Upcoming Event: Good Growth Guelph – Town Hall

We invite you to join the Wellington Water Watchers at an important public meeting about regional Smart Growth. On Thursday September 8th, 7:00 – 9:30PM, in the Guelph City Hall meeting rooms, we will be preparing recommendations for the consideration of the Guelph Planning Committee regarding the provincial Growth and Greenbelt Plans. This is our last chance to speak up and tell the Province to preserve the natural heritage and character of our communities, while still accommodating the growth they attract.

GOOD GROWTH GUELPH TOWN HALL

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 8th

7:00 – 9:30PM

CITY HALL MEETING ROOMS

1 CARDEN ST., GUELPH

RSVP at: http://wellingtonwaterwatchers.nationbuilder.com/good_growth_guelph

Enjoy a fun and refreshing way to explore the beauty of our local Greenbelt with the Brewery Discovery Routes!

 

Brewery Discovery Routes

Self-guided Brewery Discovery Routes Maps provide complete itineraries for folks looking to indulge in the flavours of artisanal cheeses, lovingly prepared culinary treats using fresh, local ingredients, premium craft beverages, farmers’ markets and scenic outlooks.

 

The Guelph area route explores quaint villages nestled in rolling countryside, spectacular views from atop 400 million year old limestone cliffs, a Canadian Heritage River and the critically acclaimed restaurants, breweries and accommodations of Guelph. Download the Guelph area Brewery Discovery Route here.

An Inspired Conversation Follow-Up

On February 18th, Wellington Water Watchers hosted An Inspired Conversation, bringing together regional decision-makers, stakeholders and rights holders to discuss an expanded Greenbelt in Wellington County. The thoughts of plenary speaker David Crombie and the rest of the panel were indeed inspired, and raised excellent points and important questions about the provincial Land Use Planning Review. A full transcript and follow-up report on the event is available below, as well as a brief transcript version for information at a glance.

An Inspired Conversation Follow-Up Report (10.1 MB)

Brief Report (2.6 MB) 

Last chance to tell Ontario to strengthen and grow the Greenbelt and choose smarter growth!

The current Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review (Review of the Greenbelt and its proposed expansion areas) represents a unique opportunity to permanently protect Wellington County’s important moraine headwater areas including the Orangeville and Galt-Paris moraines, which supply clean drinking water directly to 171, 889 people.

A recent primer completed by the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation titled Growing the Green, Protecting the Blue, includes a portion on the Grand River watershed moraines:

“With 8 in 10 residents in the Grand River watershed dependent on wells for their drinking water, and an estimated 500,000 people moving to the area by 2041, the need to protect groundwater is clear. A trio of moraines – massive hills of sand and gravel left behind after the last ice age – filter and recharge most of the region’s groundwater on less than one third of its land area. They cut across at least 19 municipalities and three conservation authorities, creating a complex patchwork of local policies and regulations. Local groups and elected officials are now calling for stronger provincial protection to ensure that growth pressures, drought and climate change do not endanger water supplies in the future.” – Growing the Green, Protecting the Blue

As citizens of the upper portion of the Grand River watershed, we have a responsibility to protect source water here for future generations within Wellington County but also for those downstream.

The Wellington County Official Plan already does well to describe protections for the Paris-Galt moraine, but does not do so for the Orangeville moraine. Greenbelt designation can provide the protection needed for these significant groundwater recharge features.

The approximately 2700 acres for Greenbelt expansion, identified by Wellington Water Watchers, lie outside land already designated for urban development needed to accommodate population growth until 2041 and beyond.

The Greenbelt and Oak Ridges Moraine Plans have been successful at maintaining watershed conditions, including forest condition and surface/groundwater quality. The landscape connections through Wellington County, including our River Corridors, Orangeville Moraine and Galt-Paris Moraine will provide for a more comprehensive and regional protection of potable water resources, working lands and natural heritage systems.

The positive impacts of the Greenbelt will only become more important over time. In May, the province announced its proposed changes to the Greenbelt Plan, as part of the Co-ordinated Land Use Planning Review. In the Province’s suggested amendments to the Greenbelt Plan, the requests of the over 100 community groups, including Wellington Water Watchers, the Moraine Partnership and Ontario Greenbelt Alliance, were well heeded by the inclusion of river corridors through the GTA. Very few expanded areas were included though. We continue to urge the province to understand the importance of including the proposed areas within Wellington County.

We have one last chance to tell Ontario to strengthen and grow the Greenbelt and choose smarter growth here in Wellington County. Now is the time to make your voice heard. The Ontario government is hosting one last round of public consultations on proposed changes to the Greenbelt and Growth Plans.

We encourage you to send feedback to the Province of Ontario regarding growing the Greenbelt in Wellington County. The Province will be accepting comments about their proposal until September 30th, 2016. Feedback can be submitted online, or by mail at the following address:

  • Land Use Planning Review
    Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
    Ontario Growth Secretariat
    777 Bay Street, Suite 425 (4th floor)
    Toronto, ON M5G 2E5

Please consider using the following prepared response, and feel free to modify as needed to express your own unique concerns.

I commend the Province of Ontario for proposing stricter intensification targets under the Growth Plan, and for proposing to expand the Greenbelt to include 21 new Urban River Valleys, seven coastal wetlands and four parcels of Protected Countryside in Niagara and Hamilton. However, it is disappointing to see that proposed expansion areas identified by the many engaged community groups, experts and diplomats of Wellington County, Guelph and beyond have been omitted from the Province’s proposal.

The GRCA Integrated Water Budget Report (2009) states that the Paris-Galt and Orangeville moraines are highly permeable and greatly contribute to recharging local and regional aquifers. Although policy within the Wellington County Official Plan describing protection for only the Paris-Galt moraine is significant, we believe Greenbelt designation will provide much needed protection for all moraines within the County.

I urge the Province to modify their proposed expansion of the Greenbelt to include the Orangeville and Paris-Galt moraines as Protected Countryside, and the Speed and Eramosa Rivers as Urban River Valleys.


Photo credit for photographs used on this page: Friends of the Greenbelt

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