Wellington Water Watchers host a Town Hall
to Support Growing the Greenbelt in Wellington County
Protecting sensitive source water features – the Bluebelt of the Greenbelt
For immediate release
June 10, 2016
Wellington County – Wellington Water Watchers will be hosting a Town Hall on growing the Greenbelt in Wellington County.
Wednesday June 15th, 2016
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Sportsplex 550 Belsyde Ave, Fergus
Speakers: Kevin Thomason, David Donelly
The current Coordinated 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 our watershed, we have a responsibility to protect source water here for future generations within Wellington County and 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.” stated Emile Compion, Wellington Water Watchers Greenbelt Project Coordinator. “We believe that 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,” says Mike Nagy, Chair of WWW. “We believe that 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 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.
The Town Hall on June 15th will be a forum to showcase how an expanded Greenbelt would benefit source water protection and prime farm land protection within Wellington County.
About Wellington Water Watchers Founded in 2007, Wellington Water Watchers (WWW) is a volunteer-run, non-profit organization based in Guelph, Ontario.
Committed to the protection of water resources and public education, WWW works to affect local water policy and protect water sources. WWW also sponsors and supports guest speakers, debates, and are active at bottled-water free community events.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Greenbelt Project Manager, Wellington Water Watchers
Board Chair, Wellington Water Watchers
Dedicated to the protection, restoration and conservation of drinking water in Guelph and Wellington County
10 Carden Street, Guelph, ON N1H 3A2