Credit Valley Conservation (CVC), Ontario Nature and Conservation Ontario are pleased to announce that 14 of CVC’s properties now officially contribute towards Canada’s goal of protecting 30 per cent of our lands and waters by 2030. The protected lands cover over 1,230 hectares, which is over three and half times larger than the Toronto Islands.
Canada endorsed the goal, known as the 30 by 30 target, as part of the landmark Global Biodiversity Framework at the United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in Montreal last December. Biodiverse places are areas where a large variety of life, including animals, plants, fungi and microorganisms, live together.
“We’re thrilled 14 of our properties are now designated as Canadian Protected and Conserved areas. This is a major milestone in our collaborative efforts to safeguard the environment and promote ecological health in the Credit River Watershed,” says Quentin Hanchard, Chief Administrative Officer at CVC. “These sites are essential to the conservation and enhancement of greenspaces in Southern Ontario, and we’re proud to have them recognized for their significant contribution towards the federal targets for biodiversity conservation.”
An assessment of the properties, conducted in partnership with Ontario Nature, determined that they met strict national standards for the protection of biodiversity, qualifying as protected areas. This work was generously funded by the Greenbelt Foundation and completed in partnership with Conservation Ontario.
“Ontario Nature would like to extend our congratulations to CVC on their incredible achievement,” says Caroline Schultz, Executive Director of Ontario Nature. “Their dedication to implementing effective policies and management strategies has helped to ensure the preservation of biodiversity and protect the natural beauty of the Greater Golden Horseshoe area.”
Spanning across the City of Mississauga, Town of Halton Hills, Town of Caledon, Town of Erin, Township of East Garafraxa, Town of Orangeville and Town of Mono, this widespread submission underscores the importance of approaching conservation of these areas from a watershed-wide perspective. Our greenspaces and natural systems are connected from the northernmost tip of the Credit River Watershed all the way down to Lake Ontario. By taking a holistic approach to conservation, watershed management ensures the preservation of biodiversity and ecological health for the long-term benefit of both wildlife and people.
The lands awarded protection status cover a diverse range of vegetation community types, such as deciduous forest, marshes, mixed swamps and cultural savannahs that provide grassland habitat for birds. Additionally, each property hosts many species-at-risk, such as the monarch butterfly, eastern snapping turtle, loggerhead shrike, bobolink, chimney swift, eastern meadowlark, Canada warbler and barn swallow.
“These contributions help to sustain a robust network of near-urban nature areas for all life in the region,” says Shelley Petrie of the Greenbelt Foundation. “We hope that these efforts inspire other land managers to protect and conserve natural areas within the Greenbelt, as they are vital to our health and strengthen the region’s climate resiliency.”
To learn more about CVC’s conservation lands management, please visit cvc.ca/ConservationLands. To learn more about the 30 by 30 target and the application process, please visit ontarionature.org.
Caption: Visitors walking along Belfountain Conservation Area’s new boardwalk next to the Credit River.
About Credit Valley Conservation
CVC is a local conservation authority established by the Ontario government in 1954 to protect, restore and enhance the natural environment of the Credit River Watershed. This watershed is the area of land where all rainfall and snowmelt drains into waters flowing to the Credit River. CVC creates connections between people and nature, knowledge and action. It inspires a deep appreciation for the role of nature in keeping people connected, healthy and happy. CVC is a member of Conservation Ontario.
About Ontario Nature
Ontario Nature protects wild species and wild spaces through conservation, education and public engagement. Ontario Nature is a charitable organization representing more than 30,000 members and supporters, and 150 member groups across Ontario (charitable registration # 10737 8952 RR0001). For more information, visit ontarionature.org.
About the Greenbelt and the Greenbelt Foundation
The Greenbelt Foundation is the only organization solely dedicated to ensuring the Greenbelt remains permanent, protected, and prosperous. The Foundation operates as an independent, charitable organization, and receives core funding from the Government of Ontario as well as other public and private support to make strategic investments that enhance and improve the systems and productivity of the Greenbelt. Since 2005, we have funded and leveraged more than $100 million through investment in its interconnected natural, agricultural, and economic systems, to ensure a working, thriving Greenbelt for all. Now a world-class model for land use policy, Ontario’s Greenbelt spans over two million acres of protected natural landscapes, farmlands, and urban river valleys. For more information, visit: greenbelt.ca
About Conservation Ontario
Conservation Ontario represents Ontario’s 36 Conservation Authorities, which are local watershed management agencies, mandated to ensure the conservation, restoration and responsible management of Ontario’s water, land and natural habitats through programs that balance human, environmental and economic needs.
Nicole Di Cintio
Specialist, Marketing & Communications
Credit Valley Conservation