GREN Guiding Principles


Our Belief

We must live and act with an awareness of and care for the needs of diverse life including  human communities with whom we share the Grand River watershed as our home. This will ensure a thriving and fulfilling life for all.

Unfortunately, human activities have pushed us to the point where we threaten the capacity of the environment to provide the essentials for all life – water, air, energy, agricultural land, forests, wetlands and other habitats.

Our Commitment

GREN draws from the well of creative people in our communities to:

  • find innovative ways to live better with less;
  • work cooperatively to promote initiatives that restore, maintain and enhance the livability of all our communities;
  • not interfere with the ability of all life, not just human life, to thrive, and where we have already threatened these to restore, maintain and enhance those natural areas;
  • do so taking into account the needs of current and future generations

Our Current Goals

  • Eliminate urban sprawl; protect the hard urban-rural line to prevent intrusion into rural areas
  • Protect and enhance all natural areas in the Grand River watershed, such as Hidden Valley, and expand the Greenbelt protected areas
  • Implement aggressive water conservation and reuse programs instead of planning on outside water sources, such as pipelines and bottled water
  • Protect the quality of water sources by reserving and protecting groundwater recharge areas such as the Waterloo Moraine, the Guelph-Amabel Aquifer, and the Paris-Galt Moraine
  • Measurably improve air quality
  • Reduce private car use by improving infrastructure to support human-powered (walk/bike), public transportation, and shared transportation
  • Increase production, availability and purchase of local and organic food, and make it economically available to all
  • Reduce and/or eliminate toxic use and toxic and climate-changing emissions to land, water and air
  • Institute waste avoidance, reuse and recycling and composting programs to avoid disposal of garbage either through landfill or incineration. This will minimize the waste of resources and prevent environmental contamination
  • Decisions in our communities are made on the basis of the precautionary approach and principles of sustainability
  • Other goals as issues arise

GREN Policies

Decision Making

  • Consensus will be the normal way of making decisions; in cases of disagreement, voting as per Robert’s rules will be the method
  • Two members of the executive and three GREN members constitute a quorum for meetings
  • Members only make decisions. Meetings are open to guests
  • Members who can’t get to a meeting can be involved in discussions, decisions and voting by electronic correspondence
  • When quick decisions are needed, members will be invited to respond by e-mail, a decision will be made by the executive, and the item will be on the agenda for the next meeting
  • The agenda will be circulated at least a week prior to meetings so all members can participate in discussions and decisions