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The Golden Horseshoe area is growing, so we also need its Parkland, Canadian Business Journal

Toronto, Ontario, April 4, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — More than 2 million people in the Golden Horseshoe live in areas with poor access to the park. This is disappointing given that the mental and physical health benefits of being in nature are more apparent than ever. This is one of the findings of a new report released today by the Greenbelt Foundation and Green Infrastructure Ontario: Improving Access to Large Parks in Golden Horseshoe, Ontario: Policies, Plans, and Financing Strategies. This report is a follow-up to the state of a large park in Golden Horseshoe, Ontario, published in 2019.

“While the findings in this report focus on the Golden Horseshoe region, they provide valuable insights for decision makers across Canada,” said Jennifer Court, Executive Director of Green Infrastructure, Ontario. I am. “This new study looks at who can and cannot access existing large parks, gives concrete examples of how to overcome barriers to the creation of new large parks, and policy makers at all levels. We provide the necessary recommendations for inspiring the development of larger parks. “

Parks of all sizes contribute to human health and well-being. However, large parks have their own great advantages (in this report, large parks are defined as parks of 20 hectares or more). Large parks are more likely to be used for physical activity, provide a better wilderness experience, and are more likely to be used as a natural classroom. It will also provide more ecosystem services, support biodiversity development and further contribute to climate change mitigation.

In densely populated areas such as the Golden Horseshoe, large parks are especially valuable as they provide an opportunity for people to escape naturally. However, access to large parks in the area is not equal. A study found that 30% of the Visible minorities and low-income areas of Golden Horseshoes had low access to large green areas.

In addition, 55% of neighbors with a high proportion of indigenous peoples have low access to large green spaces. This is problematic given that the report of the Truth Commission of Canada acknowledges that the health and well-being of indigenous peoples is considered to be closely related to the land. As quoted in the report, Ontario is undertaking an initiative to establish the Anishinaabek Land Trust, which will be used throughout Ontario through private landowner donations, land purchases, and conservation easements. Will be obtained at. This example is an innovative approach to improving the size and quality of park networks.

Studies show that being in nature reduces stress, improves health and contributes to physical health, but for many residents of the Golden Horseshoe (GH), it’s easy to go to a large park. Not. According to previous reports from the Foundation, it is important that more than 8 out of 10 inhabitants of the Greater Golden Horseshoe, or 84%, live in good areas in the Greenbelt Value Survey for Greater Golden Horseshoe Recreation. Indicates that there is. Regarding access to nature, only 67% rated access to where they live as “excellent” or “good.” The new study found that 1.7 million people in GH could not access the large park within a 15-minute walk, 400,000 could not access the large park within 15 minutes of cycling, and 235,000 could not. This discovery is supported. A large park within 30 minutes of transit. In addition, the eastern end of the study area (Oshawa and Clarington), the northern end (between Newmarket / Uxbridge and Lake Simcoe), the western end (Hamilton-Niagara Corridor), and the municipalities of Mississauga and Burlington were found. Active transportation, such as walking, cycling and transit, has reduced the availability of vast green spaces on average.

Edward McDonnell, CEO of the Greenbelt Foundation, said: “Government at all levels must ensure that as green spaces grow, they grow fairly in areas where they need them most. Improve access to underserved communities. Needs regional coordination. “

The Golden Horseshoe is expected to reach a population of 15 million by 2051, so the park will need to continue to grow to meet the needs of its inhabitants. To maintain the current proportion of vast green space for residents, it will be necessary to create approximately 32,000 hectares of additional green space over the next 30 years. This requires an average of 1,076 hectares of new hectares per year.

The report provides some recommendations to help overcome barriers to fair financing, planning, and the establishment of new large parks at Golden Horseshoes. The quoted example is: The need for regional and intergovernmental strategies. Innovative financing and establishment of a legislative approach. Implementing partnerships to increase the size and quality of large parks. Reconstruction of the Park Dedication Ordinance. Increase the feasibility of land trusts and non-traditional green spaces in park networks.

Click here to read the final and technical reports.

Use the web application to see existing and planned parks throughout the Golden Horseshoe, where you can filter by specific census information about score values.

Click here to read news releases and background notes with further findings and recommendations.

This report was produced with the support of the Toronto and Regional Conservation Department and the Ontario Parks Association.

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“I am delighted to have been able to serve and be part of the park sector for over 40 years. At that time, I am pleased that these green spaces are the health and well-being of our inhabitants, especially our children. This report takes a snapshot of where we are and where we need to go. This information is for our politicians and seniors. Helps decision makers ensure that parks receive the funds and support needed to maintain and maintain these valuable components of green infrastructure. ”– Managing Director of the Ontario Parks Association, Paul Ronan

“It can be very difficult for the municipality to set up a large new park on the Golden Horseshoe. Land prices are so high that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find large plots of land. This report resolves. Finding strategies and identifying the need for regional coordination of different stakeholders such as governments, protection authorities, land protection trusts, community foundations, companies and developers to meet the needs of the growing population. – Thomas Bowers, Director of Research and Policy, Greenbelt Foundation

About the Greenbelt Foundation:
The Greenbelt Foundation is a charity dedicated to ensuring that Greenbelt remains lasting, protected and prosperous. We make the right investments in interconnected nature, agriculture, and economic systems to ensure a greenbelt that works and thrives for everyone. Greenbelt, Ontario, is the largest in the world, with more than 2 million acres of farmland, forests, wetlands and rivers working together to provide clean air, freshwater and a reliable local food source.

About Green Infrastructure Ontario:
The Green Infrastructure Ontario (GIO) Coalition is an alliance of organizations that share a common vision of healthy and green Ontario, where the economic, social, environmental and health benefits of green infrastructure are fully realized. ..

Greenbelt Foundation Media Contact:
Petronilla Ndebele, Director of Strategic Communications
(416) 960-0001 extension 311
media@greenbelt.ca

Green Infrastructure Ontario Media Contact:
Paul Ronan
GIO Steering Committee
paul@ontarioparksassociation.ca
(647) 991-9444

Greenbelt Foundation Social Media:
Website: greenbelt.ca
Instagram: @ongreenbelt
Twitter: @greenbeltca
Facebook: Ontario Greenbelt

Green Infrastructure Ontario Social Media:
Website: greeninfrastructureontario.org
Twitter: @GreenInfraOn
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/gio-coalition


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The Golden Horseshoe area is growing, so we also need its Parkland, Canadian Business Journal

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