Bob Hunter Park Helps Preserve Environmentally Sensitive Area
McGuinty Government Expanding Protected Greenspace
TORONTO -- The McGuinty government is designating 500 acres of environmentally sensitive land to create a new park that will honour environmentalist Bob Hunter and protect greenspace in southern Ontario's Rouge Valley area, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty said today.
"The Bob Hunter Memorial Park is a fitting tribute to one of our greatest environmental pioneers," said Premier McGuinty.
"By preserving this environmentally sensitive area, we are honouring Bob's memory by continuing his stewardship of our natural spaces and creating a legacy for future generations to enjoy."
Bob Hunter, who passed away May 2, 2005, was a co-founder of Greenpeace and became a popular broadcaster who covered environmental issues for CITY-TV. He was recognized by Time Magazine as one of the 'Eco-heroes' of the 20th century.
"I think that Bob would be very pleased to know that his life's work is being celebrated here in the permanent protection of this land and all that lives here," said his wife, Bobbi Hunter.
By designating the new park as part of the Greenbelt, the McGuinty government is increasing the amount of green space that is protected in perpetuity and is encouraging Ontarians to visit, cherish and enjoy their natural heritage.
"The designating of this land for a new park in Bob Hunter's memory will provide a welcomed and valued recreational green space for generations to come in our community," said Tony Wong, MPP for Markham. "This will help further protect the Rouge Valley and serve to honour a great environmentalist while at the same time providing an opportunity to experience nature close to home."
"This new park represents a significant investment in the protection of Ontario's environmentally sensitive land," said Markham Mayor Don Cousens. "We will work to safeguard this important ecosystem so that people from across Canada can enjoy one of our natural treasures."
"We are grateful to the Province of Ontario for this important contribution to protecting the significant environment of Rouge Park and the Rouge River watershed," said Gord Weeden, Chair of the Rouge Park Alliance.
Premier McGuinty made his remarks at a Greenbelt Gala ceremony where the government received an environmental award for its Greenbelt initiative.
"We believe a healthy natural environment and a strong economy go hand in hand," said Premier McGuinty.
" By creating this new park as a memorial to Bob Hunter, we are encouraging all Ontarians to continue his dedication to environmental issues by working to protect our natural spaces and to strengthen the communities where we live ."
A map of the new Bob Hunter Memorial Park is available on the Ministry of Public Infrastructure Renewal website at: www.pir.gov.on.ca.