Representatives of several U.S. and Canadian groups recently met to discuss issues facing both the Door Peninsula and Bruce Peninsula in Ontario.
Designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1990, the Bruce Peninsula which separates Ontario’s Georgian Bay from Lake Huron, mirrors the Door Peninsula. Both are part of the same unique geological feature – the Niagara Escarpment.
Bob Patrick, president of the Coalition on the Niagara Escarpment (C.O.N.E.) from the Bruce Peninsula and Eric Fowle, the executive director and co-chair of the East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission/ Niagara Escarpment Resource Network (NERN), were the principal guests for the discussion of similarities and differences on both segments of the Escarpment.
Also participating were Carol Sills and Carl Madsen, Door County Environmental Council (DCEC) board members; Jerry Viste, DCEC executive director; Dick Kaiser, Sustain Door; Bob Bultman, Restore Door; and Bobbie Raymond Larson, member of the Door County Land Trust.
The Bruce Peninsula features the Bruce Trail, a 762-kilometer hiking trail which attracts 400,000 visitors a year and provides a $10 million economic impact.
Using innovative approaches, residents of the Bruce Peninsula enjoy high-speed rural fiber-optic Internet access, solar heated washroom and shower facilities, public transportation tied to university and technical school needs, and “top down” zoning protections. The meeting participants compared what is being done on the American side of the escarpment including water issues, education, social media, eco-tourism, local agriculture, waste treatment, and recreation.
For more information, people with like-minded visions for the future of the escarpment can find all of these groups on the Internet and Facebook.