When you think of the Greenbelt what comes to mind? You may think of rolling hills, farmland and natural areas like lakes, wetlands, river valleys and forests. Ontario’s Greenbelt is more than 2 million acres of protected land and includes more than 10,000 kilometres of trails. In fact, it has the largest trail system in Canada. The land extends north to Tobermory and stretches from Northumberland County to Niagara River.
The Greenbelt is in the heart of the Greater Golden Horseshoe and that’s where you’ll find Terra Cotta Conservation Area in the Town of Halton Hills. This park is a hub of activity for our Multicultural Outreach and Education programs. Throughout the year, we host a variety of programs to help participants learn about the local environment and connect to nature.
This summer we hosted a special adult education program called Into the Greenbelt. More than 1,550 participants from diverse cultural backgrounds took part in our in-class presentations and field trips to the park. The program was supported by The Friends of the Greenbelt and helped introduce new Canadians and low-incomes families to nature.
More than 50 per cent of residents in the Credit River Watershed are immigrants. Programs like Into the Greenbelt are an important way to help new Canadians connect with nature and their peers. It’s also a great opportunity to learn about valuable green spaces and natural resources in our communities.
Participants were greeted by our energetic Education team when they arrived to Terra Cotta Conservation Area. We welcomed them to the park and shared an Indigenous land acknowledgement.
Staff led guided hikes along the trails pointing out the sights and sounds along the way. Participants experienced first-hand the health benefits of being in nature. After the walk, groups enjoyed lunch and social time.
At the end of the program, participants shared what they learned and commented on their experiences. Their takeaway from the Into the Greenbelt program was how important protected green spaces like Terra Cotta Conservation Area are.
By spending time connecting with nature, we can all gain a better understanding of the value of the Greenbelt. Not surprisingly, many participants wanted to extend their stay at the park and continue exploring into the Greenbelt.
To learn more about CVC’s Education programs, visit learn and get involved.
Special thanks to our partner The Friends of the Greenbelt for supporting the Into the Greenbelt program.