CLARINGTON: The Ontario government is announcing its intention to add Darlington Provincial Park to the Greenbelt.
Following public consultation and engagement with Indigenous communities this fall, Darlington Provincial Park could begin the process of being added to the Harmony and Farewell Creek Urban River Valley, connecting it to Lake Ontario.
The proposal to add the park came from the Municipality of Clarington, the City of Oshawa, the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority and Conservation Ontario as part of a 60-day initial consultation to grow the Greenbelt last spring.
“We heard tremendous community support for adding Darlington Provincial Park to the Greenbelt in our first consultation,” said Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
“This shows how important the water systems in and around Darlington Provincial Park are to the local communities. I am delighted to share our first proposal on growing the Greenbelt, which includes adding, expanding and protecting urban river valleys.”
“Adding Darlington Provincial Park to the Greenbelt builds awareness of the importance of this urban river valley area and the key role of watersheds to Ontario’s overall environmental health and the well-being of our communities,” said Andrea Khanjin, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.
“Our government will continue to protect the environment for generations to come.”
“We are announcing to the community the province’s intention to further protect the Darlington Provincial Park by adding it to the Greenbelt,” said Lindsey Park, Member of Provincial Parliament, Durham.
“We want to hear from the community about this proposal and our other proposals to add our local urban river valleys to the Greenbelt.”
This fall, the government will consult with the public and engage with Indigenous communities on maps showing land that could be added to the Greenbelt, including Darlington Provincial Park, other valleys and a draft Paris Galt Moraine boundary.
Established under the Greenbelt Act, 2005, the Greenbelt is a broad band of protected land that currently includes over 800,000 hectares of land in the Greater Golden Horseshoe. The Growing the Greenbelt consultations could result in the largest expansion of the Greenbelt since its creation in 2005. Adding Darlington Provincial Park could add up to 500 acres.
There are currently 21 urban river valleys in the Greenbelt. These are the valleys of rivers that pass through cities or towns and act as urban gateways to the Greenbelt. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing will be engaging in phase 2 consultations in order to solicit specific feedback from local organizations on the boundaries and designations.
The Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing recently announced that he is adding two acres of protected and enhanced greenspace for every acre of land developed through the use of a Minister’s Zoning Order. Meanwhile, Mill Pond also became the newest site recognizing the Don River as a protected urban river valley within Ontario’s Greenbelt.