COUNTY OF SIMCOE
MIDHURST – The County of Simcoe is joining communities across the globe to embrace the beauty of our natural environment in celebration of Earth Day on April 22, 2021.
Earth Day Canada issued a release on April 7, 2021 to launch its “let’s take care of the planet” campaign for Earth Day 2021. They also support municipalities in the promotion of environmental activities through the second edition of their Engaged Municipalities initiative. They will be hosting a tree-planting relay as they broadcast “Earth Day Canada” that all residents can follow on Earth Day Canada’s Instagram or on Facebook.
“Simcoe County is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and Earth Day serves as a reminder that we can all take small steps each day to support our environment,” said Warden George Cornell. “From tree planting to planning policies to active trails to waste diversion and sustainable operations, the county is proud of its environmental stewardship to help maintain our region’s beautiful habitat for future generations.”
Earth Day is a global event that involves world climate leaders, grassroots activists, non-profit innovators, thought leaders, industry leaders, artists, musicians, influencers, and the leaders of tomorrow designed to inspire all of us to push towards a better world. Join us on social media by sharing a photo or video of how you take care of the planet in #SimcoeCounty using #takecareoftheplanet or #April22 and tell the world why Earth Day matters to you.
Did you know:
Forestry and Tree Planting:
At approximately 33,000 acres and growing, the Simcoe County Forest is the largest municipally-owned forest in Ontario and among the largest of its kind in Canada. Through our forestry program, and in partnership with local organizations, more than 20 million trees have been planted within the County Forest since its inception in 1922.
The County of Simcoe owns and manages more than 150 different forest tracts spanning 33,000 acres. Many of these tracts have public recreation trails.
Land use planning is about finding balance in perspectives and opinions on all sides. Through the county’s updated Official Plan (which will guide growth through 2031), we have increased the amount of designated Greenlands in Simcoe County from 36 per cent to 40 per cent. That means that Simcoe County has 190,495 hectares of designated Greenlands, which include some of our natural heritage areas such as forests, wetlands, wildlife habitat, and significant valley lands. More than 90 per cent of County lands (16 member municipalities only) are protected by several land use policies. Whereas only 9 per cent of our lands are designated for settlements.
The County of Simcoe continues to be among the very best in the province when it comes to diverting waste from landfills. The county has fostered great success in landfill diversion projects, diverting more than 70 per cent of materials received from commercial and residential customers away from landfill and helping to preserve the lifespan of our existing sites. We were early adopters of the organics program and year over year we have grown our organics diversion as we work towards reducing garbage. Our residents have among the highest recycling capture rates in Ontario. And we are pleased that our new automated cart collection program, launching November 1, 2021 will provide residents with increased storage space for both organics and recycling, which will further help encourage greater diversion. Additionally, we have seen great success in our special collections to help divert batteries, textiles and electronics.
As part of the county’s Sustainable Operations Program, staff evaluate energy use and operations, and engrain new, innovative and efficient systems, products and practices into new buildings and vehicles. Examples of projects include: the Administration Centre’s LEED Gold designation and Georgian Village’s LEED Silver designation, an award recognizing a building’s commitment to energy efficiency, functionality and environmentally-minded building materials; renewable energy systems to harness free power from Mother Earth - solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays and geothermal heating/cooling at the Administration Centre; corporate-wide purchasing of FSC-certified paper, committing to responsibly managed forests; an adopted best practice to install high efficiency and high ROI LED lights into buildings and parking lots; and one of the top-rated environmental vehicle fleets in Canada as rated by Fleet Challenge Ontario in 2014.
Explore the County’s beautiful landscape here.