The Greenbelt Foundation values greatly the efforts of a broad range of stakeholders and community partnerships to enhance the Greenbelt. The Funding Program invests in projects that increase environmental and economic returns from the Greenbelt, enhance the health of the Greenbelt's systems, support farmers and foster a sustainable rural economy.

With responsibility for implementing the provincial land use plans, relationships with municipalities will be key to achieving the goals outlined in each funding area, and building complete communities in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

Indigenous communities have strong cultural ties to the Greenbelt’s agricultural and natural landscapes. The Foundation will begin the process of building relationships with Indigenous communities and understand perspectives and interests in relation to the Greenbelt.

Winter 2020 Call for Proposals – Enhancing the Greenbelt’s Role in Climate Change

Strengthening our climate resiliency, our ability to resist and recover from the rising costs and disruptions of climate change, is becoming increasingly urgent. A critical component to strengthening our resilience includes the strategic use of natural assets – wetlands, forests – as infrastructure to help manage some of the largest threats including flooding, water quality issues, and rising temperatures.

Ontario’s Greenbelt is a major asset in strengthening climate resiliency across the Greater Golden Horseshoe, protecting 2 million acres of near-urban agricultural soils, natural systems and abundant water supplies. 21 river valleys flow from headwaters in the Greenbelt through major urban centers to Lake Ontario. Damages and costs associated with weather-related climate events are highest in urban areas (large and small), and ecosystem services derived from natural infrastructure benefit a large population. With increasing costs and liabilities, enhancing the Greenbelt’s near-urban natural infrastructure now will reduce restoration costs and risks later.

The Greenbelt Foundation’s Resilient Greenbelt Funding Program is investing in near-urban natural infrastructure initiatives (see poster) to realize the Greenbelt’s potential to strengthen and build climate resilient communities and regions. Through partners and collaborators, the Foundation is promoting the use of natural infrastructure among local governments by demonstrating and facilitating knowledge sharing on:

  • The effectiveness of natural infrastructure to protect communities and nature
  • Cost savings through augmenting or replacing grey infrastructure
  • Community safety during extreme weather events by reducing climate risks

2020 Winter Funding Focus - Positively Green     

Positively Green is a climate resiliency program that will transform the health of Greenbelt forests, wetlands, grasslands, rivers and lakes to provide unparalleled environmental services and benefit 9.2 million residents.

A collaboration with 13 conservation authorities, Positively Green advances shovel-ready natural infrastructure projects. 100+ priority actions have been identified across the Greenbelt. Positively Green is an evidence-based program, the effectiveness and cost / benefits of natural solutions will be measured and shared to support greater investments in building climate resiliency. Individual projects will build a constituency of support for protection and investments in natural infrastructure through hands on public participation.

Positively Green’s natural climate resiliency actions focus on:

  1. Reducing stormwater runoff / flood risk.
  2. Protecting water quality and quantity.
  3. Enhancing cooling effect and corridors.
  4. Increasing biodiversity and healthy soils.
  5. Enhancing greenspace quality and access.

Year 1 Funding Objectives

Positively Green is part of the Foundation’s Resilient Greenbelt Funding Program.

Year 1 Funding Focus: Restoration Priorities Related to Flood Attenuation / Natural Flood Management

Flooding is the costliest and most disruptive impact of climate change on Canadian communities. Natural assets in the Greenbelt and adjacent near-urban lands provide low cost, durable solutions to help communities across the Greater Golden Horseshoe reduce flood risks and vulnerabilities and support local climate change plans.

Year 1 funding will support a limited number (~ 3) of signature Positively Green actions that reinforce the critical and irreplaceable role of natural infrastructure in the Greenbelt and adjacent lands in flood attenuation and management. Applicants should consider how to measure / support the business case for natural infrastructure. Restoration co-benefits such as increasing habitat connectivity and wildlife movement are also important to identify. Proposed activities can be nested within a larger, long-term project. Projects will:

  • Enhance natural assets within the Greenbelt and adjacent near-urban lands to reduce flooding, increase infiltration and strengthen climate resiliency.
  • Provide evidence of the effectiveness and return on investment of natural infrastructure to local governments and communities.
  • Provide co-climate resiliency benefits to the public e.g. increasing natural cover and connectivity, reducing nutrient loading to rivers and lakes or enhancing access to greenspace.
  • Build a constituency of support through project partnerships including municipal and other levels of government.
  • Share project results to increase knowledge and use of the Greenbelt’s natural infrastructure to strengthen climate resiliency across the region.

Project Examples

  • Restore / create wetlands to directly reduce flooding and future climate risk to downstream communities and natural habitats
  • Replace inadequate online ponds by naturalizing adjacent areas into floodplain / riparian areas to improve management of stormwater runoff and the impact of increasingly intense rain events
  • Significantly increase the size and water infiltration capacity of local forests to reduce stormwater flows into local creeks / rivers
  • Enhance riparian areas with significant erosion problems to stabilize streambanks and reduce peak flows into local creeks / rivers

View the Grant Application Guidelines. Applications are submitted online using the Foundation's grant portal. All applications must first register their organizations and take an eligibility quiz. 


The Grant Streams:

Supporting Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Vitality in the Greenbelt.

Working with Nature to Increase Public Benefits from Ontario's Greenbelt and Regional Resiliency.


Funding Program Deadlines:

The Funding Program will be managed by internal staff, led by the Program Director with support from the Grants Officer and Grants Coordinator. Grant Round timing is expected to be as follows:

Winter 2020 Grant Round:

Eligibility: Funding Program is open to Positively Green’s 13 partnering Conservation Authorities

Application Deadline: Friday, February 21, 2020 at 4:00pm

Funding Decision: March 10, 2020

Project Timeline: Proposed activities must be completed by December 2020


Submit a Funding Application:

Applications are submitted online using the Foundation's grant portal.

First Step: All new applicants must first take an eligibility quiz. Once this step is completed, you can register your organization. Foundation staff will notify each applicant once your registration is approved.

Interim Step: Applicants must next provide the information requested on your organization and personnel, project title, budget and project start and end dates. Once completed, Foundation staff will provide applicants with access to the full funding application.

Final Step: Applicants must complete and submit your full funding proposals. The Foundation’s Grant Guidelines can be viewed here.

We encourage all potential applicants to discuss their projects with Foundation staff before submitting their funding requests. Please contact program@greenbelt.ca and (416) 960-0001 ext. 310 to schedule a call with the Grants team.

Submit an Application

This project has received funding support from the Government of Ontario. Such support does not indicate endorsement by the Government of Ontario of the contents of this material.

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