On behalf of King Township Council, welcome to the April edition of the King Bulletin.
I was proud to represent the Township of King this week at a Community Energy Workshop, hosted by the King Chamber of Commerce.
The timing of this workshop couldn’t have been more perfect as I was able to share a lot of information about how King is taking bold action on climate change and reducing our energy consumption.
King has been a leader when it comes to the environment and sustainability. It’s important to Council, staff and our citizens. So important, in fact, we have made it one of our strategic priorities. It’s called ‘A Green and Sustainable Future.’
We recently joined a growing movement across the world by declaring a climate emergency and subsequently updating our Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan. This sets new targets and goals aimed at reducing our corporate carbon footprint.
King is taking this global challenge seriously by curbing greenhouse gas emissions produced by Township-owned facilities and fleet.
In June 2019, Council passed a resolution declaring a Climate Emergency and set an aspirational target for overall greenhouse gas reduction at 45 per cent.
I’m happy to report that King has reduced emissions by three per cent since 2012. However, as happy as we are to see the numbers trend in the right direction, we will continue to be strategic in how we attack climate change.
There have been many actions we’ve taken to make this happen.
Electric vehicle purchase
We recently added a third electric vehicle to our fleet, a 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning. It will be used by the Parks Maintenance team. We will continue looking to add EVs to our fleet when replacing vehicles.
We’ve completed a Township-wide LED retrofit of all Township-owned streetlights, converting more than 2,000 streetlight fixtures to LED. Due to the retrofit, we have forecasted an energy cost reduction of more than 70 per cent.
Environmental stewardship programs
Our Community Services department continues to offer a wide variety of Environmental Stewardship programs throughout the community, including our upcoming Earth Hour guided hike at the Cold Creek Conservation Area and annual Township-Wide Clean-Up Day.
Mayor’s Monarch Pledge
We take part in the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge, a program where participating municipalities are required to complete a minimum of three actions annually from the National Wildlife Federation’s list of 24 actions. In 2022, the Township of King received Leadership Circle recognition, which is awarded to participants who complete eight or more actions. King has repledged for 2023, joining a growing network of leaders across North America in saving the monarch butterfly and other important pollinators.
Bird Friendly designation
Nature Canada has announced that King is now a certified Bird Friendly City, the 19th municipality in the country.
Other certified Bird Friendly Ontario municipalities include Barrie, Burlington, Guelph, Halton Hills, Hamilton, London, Peterborough, Toronto and Windsor.
The Bird Friendly City designation has been developed by Nature Canada to encourage Canadians and municipalities to become safe havens for birds. The Township joins many other nearby communities in protecting pollinators, including Bird Friendly Design strategies in its Green Infrastructure Plan and more.
Bee City designation
King Township was also recently named the ninth Bee City in Canada.
The goal of the Bee City Canada certification is to provide and promote healthy, sustainable habitats for bees and other pollinator species.
We’re doing our part by enhancing existing and creating new habitats for pollinators in parks, gardens and naturalized areas.
I’m excited to share the news that Township staff are working with a local farm in its application for expanded eco-friendly facilities, including a cutting-edge greenhouse.
Kinghaven Farms wants to convert the existing horse training facility and build a large greenhouse.
The proposed facility will contribute a diverse, innovative, economically strong and sustainable agricultural industry to King. It will also maintain a net-zero enterprise for the various farming activities that promotes ethical, sustainable farming practices, such as renewable energy and woodlot management.
We’re looking forward to helping Kinghaven Farms make this progressive, sustainable plan a reality.
Battery energy storage system
Council has backed a move by Capital Power Corporation to build a long-term battery storage system in King.
York Energy Centre is a 456-megawatt peaking facility in King that’s been operating since 2012. The company plans to invest roughly $275 million to add a 120-megawatt battery energy storage system.
The company will locate on an unused portion of the lands and no farmland will be touched. Tall trees will be planted on the perimeter and the storage system will produce no emissions.
These are just a few ways we’ve taken action on the important issue of climate change and energy reduction.
Please continue to stay safe, volunteer and shop locally as much as you can.
Mayor Steve Pellegrini