Jul 31, 2014
A new grant from the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation will allow Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System partners to work with private landowners in the ecopark system area to encourage and support ecological stewardship and conservation.
The grant will be used to support a full-time Watershed Stewardship Technician with the Hamilton-Halton Watershed Stewardship Program (HHWSP). The HHWSP is a voluntary program that has engaged private landowners in ecological stewardship for the past 20 years. The new Watershed Stewardship Technician will focus on the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System area, helping private landowners to identify and implement ecological stewardship projects on their properties. To learn more, please see Stewarding Land in the Ecopark System.
The grant will also be used to fund a part-time Land Securement Coordinator for the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System, who will help private landowners explore options for long-term conservation of their properties and, where there is interest on the part of the landowners, develop mutually beneficial conservation arrangements. To learn more, please see Permanently Protecting Land in the Ecopark System.
“The Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System is about building connections – between natural areas to ensure their long-term sustainability and between people and organizations, because we often can do more together than we can on our own,” said Dr. David Galbraith, Chair of the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System’s Management Committee and Head of Science at Royal Botanical Gardens. “The new funding from the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation will allow us to work more closely with private landowners to enhance and expand green space and wildlife habitat in the ecopark system area.”
“One of the strengths of the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System is that it is a collaboration of several different organizations, all working together to care for and protect valuable natural heritage. Working with private landowners extends and enhances this collaboration, increasing capacity to restore and preserve greenspace while providing meaningful opportunities for community members to join in these efforts,” said the Honourable Ted McMeekin, MPP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale.
The Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation has been an important supporter of the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System. A non-profit organization, the Foundation operates independently from the government to coordinate and fund activities that bolster the richness of life in the Greenbelt. From supporting Niagara’s world-renowned viticulture, to promoting stewardship in agriculture, and restoring 4,700 acres of the most biologically rich wetlands in the country, the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation has funded and leveraged more than $45 million in innovative projects since 2005. Together with its grantees, the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation is committed to enhancing the quality of life for all Ontarians for today and tomorrow.
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