What will you do to protect farmland and the environment within your municipality?
Specifically, which of the following strategies will you support if you are elected:
- Work with your local conservation authority to reward farmers and landowners that implement land stewardship practices which help protect our water, air, soil, and habitats
- Work with your local conservation authority to increase ecological growing and environmental stewardship practices on all public lands
- Work with your planning and purchasing departments to create and implement a sustainability plan that includes the promotion and procurement of local, sustainable foods
- Work with parks and recreation, the local conservation authority and landowners to encourage the creation and protection of pollinator habitat
- Work with your planning department to ensure the future of working farmlands within your municipality by:
- Planning for smart growth and densification with planning tools such as a countryside line or greenbelt
- Balancing increased development pressures with the protection of prime agricultural lands for food and farming uses in proximity to markets
- Considering zoning changes that increase the possibility of agricultural and related uses (e.g. on-farm processing) when and where possible.
- Working with trusts to encourage the use of conservation easements for landowners wishing to protect their land from development
- Ensuring that farmland severances are for the benefits of current and future farm enterprises
- Increase green and edible landscapes by creating enabling policy for:
- Green roofs and infrastructure on new developments
- Urban agriculture initiatives such as community gardens, urban beekeeping, backyard hens, orchards and food forests
- Ecological landscaping of edible species in public spaces
- Work with your solid waste management services to increase waste diversion by supporting:
- A comprehensive food waste education and diversion strategy for the public and businesses
- Community composting and composting education initiatives
- Private sector composting facilities that practice nutrient cycling (eg. grocery stores that deal with food waste on-site)
- Work with your planning department and/or the local conservation authority to protect and promote the local forest and freshwater food system by:
- Establishing baseline data to monitor the health of forest and freshwater food producing areas
- Assessing municipal water course management strategies to improve freshwater food production potential
- Consulting with stakeholders to develop designated harvesting areas on publicly accessible lands that will not be in conflict with conservation priorities
- Incorporating forest and freshwater foods into existing local food policies in your municipality
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See related Environmental Rationale and Examples.