Natural Heritage Action Plan

21 MBNatural Heritage Action Plan Manual

About the plan

The Natural Heritage Action Plan prioritizes Guelph’s natural heritage goals and creates an implementation plan for protecting our natural heritage as part of complete healthy communities, which has been identified as a priority in Guelph’s Community Plan. The plan creates a framework for the City’s Official Plan policies specific to the natural heritage system and watershed planning.The Natural Heritage Action Plan identifies studies and guidelines that are needed to maintain, enhance and restore natural heritage, surface water and groundwater features in Guelph. The plan also identifies opportunities to clarify environmental planning requirements to assist with the preparation of development applications.

What is natural heritage?

Natural heritage refers to the many elements of biodiversity, including ecosystem types like woodlands, wetlands, watercourses, valleylands and meadows, which provide habitat for plants and animals. Our ecosystems are healthy and thrive when they are connected to form a natural heritage system. Our natural heritage system will be nurtured and protected for current and future generations to enjoy.

What’s happening?

The Natural Heritage Action Plan was approved by Council on September 10, 2018.

Staff are currently working on implementing the Natural Heritage Action Plan, beginning with the priority actions identified for 2019.


The NHAP was presented at the March 6, 2017 Committee of a Whole and approved by City Council at the March 27, 2017. A copy of the staff report and project charter can be found below.

Related documents

Community engagement

Community input has supported the development of the NHAP through consultation on environmental initiatives, programs and projects throughout 2017 and 2018.
We have been working on the NHAP since it’s initiation in March of 2017. Through a scan of Official Plan policies and background documents ‘themes’ were developed to help organize and categorize actions.

Over the summer of 2017, we undertook a digital survey to get feedback from the community. We gained information about favourite natural spaces, which themes are most important for the action plan and what level of awareness the community holds as it relates to our existing policy framework.
In the fall, we toured members of Council around the City to showcase some of the challenges and opportunities that exist when looking at implementing the existing policy framework to get their input and ideas to help feed into the development of actions.

In January of 2018 3 draft actions workshops were held with the community to gather feedback on proposed actions suggested by staff and seek ideas for other actions from the community.

Finally over the past 8 months, several theme meetings were held with various City departments to gain an understanding on challenges and opportunities, and to help generate ideas around what actions could assist with implementation of existing policies internally.

To help summarize the events to date staff have produced a complete summary of community engagement to date.

Materials from the draft actions workshop

10 MBDraft actions workshop presentation 203 KBDraft actions table (used at the workshops)

For more information

Planning policy and urban design
519-822-1260 extension 5616