What is natural heritage?
Halton Region has natural areas such as woodlands, wetlands, streams, creeks, valley lands and meadows that provide a habitat for diverse plants and animals. Some natural areas have been removed for development, making the remaining natural areas very important for current and future generations. These natural areas are considered our heritage. Natural areas are healthy and thrive when connected to form a natural heritage system. The natural heritage system in Halton is made up of the regional natural heritage system and the greenbelt natural heritage system.
In 2005, Regional Council introduced a Greenlands System and a land securement strategy as a long-range planning goal. Regional Council established the Halton Green Fund to provide funding for land securement, among other things. In 2009, Regional Council endorsed the Halton Greenlands Securement Strategy. The strategy's goal is to work with Halton Region's partners to secure conservation lands for public ownership.
The Greenlands Securement Strategy identifies options for protecting valuable green space in Halton Region that complement existing programs by conservation authorities and other agencies involved in land securement. The intent is to provide permanent natural heritage protection for current and future generations.
Through the 2009 Regional Official Plan, Halton's Greenlands System was replaced by the natural heritage system. Regional Council also approved Implementation Guidelines for the Greenlands Securement Program.
How land owners can get involved
Interested landowners and Halton Region's partners in conservation can apply for funding.
Halton Region partners application process
Download the application forms below.
For more information on the GSP, contact:
Halton Region has managed its Regional Forests for more than 75 years. It owns 703 hectares (1,739 acres) of forests in 14 separate tracts, which include wooded areas, wetlands and meadows. Regional Forests provide rich and varied habitats for wildlife and are home to several rare species.
Halton Tree By-Law 121-05
The Halton Tree By-law 121-05 came into effect on January 1, 2006. Its purpose is to inform property owners about:
Promoting healthy forests, tree conservation and Good Forestry Practices Protecting forest ecosystems and environmentally sensitive areas Preventing poor logging and clear cutting of woodlands Regulating tree harvesting
Woodlands Stewardship Program
The Woodlands Stewardship Program aims to increase awareness about managing forested areas on private lands. It provides funding for preparing Forest Management Plans, purchasing and planting of trees, and tree-marking services.
Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System
The Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark (external link) is home to:
- nearly a quarter of the Canada's wild plant species
- more than 50 species at risk
It consists of almost 1,900 hectares of natural lands at the western end of Lake Ontario. The EcoPark is the last intact ecological connection between the Lake Ontario wetlands and the Niagara Escarpment.
We are working with 8 other partners to ensure that the EcoPark System is a protected, permanent and connected natural lands sanctuary. It strives to promote ecosystem and human health within Ontario’s Greenbelt.