Natural Heritage Action Plan

About the plan

The Natural Heritage Action Plan (NHAP) will help us prioritize Guelph’s natural heritage goals and create an implementation plan for protecting our natural resources as part of complete healthy communities. The plan will create a framework for the City’s Official Plan policies specific to the natural heritage system and watershed planning.

The NHAP will include the identification and development of recommendations, studies and guidelines to maintain enhance and restore natural heritage, surface water and ground water features in Guelph. This work will also identify and inform continuous improvement opportunities for development reviews that deal with environmental planning requirements.

What is natural heritage?

Natural heritage refers to the many elements of biodiversity, including plants, animals, ecosystem types, and geological structures and formations. As part of natural heritage we aim to take the natural elements which we inherited from past generations, maintain them in good health today and bestow them to future generations.

What’s happening?

Staff have made revisions to the Natural Heritage Action Plan document to incorporate feedback on the draft document that was available for public input in July 2018. A total of 40 responses were received on the draft NHAP. Input was also sought from the Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) and the River Systems Advisory Committee (RSAC) throughout the development of the NHAP, including on the draft document.

Revisions have been made to the draft Natural Heritage Action Plan that was presented to Committee of the Whole on July 4, 2018 in response to public feedback.

A final recommend Natural Heritage Action Plan is being taken to Council on September 10 for approval.

2 MBRecommended Natural Heritage Action Plan


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