Hamilton is a 'green city' – Skyway smokestacks tell 'wrong' story: Greenbelt author

The Greenbelt coffee table book launches and includes photos, interviews and the untold stories of the Greenbelt — including Hamilton.

Hamilton doesn't get enough credit for green spaces according to new book

The Greenbelt: Protecting and Cultivating a Great Ontario, is a coffee table book detailing how the Greenbelt came to be. It includes photos and interviews of people who live in the Greenbelt. (The Greenbelt Foundation)

Burkhard Mausberg was determined to tell the untold story of the Greenbelt, a story that includes how the amount of green space in Hamilton is undervalued. 

Mausberg is the CEO of the Greenbelt Foundation and author of, The Greenbelt: Protecting and Cultivating a Great Ontario.

He says Hamilton is not given enough credit for the amount of waterfalls, trees and green space it holds.

"The public's perception of Hamilton is wrong," said Mausberg.  

It is an honour to have our story shared in the Greenbelt book- Alan Hansell

"Most people know Hamilton from the Burlington Skyway, they see the steel mills, they see the pollution... They really don't get an appreciation that Hamilton is actually quite a green city."

The book details how the Greenbelt came to be including interviews with former Ontario Premiers Dalton McGuinty, Mike Harris, and Bill Davis. 

"We always hear negative stories about the environment whether it's climate change, pollution or species becoming extinct. But here's a public policy of a two million acre greenbelt where we got it right," said Mausberg.

Alan Hansell, Founder of Stewards of Cootes Watershed, a team dedicated to the health and biodiversity of Cootes Paradise and the creeks that flow into it, is pleased with the book. 

"It is an honour to have our story shared in the Greenbelt book," said Hansell.

The group has pulled over 156,000 kilograms of debris out of the watershed.

"The Greenbelt gives us confidence that the Cootes Watershed and the Red Hill Watershed will be protected long after all the time and effort our group has invested to restore them," said Hansell in a news release.

From left to right: Burkhard Mausberg, author & CEO of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, Alan Hansell, founder of Stewards of Cootes Watershed and Dr. David A. Galbraith, Head of Science at Royal Botanical Gardens. (The Greenbelt Foundation )

Celebrating inspiring stories 

The launch took place at Epic Books. Along with Mausberg and Hansell, Head of Science at Royal Botanical Gardens, Dr. David A. Galbraith was in attendance. 

Mausberg's says there are tons of stories he finds inspiring in the book. One in particular is the story of David and Lulu Farnell, a couple who started the company, Real Food for Real Kids.

When the couple's youngest son started going to daycare they noticed and weren't happy with the food he and other children were being served. 

This prompted them to create a snack program from their home kitchen. The food was made with local and organic ingredients. 

"What strikes me about this story is a mom and dad concerned about what their kid was eating, then transcribed it into different schools and daycares so they could all eat well. That's what's inspiring."

The book launched April 20.