Ever driven through Simcoe County or your own community and nostalgically mused, “Remember when this was just a farm field”, as you pass another strip mall or subdivision? Such a comment means you’re noticing how your community is growing, how its land is being used. Land use is an essential ingredient in any community’s character. Preserving green spaces, directing housing to specific areas, determining where schools and parks will be located – it’s all part of land use planning. Who wants to see their natural heritage replaced by rows and rows of non-descript houses? Or see too few parks or no schools at all in communities that need them? Right now, the Ontario government is asking for your thoughts on land use planning and how to fund growth. If you’re not sure what you’d like to say directly to the Province, but still want an opportunity to speak out , please join Environmental Defence, Barrie Councillor Alex Nuttall and the Midhurst Ratepayers’ Association on Saturday, December 7 at an information session for ratepayers, local organizations and business leaders. Our goal is to make it easier for you to understand this process and how to demand better for our communities. You’ll find us at the Monte Carlo Inn – Barrie, 81 Hart Drive, starting at 1:30. Stay for the reception afterwards and network for mutual advantage. Together, we can have a substantial impact on these important issues. Please feel free to contact us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to see you there!