Natural heritage systems: make them strong
From left, Debbe Crandall of the Moraine Partnership, Joyce Chau of Eco-Spark, former ECO Gord Miller, elder statesman David Crombie, York Simcoe MPP Julia Munro and Anne Bell of Ontario Nature were among the speakers at a meeting in Barrie on Wednesday. -AWARE Simcoe photo
AWARE News Network
Local activists gathered this week to hear some of the leading voices in the movement to promote a strong natural heritage system across the Greater Golden Horseshoe (which includes Simcoe County).
David Crombie, chair of the province’s recent Land Use Advisory Panel, urged those present to be vocal and persistent in alerting politicians and governments to concerns about threats to natural heritage systems – both through their organizations and as individuals.
And Gord Miller, the former Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, used issues raised in a current Ontario Municipal Board hearing to illustrate deficiencies in the province’s land use planning. The problem, he said, is that the landscape is viewed solely as a series of parcels defined by property ownership – a perspective that is fundamental flawed because it fails to recognize, let alone protect, a network of vital ecological functions.
The Sept. 20 meeting was a celebration of a year-long community project between the Moraine Partnership and the Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition to demonstrate the value of engaging the local community and incorporating grassroots knowledge of the environment in natural heritage system mapping.
The event took place at the Flying Monkeys Brewery in Barrie.