Greenbelt and Oak Ridges Moraine foundations partnering
DAN CEARNS The Standard
NORTH DURHAM: The Greenbelt Foundation (GBF) and the Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation (ORMF) are forming a partnership. The two sides, along with provincial government officials, made the announcement in late February. “Every day, Ontarians reap the benefits of the Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation’s visionary work. Since its inception, the Greenbelt Foundation has also been a key supporter of the protection and restoration of the Moraine. Moving forward, GBF will build on the work of ORMF by incorporating their objectives into GBF programs and activities. The two organizations have defined a set of shared priorities that will frame work moving forward, ensuring the legacy and investment of ORMF; with respect to preservation, ecological monitoring, restoration, and education, continues through research, grant-making, and communications,” read a press release. Edward McDonnell, CEO of the Greenbelt Foundation, gave his thoughts on the decision in a statement. “Over many years, the Greenbelt Foundation has demonstrated its commitment to protecting the Moraine, as a key feature of the Greenbelt; through strategic investments, awareness activities, research projects, and collaboration with Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation,” he said. “Moving into our 16th year, the Greenbelt Foundation looks forward to working together with the Moraine Foundation, to strengthen our work as champions of conservation in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.” Rob Messervey, interim Board Chair of the Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation, expressed the importance of this partnership. “I think it’s pretty important, this integration of the two foundations, not only for the Moraine, but the municipalities and organizations and residents in Durham Region and the Township of Scugog,” he shared. “Scugog relies very significantly on the moraine. It’s a key hydrologic[al] feature that ensures a sustained quantity and quality of water into Lake Scugog.” He also explained to The Standard how this partnership came together. “Having been separate organizations, separate foundations, established by the province, we’ve had a strong working relationship in the time since the foundations were established. We’ve had shared objectives and shared activities,” Mr. Messervey said. “What’s some type of integration,” Mr. Messervey said. A memorandum of understanding was crafted between the Greenbelt and Moraine foundations in late 2019, and then an integration agreement was signed in January. Mr. Messervey talked about how this integration will work. “The Oak Ridges Moraine Foundation will now operate under the auspices of the Greenbelt Foundation. We’ll still retain a separate incorporated status within that governance model.” Going forward, Mr. Messervey said there will be a focus on “climate change strategies” and establishing priorities like education, and science and research related collaborations.