History and Accomplishments

Oakvillegreen is a grassroots, non-partisan community organization that was founded in 1999, when Oakville residents Allan Elgar, Linda Elgar, Mike Lansdown, Iris McGee, Hank Rodenburg and Renee Sandelowsky learned about plans to develop 7600 acres of agricultural land north of Dundas.  They shared many concerns about the planning process and the apparent lack of desire to protect our natural heritage.  Allan, Linda, Mike, Iris, Hank and Renee began to advocate for the protection of North Oakville’s natural environment by insisting on a sound planning process, and working to increase public awareness.  Through their hard work, they were successful in protecting 1/3 of the area slated for development. The resulting Natural Heritage System was the first of its kind in the GTA. Oakvillegreen has continued to advocate for the ongoing protection of the Natural Heritage System, and now encourages environmental awareness and urban forest stewardship through its various programs across Oakville.

Check out what we’ve been up to in the last 15 years!

Tree Planting:

  • Planted over 20,000 native trees and shrubs in Oakville’s parks, schools, woodlots and other green spaces
  • Host native tree sales to aid residents in planting native species
  • Launched a subsidized Backyard Tree Planting Program in 2017 in partnership with LEAF to encourage private property tree planting in support of the town’s canopy cover goals
  • Launched Tree Seed Collection Program and Foster Tree Parent Program in 2004

Stewardship:

  • Host several Corporate Greening Days each year to help local businesses contribute to the urban forest through invasive species removal and tree planting
  • Host Invasive Species Monitoring workshops to teach residents how to identify common invasive species and how to use monitoring apps to track invasive species in their local green spaces
  • Run the Oakville TreeKeepers program to train residents to become stewards of their local green spaces through invasive species removal, tree planting and inventory
  • Starting in 2004, Oakvillegreen has launched several Heritage Tree Hunts to identify and raise awareness of significant trees in Oakville
  • Encourage pollinator preservation through workshops, educational resources, the sale of pollinator garden kits and the installation and maintenance of the Glen Abbey Pollinator Garden

Education:

  • Give environmental presentations based on the Ontario Science curriculum to thousands of JK to Grade 12 students each year
  • Help dozens of schools each year with schoolyard naturalization and outdoor classroom projects, including our spring and fall Mulch Fests
  • Run an Oakvillegreen Youth Stewards program for youth aged 13-18 to educate and inspire youth to take action to protect our environment
  • Lead Urban Forest Tours through Oakville’s urban forest and natural areas for students, community groups, new immigrants and the public
  • Have hosted educational speakers at numerous public events, and sponsored several educational film screenings and information nights on environmental issues

Advocacy and Leadership:

  • Raise awareness of both local and large-scale environmental issues including the potential development of the Glen Abbey golf course, the urbanization of north Oakville, retaining public ownership of the Oakville Land Assembly, the importance of the Trafalgar Moraine, the Greenbelt Protection Act,  Zero Waste, the pitfalls of incinerators, and the development of highways through environmentally sensitive areas
  • Members have served on boards, committees, advisory groups and local and regional councils, including the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability, Mayor’s Advisory Group on Trails, Energy Plant Stakeholder Group, the Parks and Open Spaces Advisory Committee, the Pesticide Bylaw, Education Task Force, the Environmental Strategic Plan Implementation Committee and Oakville Town Council
  • Provided input on provincial legislation and town bylaws, including the Greenbelt Plan, the Provincial Policy Statement, the Planning Act, Ontario Municipal Board Reform, the RFP process for new energy generating plants, Halton’s Official Plan, Sustainable Halton, Oakville’s Official Plan, the Environmental Strategic Plan, the Urban Forest Strategic Management Plan, the town’s Wildlife Policy, Oakville’s Active Transportation Master Plan, North Oakville Trails Plan, the Tree Removal Bylaw and innumerable other development plans and bylaws
  • Lobbying for the protection of natural areas in Oakville has led to the establishment of Glenorchy Conservation Area and Wildflower Woods Conservation Area
  • Created “Organize to Win” seminars to teach grassroots community groups how to organize to be effective advocates and keep their organizations strong, and helped to establish Burlingtongreen and Miltongreen
  • Worked with groups across the country to form Zero Waste Canada and Ontario Zero Waste Coalition

Awards:

  • Oakvillegreen president Karen Brock and Oakvillegreen board member Enver Domingo both received Ontario Heritage Trust Awards for their efforts in preserving the Province’s Natural Heritage
  • Oakvillegreen board member Diane Burton won an Oakville Spirit Award in 2011 for her contributions to the community
  • Oakvillegreen Conservation Association president Liz Benneian was selected, from more than 90 nominations from across the country, as the recipient of 2009’s Hometown Hero Award
  • In 2003, we received the Conservation Award of Excellence from Conservation Halton “in recognition of our outstanding contribution in the Halton Watershed”
  • Allan Elgar, one of our founding directors, was awarded the Carolinian Canada Award for “an outstanding contribution towards the protection of the natural diversity and natural habitats of Ontario’s Carolinian Zone”