Sunday 2 April 2017

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority: A Role Model for Meewasin Valley Authority?

Last week’s critique of the independent provincial assessment of the Meewasin Valley Authority pointed out that the assessment tried to compare apples and oranges by comparing small recreational parks with Meewasin’s mandate for planning, development, conservation, and recreation over a large area.

Only one comparator park appeared relevant: the North Saskatchewan River Valley parks system. We pointed to other relevant examples across Canada, from Fish Creek Provincial Park in Calgary to Pippy Park in St. John’s.

A reader suggested that we take a look at the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) whose mission and mandate are very similar to Meewasin Valley Authority’s although they operate on a much larger scale.

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority 
With more than 60 years of experience, the TRCA works with municipalities and other partners to look after the watersheds of the Toronto region and the Lake Ontario waterfront. Acknowledging that nature and people are interconnected, the health of one directly impacting the other, they’ve made it their mission to ensure the health of both. “By committing ourselves to protecting, restoring and enhancing nature, we allow the natural world to bestow its many benefits on our bodies, our minds, our spirits and our communities.” 

Their mandate includes the following:
  • Take care of nine watersheds and the Lake Ontario shoreline, in partnership with municipalities, the Province, and other stakeholders 
  • Work to preserve and protect the land, improve wildlife and plant habitats 
  • Encourage people of all ages to get out and enjoy nature for optimal health and well-being 
  • Monitor and report on the health of Toronto’s environment 
  • Provide input and expertise on water management, resource conservation, natural heritage, and cultural heritage 
  • Run programs that teach a greater appreciation of the environment and ways to adopt sustainable technologies 
  • Reduce human impact on natural resources while acquiring, protecting, and restoring conservation lands to further watershed and resource management 

A Cleaner, Greener, and Healthier Place to Live 
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority recognizes the importance of their work: “With the help of our partners, TRCA is creating a cleaner, greener and healthier place to live — for you today, and for your children tomorrow. Together, we aim to improve the health of the natural environment and create opportunities for a sustainable future. By doing so, we ensure we live in harmony with nature and are a healthier society as a whole.” 

Let’s follow their lead by sustaining and enhancing the role of the Meewasin Valley Authority.

Photo credit: Terri Jackson