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2013 Caledon Resident Environmental Survey

Poll reveals Caledon residents have strong environmental attitudes and practices

Just in time for Earth Hour on March 23 and Earth Day on April 22

 (Caledon, Ontario, March 19, 2013) The findings of a public opinion poll released today by the Caledon Countryside Alliance (CCA) confirm environmental issues remain a high priority for residents of Caledon. The research was conducted by Oraclepoll Research between January 23rd and January 25th, 2013 and was commissioned to evaluate residents’ current environmental attitudes and practices. This polling data is consistent with similar studies done in 2008 and 2004.

“Once again, the survey results support our understanding of Caledon residents,” says Karen Hutchinson, CCA’s Executive Director.  “Caledon’s abundant natural and cultural heritage combined with its small town feels evoke a strong community commitment that translates into residents devoting time to make a difference where they can.  This is clearly evident in the high level of support for environmental beliefs, actions and initiatives.”

The most important top of mind environmental issues facing Caledon continued to be growth, development and sprawl.  Further, there was overwhelming support for maintaining the size of Caledon and for preventing it being from being overdeveloped. When asked “do you want Caledon to remain a small town of 100,000 people?”, as in 2008, 87% of all respondents continued to indicate that they wished Caledon remain a small town. The support was consistent across all five wards, ranging from a low of 79.4% in Ward 1 to a high of 95.5% of residents in Ward 3.  Support for this issue has remained strong, even though it is not in the news like it was prior to the 2008 survey.

Interest in ground water protection continued to be a high priority for a near majority of those questioned (98%).  Ensuring clean air (96%) and supporting action on climate change and limiting greenhouse gas (88%) were all listed as important by residents.  The link between health of the environment and health of individuals is strong with 89% in total agreement.

Several new indicators were measured for importance to residents including reducing household waste (92%), having a strong farm economy (93%), have a strong local based business community (88%) and buying environmentally friendly products (81%).

Countryside support remains strong and residents recognize the role of agriculture in the town as an important contributor to the town as 91% believe it is important to have a strong and vibrant agricultural community.  Also important to residents was buying local grown foods and products (91%) and preserving agricultural lands (95%).  This was further supported with strong awareness of the Caledon Farmer’ Market (83%), the Inglewood Farmers’ Market (75%) and Eat Local Caledon (69%).

“This survey highlights the important role of community programs, initiatives and events for the environment and also for agriculture, food, arts, horticulture, heritage, sport and other initiatives in Caledon to engage residents and make our community stronger,” said Karen Hutchinson.

“As a community, Caledon residents continue to be some of the most environmentally aware and engaged citizens in Canada,” observed Dr. Paul Seccaspina of Oraclepoll Research. “The 2004 polling data established baseline indicators that we tracked in 2008 and then again this year and results have shown both consistency in the ‘buy with the environmental cause’ as well as steady growth in support.”

The Caledon survey was conducted by Oraclepoll Research between January 23rd and 25th 2013 and is considered accurate to +/- 5.6% 19/20. To review the polling data, visit www.eatlocalcaledon.org.

 

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