, our government will be leaving a magnificent legacy for the benefit of future generations. It has been wonderful to be working with outstanding conservation leaders like the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Ontario Land Trust Alliance to achieve our shared goals."
The Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Ontario Land Trust Alliance are doing important work in Ontario to protect the environment and safeguard our lands and water. With this new partnership, they will be able to use private donations and funds from other non-provincial sources to match the $20 million provincial investment to secure new privately-owned natural areas across the province and restore and manage these properties.
The following projects are among those that will directly benefit from the Greenlands' funding:
- Rice Lake Plains Natural Area, to foster the return of native grasses and wildflowers, along with native species including grassland birds and insects,
- Alfred Bog in the Ottawa Valley, to protect wetlands in the largest high-quality bog in Southern Ontario,
- Saugeen Bruce Peninsula Natural Area, to conserve some of the richest biodiversity in the Great Lakes area, and
- Frontenac Arch, to protect one of the most important forest corridors in North America.
"With the Greenlands Conservation Partnership, the Nature Conservancy of Canada is pleased to work with the Government of Ontario as well as our partners and donors to ensure that Ontario's special places are protected and conserved for future generations," said Mike Hendren, Regional Vice President Ontario, Nature Conservancy of Canada. "Through this partnership, we are helping to ensure the province's natural areas remain a home for wildlife, a haven for recreation and a vital resource that cleans the air we breathe and the water we drink."
"The Ontario Land Trust Alliance is very grateful for the leadership shown by the Government of Ontario in supporting community land conservation," said Alison Howson, Executive Director, Ontario Land Trust Alliance. "This support will provide real measurable benefits to highly sensitive, highly biodiverse, threatened habitats and ecosystems such as those found in Southern Ontario. The support shown by the province will help to provide big wins for nature, and community connection to nature across Ontario."
- Ontario is home to over 11 million hectares of protected areas, or 10.7 per cent of the province.
- Conserving natural spaces can play an important role in mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change by:
- providing safe havens for wildlife,
- capturing and storing carbon, and
- improving resilience to weather events, such as flooding and drought.
- Funding for this initiative was a commitment outlined in the province’s 2020 Budget, Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover.
- Find out more about the Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Ontario Land Trust Alliance.
- Read about these investments and more in the 2020 Ontario Budget/Ontario’s Action Plan: Protect, Support, Recover.
- Read the Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan.