A top centre for environmental learning
|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | March 28, 2017|
Haliburton’s inclusion in the recent United Nations designation of Peterborough and area as one of the world’s top centres for learning about environmentalism comes as no surprise to several locals.
Peterborough, the City of Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton and the four First Nations communities in the area - have joined a worldwide network of 149 regions judged to be top centres for environmental education.
Only seven other places in Canada, and two in Ontario, have earned the prestigious designation.
The other provincial Regional Centres for Expertise (RCEs) for sustainable development are Toronto and Sudbury.
Fifty organizations – including Fleming College, Abbey Gardens and the Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve - jointly applied for the designation.
It will allow local experts to go to conferences around the world to remain on the cutting edge of environmental learning.
In January, lead agency, Peterborough GreenUp, received a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to ensure the region can make the most of this new designation.
Green-Up got $75,000 to hire a professional coordinator to connect all the 50 supporting organizations, and to create a website and other communication materials.
It is anticipated the money will last a year, at which point the local initiative is expected to have a strategy to keep itself going.
Sandra Dupret of the Haliburton School of Art + Design, told the Highlander, “Of course, a large part of the college’s contribution is our commitment to sustainability, as can be seen with the college’s office of sustainability and our environmental programs. The Haliburton campus is home of Fleming’s Sustainable Building Construction and Design program.”
Heather Reid of Abbey Gardens said, “Abbey Gardens was pleased to be involved as this is an opportunity to celebrate the rich history in Haliburton of environmental action and education and to look forward to our area being recognized regionally for those efforts.”
And, Barrie Martin of Yours Outdoors, added, “We have had a long tradition of environmental and outdoor education in the Haliburton Highlands and it remains a big but little known industry.”
LISA GERVAIS is the editor for The Highlander.