Building a Healthy, Green and Sustainable Mississauga

As leaders gather in Paris this week to address climate change, I want to take the opportunity to discuss the work we have undertaken to build a healthy, green and sustainable Mississauga.

We are blessed to be home to beautiful and protected green spaces like Jack Darling Park on Lake Ontario, Wildwood Park in Malton, and Credit Meadows Park in our heartland neighbourhood. We have over twenty kilometers of waterfront that runs along Lake Ontario.

In 2012, Council moved forward with the adoption of the Living Green Master Plan (LGMP) – Mississauga’s first environmental master plan. There is growing recognition that environmental sustainability, quality of life and economic prosperity are related features of the most successful communities.  Today, well over half of our 49 actions identified in the LGMP are underway.

There are three key pillars of the LGMP. Firstly, it is important that your local government sets set an example and makes the case for sustainability. For example, Mississauga is converting all street lights to the more energy efficient light-emitting diode (LED) light source.

Second, we need to work together to achieve results. Adapting to climate change and ensuring environmental sustainability is a complex task that requires the effort and experience of everyone.  We cannot do this alone.

I am proud to say community partners are already stepping up. A few weeks back we celebrated the installation of over 100 new electric vehicle charging stations in Peel Region, as part of the Open Electric Vehicle (EV) Network.

We achieved another notable milestone with the installation of another 24 electric vehicle charging stations at Heartland Town Centre. These new EV charging stations will go a long way toward supporting your customers, and the growing population, who choose to drive electric-powered vehicles.

I want to single out the Orlando Corporation, Plug n’Drive, and Partners in Project Green for helping to make this happen. Their work is an example of businesses and community organizations coming together for our local environment.

Third, is by fostering a culture of sustainability. This means using the municipality’s governing authority, such as planning regulations, to establish practical and long-term solutions for raising the minimum level of environmental performance in Mississauga.

At the City of Mississauga, we are also committed to safeguarding our environment for families and future generations to enjoy. For example, we have committed to planting one million trees by 2032. This initiative was launched to help conserve and enhance the City’s open spaces and forested areas for all residents to enjoy. Trees are important to the environment, health and quality of life of Mississaugans.

Our One Million Trees program has now planted more than 144,000 trees and shrubs. The tremendous success of our tree planting program shows that our residents and community partners are committed to preserving, protecting and improving our urban forest.

Visit us online at www.onemilliontrees.ca to learn about other upcoming events and how you can participate. Enter your tree planting totals and have it count towards our One Million Trees Mississauga goal. Keep visiting the website to see how many trees have been planted and where.

Download a copy of the LGMP report now or borrow an electronic copy from the Mississauga Library system (a valid Mississauga library card is required). Also follow @MiLivingGreen for ongoing information.