Oak Ridges Moraine, Greenbelt foundations join forces in historic move
From left, David McKeown, Greenbelt Foundation Board Chair; Shelley Petrie, Greenbelt Foundation Program Director; Edward McDonnell, Greenbelt Foundation CEO, Caroline Schultz, Executive Director of Ontario Nature; Robert Messervey, Interim Board Chair of Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation
Newly expanded mandate for Greenbelt Foundation to focus on stewardship and enhancement of Oak Ridges Moraine
NEWS RELEASe from the GREENBELT FOUNDATION
The Greenbelt Foundation’s scope of work is expanding to incorporate the priorities of the Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation.
Greenbelt CEO Edward McDonnell was joined by MPP Andrea Khanjin — PA to the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, former premier Kathleen Wynne, NDP Environment Critic Ian Arthur, Green Party leader Mike Schreiner, former Board Chair of the Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation Robert Messervey, and former cabinet minister Chris Hodgson to announce this historic joining of forces under the Greenbelt Foundation banner.
The announcement comes ahead of an important milestone — Ontario’s Greenbelt turned 15 on Feb. 28.
“Over many years, the Greenbelt Foundation has demonstrated its commitment to protecting the Moraine as a key feature of the Greenbelt through strategic investments, awareness activities, research projects, and collaboration with Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation,” says Edward McDonnell, CEO of the Greenbelt Foundation. “Moving into our 16th year, the Greenbelt Foundation looks forward to working together with the Moraine Foundation to strengthen our work as champions of conservation in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.”
This partnership is the result of a strong working relationship between Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation (ORMF) and Greenbelt Foundation (GBF), and is grounded in the belief that more can be achieved together than separately. The Oak Ridges Moraine is among the most important natural features in southern Ontario, inextricably linked to regional prosperity, water supply for millions, and our ability as a region to adapt to climate change.
“Conservatives have a long history of strong environmental stewardship that includes creating the legislation that protects and preserves the Oak Ridges Moraine and the Niagara Escarpment, and the largest expansion of parks under former Premier Mike Harris. Our government under Premier Doug Ford is proud to continue that legacy by supporting the Greenbelt Foundation and the Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation’s new collaboration,” said Andrea Khanjin, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “The joining of these two organizations will help ensure the long-term protection of both the Greenbelt and one of its most important features, the Oak Ridges Moraine now, and for future generations.”
Every day, Ontarians reap the benefits of the Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation’s visionary work. Since its inception, the Greenbelt Foundation has also been a key supporter of the protection and restoration of the Moraine. Moving forward, GBF will build on the work of ORMF by incorporating their objectives into GBF programs and activities. The two organizations have defined a set of shared priorities that will framework moving forward, ensuring the legacy and investment of ORMF—with respect to preservation, ecological monitoring, restoration, and education—continues through research, grant-making, and communications.
“The Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation is very pleased to move forward as a part of the Greenbelt Foundation while maintaining the priorities and values that have served us well since 2002,” says Robert Messervey, interim Board Chair of the Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation. “This partnership will build on our successes as a foundation and deepen our ability as a community to protect and enhance the Oak Ridges Moraine into the future.”
About the Greenbelt Foundation:
The Greenbelt Foundation is the only organization solely dedicated to ensuring the Ontario Greenbelt remains permanent, protected, and prosperous. We make the right investments in its interconnected natural, agricultural, and economic systems, to ensure a working, thriving Greenbelt for all. For more information on the Greenbelt Foundation, please visit our website.
About the Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation:
To date, the Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation has educated Ontarians and promoted the importance of the Oak Ridges Moraine as a unique hydrological feature, as well as a landscape with unparalleled biodiversity. The Foundation has improved access to the Oak Ridges Moraine landscape for recreational purposes through strategic grants and communications, and has supported monitoring and restoration activities that protect critical Moraine water systems