GUELPH– Today, Leader Mike Schreiner announced that Ontario Greens will work with urban municipalities so that people have access to nature, parks or trails within a 10 minute walk from their home by 2030.
“On this holiday long weekend, many Ontarians want to be out enjoying nature,” Schreiner said. “But for many people and families across the province, easy access to nature is not an option. This is particularly true for lower-income or racialized communities in urban areas.”
“Ontario Greens will address this inequity by working with cities so that everyone has the benefits of easy access to parks and greenspaces within a 10 minute walk from their home.”
Greens will do this by:
- Supporting municipalities to create ‘infill greenspaces’– parks, parkettes and gardens within existing neighbourhoods that are accessible to all.
- Bringing back nature in cities, starting with green roofs, school yards, and turning surplus parking lots in tree deserts into mini-forests.
- Providing matching funds for municipalities to plant trees and other native plants in areas where low-income residents suffer the most from heat and lack of greenspace.
“Greenspace and nature should be for everyone. Not just those privileged enough to live in neighbourhoods with access to greenspaces.”
In Toronto, for example, research from the Greenbelt Foundation report shows that poor and racialized communities have less access to greenspace in the city, including parks and tree canopy cover.
“We can be creative in how we build our neighbourhoods to make better use of existing space so everyone has access to a park down the street from where they live,” Schreiner said.
The benefits of accessible greenspaces and nature are well-documented, on both physical and mental health. It’s a key social determinant of health.
“Ontario Greens are committed to building more equitable, healthy and climate-ready communities,” Schreiner said. “Where everyone has a safe and affordable place to call home and access to nature.”