About Us

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The Greenspace Alliance works with community organizations and individuals to preserve and enhance natural areas in the National Capital area, including public and private green spaces, wetlands and waterways. Concerned residents formed the Alliance in October 1997.  An important part of our work involves engaging with all levels of government and other stakeholders.

We believe that urban greenness is essential for a community’s quality of life, contributing to our personal, social, economic, cultural and spiritual well-being. It also connects us with the natural and cultural history of our region.

The Greenspace Alliance…

– sends written comments and makes presentations to all levels of government to protect and preserve greenspace. For example, the Alliance has participated in City Official Plan reviews, and has commented on National Capital Commission plans.

– works with citizens and groups to save community and regional greenspace. The Alliance has assisted in the efforts to save Orleans Quarry Forest, Leitrim Wetlands, Hull’s Leamy Lake Park, the Kanata Highlands, the Carp River Flood Plain and many other areas.

– initiates projects to restore and create greenspace, such as proposing a Poets’ Pathway, linking Beechwood Cemetery to Britannia Park via Alta Vista, the Heron/Walkley/Kitchener lands and the Southern and Western Corridors.

Ongoing Activities of the Alliance include:

  • Commenting on planning and zoning amendments related to natural and open space concerns, including the City of Ottawa’s Official Plan and plans initiated by the National Capital Commission.
  • Raising awareness about currently threatened greenspace in the National Capital area.
  • Providing a website and e-mail listserv for public information and discussions.
  • Engaging in mutual alliances with conservation and community organizations, including the Ottawa Field-Naturalists’ Club, the Federation of Citizens’ Associations, the Healthy Transportation Coalition and other regional and local community organizations.

Get involved! Become a member! Please click on “Get Involved” in the top banner.

A bit of history…

The Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital was formed in 1997 by members of several community groups in the southern part of the original City of Ottawa who were concerned about loss of significant greenspaces in their communities by activities of the National Capital Commission (NCC). At the same time, the former City of Ottawa was working on a study to inventory and evaluate the greenspace within the City boundaries called the Natural & Open Spaces Study (NOSS). This study involved many communities in enumerating the local woodlots, parks and wetlands that define and enhance the living experience in the national Capital. The realization that these gems would be lost if they were developed helped bring communities together to form the Alliance.

Members from the Heron Walkley Alliance, Fairlea Community, Riverside Park, Greenboro, Hunt Club, and other communities were concerned that there was an attempt to sell off for development a large swath of public land called the “Southern Corridor” that was adjacent to these communities. This land had been bought and expropriated in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s by the NCC and its predecessor, the Federal District Commission, to create a grand ring parkway around Ottawa. When that was no longer needed, the NCC sought to raise money by trading preservation of some areas for the right to develop in other areas of the Southern Corridor. People who had worked together saw the paucity of greenspace along with the onslaught of attempts to reduce it further. They decided that these communities had to work together to preserve significant greenspace or it would be lost forever.

Initially, four people created the concept: Tom Gabor of the Greenboro Community Association, Erwin Dreessen of the Riverside Park Community and Recreation Association, Bryan Hawley of the Fairlea Community Association and Shelley Parlow of the Hunt Club Community Organization. After an initial meeting they contacted others and the Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital was born.


In 2003 we adopted the By-Laws published here.

In 2009 “Friends of the Greenspace Alliance” was incorporated.  Its By-laws can be found here. In 2011 the Greenspace Alliance re-incorporated as “Greenspace Watch.”  Its By-laws are here. “Greenspace Watch” has exclusive rights to use of the name “Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital” (“Alliance pour les espaces verts de la capitale du Canada”) and operates under that name.

At its first AGM on May 29, 2012, the By-laws were slightly amended to conform to the new Not-for-profit Corporations Act. The amended By-laws are here.

On November 27, 2012, “Greenspace Watch” received its Certificate of Continuance, dated October 11, 2012, under section 211 of the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (Corporation number 784577-4).


Wildlife Festival Award

2006 Ontario Natural Heritage Award to Bill Royds

Other Awards to Alliance Members

In Memoriam

Our tributes to past members