2019 Impact Update

We set out in late 2018 to convince the Province to either improve the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan in its statutory policy review or at least, not to weaken it. All of the activities and accomplishments listed below are part of, or contribute to, the Protect Our Plan campaign.

  • We more than doubled our membership to 25 member groups around the lake, and doubled our Facebook followers and newsletter subscribers! Way to go, you joiners! 
  • A team of incredible volunteers, with some staff support, spent 15 days at 11 events ALL OVER the watershed, sharing factsheets and thoughts with the public, growing our support base, getting petition signatures and taking photos of Lake Simcoe lovers. 
  • We captured people’s love of the lake with this I HEART Lake Simcoe video.
  • At Queen’s Park, we delivered 1000 real signatures on a petition to protect the lake’s water quality and natural heritage to Barrie-Innisfil MPP Andrea Khanjin and the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. Many signatures were gathered by volunteers in their own communities. Thank you! 
  • We hosted an education breakfast at Queens Park, with the participation of Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition, Innisfil District Association, Lake Simcoe Living magazine, and South Lake Simcoe Nature Club. Thanks for all the support!  12 MPPs and many political staff people attended, which was great for 8 am! At the very least, having emails about Lake Simcoe in MPPs inboxes for weeks on end raises awareness, and gave us access to some new contacts. 
  • We had meetings with several MPPs: MPPs Khanjin, Mulroney, Dunlop, Downey, Scott, and NDP MNRF critic Montief-Farrell; and after a year and a half of asking, we had one set up with the Minister of the Environment for late March, but it never happened due to the obvious emergency at hand. Getting meetings with this government is not easy. At all. (For the ENGO sector at least.)
  • We sent a letter to loads of Federal Ministers about re-funding the promised Lake Simcoe Clean Up Fund, on behalf of our member groups, just days before it looked like all public money for the next generation would be spent on COVID-19 impacts. 
  • We made educational presentations at 11 events hosted by our member groups and others, and hosted 5 events ourselves, reaching approximately 2000 people face to face
  • With funding from the Greenbelt Foundation, we partnered with cartographer Kirby Calvert at the University of Guelph to conduct an environmental policy mapping research project. We analyzed how well protected our landscape is by policy in order to argue for better protections for the watershed’s natural heritage (forests, wetlands, etc.) in the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan Review. Local Councillors and municipal staff received copies of the reports. The Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition supported the project in many ways, including creating the website for this work. 
  • We created factsheets, available here, about the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan, Naturalizing Shorelines, Environmental Policy mapping in Simcoe County and the Lake Simcoe watershed, and What You Can Do. We also created shareable social media content to support our petition and campaign.
  • Our volunteer education committee developed a new pilot called Local Lake Simcoe: Exploring the Innisfil Creeks Subwatershed, a student-led inquiry-based education project. We submitted three fundraising applications to support the roll-out of the project.  
  • And finally, we kept you informed. By curating and sharing local news and events on our Facebook page, we try to keep you engaged in the complex world of the environment, people and politics. 

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