Province expanding the protection and preservation of green spaces in the Bruce Peninsula

In a recent announcement by Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker, Huron Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson and Minister Jeff Yurek, the Ontario government is investing $20 million over the next four years in the Greenlands Conservation Partnership.

The funding will help secure land of ecological importance and promote healthy, natural spaces locally in the Bruce Peninsula and across the province.

The funding will also 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 includes the Saugeen and Bruce Peninsula area (link) and will help conserve eleven globally rare species, and rare habitat of alvars, sand beaches, fens and meadow marshes.

Projects like this will help protect important natural areas such as wetlands and mitigate the effects of climate change, a key commitment in the government’s Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan and increase the number of conserved natural spaces for the public to enjoy.

“I’m thrilled our government is working with partners and conservation leaders to protect our natural areas,” said Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker. “Our area has some of the richest biodiversity in the Great Lakes region and I want to thank Minister Yurek for this investment.”

“This is indeed great news all around,” said Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson. “This region is renowned for its rare and unique ecosystems and this funding will help enhance and preserve those for generations to come.”

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 and restore and manage these properties.

“We are expanding the amount of 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.”

“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.”

Ontario is home to over 11 million hectares of protected areas, or 10.7 per cent of the province and 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

“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.”