It Takes A Village to Protect and Create Greenspaces

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It’s summer time and whether you live in a city, town or more rurally, you are likely personally experiencing the growing impacts of climate change including prolonged heat, extreme weather (particularly flooding), fire bans, smog and water conservation measures.

As one of the solutions to turning the climate thermostat down, building up more resilience in our natural environment and protecting our own well-being, we are relying more and more on parks and greenspaces – in both rural and urban areas. These greenspaces give us a break from the heat, absorb floodwaters, improve air quality and protect important natural habitats for pollinators, birds and other biodiversity. And they draw us outside improving both our mental and physical well-being.

There’s plenty of science behind the environmental, social, economic and public health benefit claims of greenspaces but it takes a village to act on that science. We need to develop and implement local strategies, policies, plans and projects that not only promote the value of greenspaces and but also increase the amount of greenspaces and parks we have available to us.

EcoHealth Ontario is one such village – a multisector collaboration of passionate professionals across environmental, municipal, public health and education sectors. We want you to learn about ecohealth, share what you’ve learned and help develop practices and policies that put actions in place to protect ecosystems, support a greener economy, protect our own health and well-being and create a stronger society across Ontario.

Our new website is a marketplace of ideas for professionals and others. We invite you to scroll through the research, learn best practices from the case studies and share the educational products so that you too can affect change.

Some of what we have to offer includes:

  • Policy Toolkit – Guides professionals wishing to improve community health through greenspace provision, design and access

  • Video – How Greenspace Can Improve Your Health

  • Greenspace and Ecohealth Toolkit – shows ways that communities can be built in order to strengthen the connection between the natural and built environment, ecosystem resilience and public health outcomes

  • Infographics – Practising Ecohealth (Examples of both policies and projects

So, please visit the website and help yourself to all our great materials! And don’t forget to join our village by starting your own actions, promoting the concepts of ecohealth or signing up to receive EcoHealth Ontario’s newsletter.

By Jane Lewington, Conservation Ontario (member of EcoHealth Ontario)

Conservation Ontario represents Ontario’s 36 conservation authorities.