The Regional Municipality of York Greening Strategy creates and maintains a healthy, sustainable natural environment for current and future generations by protecting and enhancing green infrastructure. The Greening Strategy refinement, endorsed by York Regional Council today, contains a summary of achievements and a schedule of actions for the next four years.
In fall of 2011, more than 800 stakeholders and residents provided input into the revision of the strategy, originally endorsed by Regional Council in 2001. Consultation included focus groups, public information and liaison committee meetings, which confirmed the importance of the environment, recognized York Region’s leadership and provided direction and focus.
“The goals and outcomes of the Greening Strategy benefit York Region economically, socially and of course, environmentally,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch. “Just as sustainable, healthy communities need built infrastructure to exist, green infrastructure adds to our residents’ overall quality of life. A healthy urban forest also reduces energy costs and improves our air and water quality.”
Environics Research Group was commissioned to measure residents’ knowledge of the Regional environment, the York Regional Forest and the Greening Strategy. Findings include:
• 75 per cent:
York Region residents surveyed believe protecting the natural environment is “very important”
• 88 per cent:
Support the Region’s role in on-the-ground action, including planting trees
• 97 per cent:
Support York Region playing a critical role in protecting the environment
In the 11 years since Regional Council adopted the initial Greening Strategy, almost one million trees and shrubs have been planted and more than 1,000 hectares of environmental lands have been secured throughout the Region. An investment of more than $11 million in land securement has leveraged the protection of more than $56 million of environmental lands. Fundamental to the success of the Greening Strategy is the support of residents, stakeholders and more than 50 partnerships.
“York Region residents are extremely fortunate to live in a community where walking, hiking and snowshoeing in a forest is just minutes away,” said Town of Richmond Hill Regional Councillor Vito Spatafora, Chair of the Region’s Environmental Services Committee. “In addition to the protection elements of the strategy, the Greening Strategy refinement includes actions for connecting people and the environment.”
For information on York Region Natural Heritage and Forestry initiatives, please visit www.york.ca/environment
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Media Contact: Barbara Moss, Corporate Communications, The Regional Municipality of York
905-830-4444 or 1-877-464-9675, ext. 1237 Cell: 905-505-5775 firstname.lastname@example.org