Protecting the Places We Love
Some of our area’s most celebrated wild places, from the Blue Mountains above Collingwood to Beaver Valley, are threatened by mega-developments. Those proposed for Castle Glen and Talisman would turn our region’s top recreational sites—old forests, meandering trails, pristine watercourses, and sensitive wetlands—into new mini-cities.
The Escarpment Corridor Alliance was created to PROTECT Southern Georgian Bay’s Niagara Escarpment, a celebrated UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, from mega development.
Our vision is to CREATE a network of forest corridors and trails that unites over 500 square kilometers of incredibly beautiful forest, wetlands, and five watersheds connecting the Blue Mountains and Beaver Valley, Castle Glen and Kolapore to Beaver Valley.
We will accomplish this in three ways: Conserve, Create & Unite
1. Conserve strategic green spaces with strong biodiversity by protecting them through private land owner options including OECM’s (Other Effective Conservation Measures) and Land Trust conservation agreements). In addition, conserving will be achieved by stopping inappropriate mega developments.
2. Create a strategic natural corridor system and promote a Conservation Economy.
3. Unite like-minded local groups with shared visions through strategic collaboration and partnerships to achieve collective impact through a coordinated ‘one voice’.
A Toronto develop wants to replace over 1,500 acres of forest and wetlands on the brow of the Escarpment with 1,600 new homes, a golf course, and a hotel. This threatens to destroy the very reason people are drawn to our community. It’s an idea that is not aligned with the character of our community, nor with our need to preserve the natural world.
This mega development is a bad idea.
This 134-acre swath of public fields and forest was sold to a Toronto-based developer despite public outcry, even with a higher bid from the Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy on the table. What gives the Municipality of Grey Highlands the right to act against public interest?
This is a bad development idea.
A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is no place for a mega development.
Private interests out for financial gain cannot come first. We need to ensure that any rural development ideas for our area are responsible, preserve existing green spaces, follow environmental regulations, and are planned in consultation with the community.
We are actively working to conserve our lands. Together with leading environmental and conservation groups, we are raising awareness of the threats our sensitive Escarpment lands are facing. We are also working with partners to strategically acquiring land in order to protect the most sensitive areas for future generations.
Our conservation partners:
- Blue Mountain Watershed Trust
- Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy
- Bruce Trail Conservancy
- Nature Conservancy of Canada
The Legacy Loop
The Legacy Loop is an interconnected system of wild lands and forest covering a 500-square kilometer area between Collingwood and Beaver Valley. It will stitch together already-protected parkland and conservancy land to provide an unbroken wildlife corridor and host a network of protected recreational trails for all to enjoy in perpetuity.
Lend a Hand, Help Us Out
We could use your help. Escarpment Corridor Alliance members value our region’s unparalleled natural beauty and understand the importance of preserving it now and forever.
If that sounds like you, join us. We can use your smarts, your dedication and any donation of time, money or land. Join the rising tide of Georgian Bay residents, community groups and small businesses calling for the proper protection of our natural spaces—and a long-term plan to ensure that every development idea is consistent with our vision for the region.
Our Partner Organizations
We’re not in this alone! There are likeminded aligned organizations throughout the South Georgian Bay region that we’ve formed partnerships with to help with raising public awareness about the threats to the Escarpment, pressuring politicians to take action to stop inappropriate development, and combat the vast resources of Toronto developers looking to build mega-developments on our forests and wetlands.
On June 23, we gathered with nearly a dozen other groups to formalize our approach to conserving green spaces in our region – and this is just the beginning. We’ll continue expanding our partnerships to reach more people and have a greater impact on planning and conservation in the South Georgian Bay region. Check back for regular updates!
The ECA Team
The ECA’s Executive Director is Jarvis Strong and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Board of Directors
Our board is comprised of some exceptionally talented, committed and passionate people from across the ECA geography. Our board members are well known and respected in their communities and by major land conservancies. They have held top corporate Canada financial, entrepreneurial and governance roles. The board is structured into more than a dozen ‘portfolios’ with each Director assuming clear mandates.
Some highlights from our founding board:
- The two principals who led the 2004 OMB battle against Castle Glen
- The CEO of the organization that led the buyout of the “Mega Quarry” lands in Dufferin County in 2013 – 6,500 acres of prime farmland that had been under threat of development as an aggregate quarry
- Former leader of marketing & economic development for the Town of Collingwood
- Founding Chairperson / Director of the Georgian Bay Land Trust
- Immediate past Chair of CREST, the Center for Responsible Travel, a unique non-profit with the mission to promote responsible tourism policies and practices so that local communities may thrive and steward their cultural resources and biodiversity
Since our inception, the board has continued to grow adding key members covering important portfolios. ECA’s board of directors is:
- Dale Biddell
- Christina Eaton
- Tom Eisenhauer
- Stephen Griggs
- Bruce Harbinson
- Martha McCarthy
- Mike Robbins
- Martin Rydlo
- Annette Sandberg
- David Scoon
- Ian Whitton