The City aims to lead the community by example by developing and implementing innovative policies and programs to reduce the environmental impacts from the City's operations, including reducing energy consumption and GHG emissions.

 Climate Change
 Climate change has been identified as one of the defining challenges of the 21st century by Natural Resources Canada. Based on scientific evidence, the primary cause of the Earth's changing climate is due to the surge in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from human activity. All across Canada, municipal governments are taking action to reduce GHG emissions and mitigate their effect on climate change. The implementation of these local GHG emissions reduction plans encourage municipalities to create tangible changes in their local communities, while together tackling a global concern.

In 2019, the City of Port Colborne became one of 64 municipalities across Canada, and one of five municipalities in Niagara, to receive a Climate Change Staff Grant from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities “Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program”. This staff grant funded a Climate Change Coordinator position for 24 months, whose task is to develop and implement a GHG Emissions Reduction Plan to assist City departments in reducing their GHG emissions.

See the Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program website for more information.

 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan
 Recognizing the impacts of climate change and the role that the City can play in decreasing GHG emissions, the City of Port Colborne's Greenhous Gas Emissions Reduction Plan (GGRP) commits to leading by example in its own corporate operations; adopting and demonstrating sustainable, energy conserving, climate change mitigation practices that are communicated and encouraged throughout the community. The City's corporate operation sectors include buildings, fleet, streetlights, and solid waste. The energy and emissions associated with these sectors are tracked in the corporate inventory. The City's GHG emissions inventory is based on operations from 2017, with the total being 1,730 tonnes of eCO2. An overall emissions reduction target of 10% by 2030 has been set, which is based on reductions targets as summarized here:

GHG emissions reduction initiatives

  • Lower targets (1.5 - 2.5% each

  • Building retrofits

  • Employee energy training

  • Waste diversion program

  • Energy efficiency standard commitment for new-builds

  • Higher targets (3 - 4% each)

  • Application of a Green Procurement Policy/Climate lens

See the City of Port Colborne Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Plan for details on how we hope to achieve our emissions reduction target.

 Pollinator Corridors

In 2015, Council approved an initiative that was brought forward by a local resident Patty Moss, with the support of the Environmental Advisory Committee, to protect the Monarch Butterfly. This initiative involved changing the timing and reducing how often the rural roadsides are cut. Allowing the vegetation to grow provides natural habitat for the monarchs so that the eggs can grow to adults and increases the number of flowers for all insects

This initiative has continued and has expanded to include at least a dozen roads in Port Colborne. Monitoring by Ms. Moss has shown that the monarch butterflies are flourishing along the roadsides.

Butterfly signs have been posted along many of these roads and have a QR code to link back to this page so that curious residents and visitors can learn more about this initiative.

Image of butterfly sign on Pinecrest Road

Why roadsides?

Roadside flowers are resilient species that provides much needed habitat for monarch butterflies and other pollinator insects, like bees. Roadsides are also natural corridors – not only do roads allow vehicles to get from point to point – the roadsides enable insects to travel from one area to another while providing food, water and shelter. Pollinator insects have been in decline and using these areas will help ensure a healthy population in the future.

Image of Pinecrest Road ditch strip

One of the most important plants that grow on roadsides is Common Milkweed. Monarch butterflies will only lay eggs on the leaves of milkweed plants as milkweed is the only food that monarch caterpillars will eat. Therefore, it is very important that milkweed plant are not cut down before the eggs have been laid, nor before the caterpillars have developed into adults

.Image of Monarch butterfly laying eggs on a milkweed plant

Caterpillar on weaver

What is a pollinator?

A pollinator is an insect, mammal, or bird that helps carry pollen from the male part of the flower (stamen) to the female part of another flower (stigma). Pollination is the fertilization process of many plants that allows them to produce fruits, seeds and young plants. Local pollinators include bees, butterflies, moths, bats, and birds. There are as many as 150 different species of bees found in the Niagara Peninsula, and approximately 400 species in Ontario, including mining, leaf-cutter, bumblebees, tiny sweat bees and carpenter bees. Approximately 75 per cent of flowering plants depend on pollinators, including many of the fruits and vegetables we eat. 

How can you help?

Let your ditches grow, see what flowers emerge within two years. It is amazing that over 52 types of flowers grow along the roads here in Port Colborne. If you are interested in naturalizing your ditch and if you need more information please contact Patty Moss at

You can also consider installing wild bee boxes or simply providing bare soil for ground nesting bees or brush for bumblebees! Various styles of wild bee boxes have been installed along the roadsides to monitor wild bee activity. By installing these boxes, we can monitor and see if wild bees are using the boxes during different periods of the season for their young.

Image of a wild bee using a bee box

More information on the status of wild bees in Niagara can be found on Brock University's website

Gardening for Pollinators

Pollinators, like most living things, need shelter, food and water. Some are specialists and only feed on specific species of plant, while others are generalists. The best way to attract pollinators to your garden is to plant a diversity of native plants – various colours, flower shapes, blooming times and species.

Native plants are indigenous to a specific area, have evolved there through thousands of years of changing geological conditions which have shaped their physical features and biology. This natural evolution makes the use of native plants ideal for local climate and environmental conditions. Because of this, they do not require additional watering and thrive without the application of pesticides and fertilizers. They are the best and most desirable food source for local species of pollinators and other wildlife.

You can attract pollinators by establishing a pollinator garden, or simply by adding native plants to your existing garden, water garden, potted display and even your vegetable garden. Leave flower stems and leaf litter in the garden over the winter to provide shelter for insects. Wait until there is no danger of frost to clean out the garden in the spring. If you are applying mulch to your garden, leave some areas of bare soil for solitary ground nesting bees.


Additional Resources from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA):

Pollinator Habitat Guide

Native Plant Guide

A Growing Guide for Southern Ontario

Native tree, plant, and shrub providers 

Environmental Initiatives

The Port Colborne Environmental Advisory Committee offers Environmental Initiatives through different rebate programs.

There are a limited number of rebates available each year. Rebates will be issued on a first come, first served basis.

Earth Day

 Tree Giveaway - April 19, 2024

7 to 11:30 a.m.
King George Park during the Port Colborne Farmer’s Market

In celebration of Earth Day, and in partnership with the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority (NPCA) and Sassafras Farms, we will be giving away 500 trees to Port Colborne residents (limit of three per household) on Friday, April 19, 2024, from 7 to 11:30 a.m. at King George Park. City staff will be collecting addresses from residents taking trees as part of a project to test the survival rates of the trees planted and assist with choosing tree species for the city in the future.  Staff from Sassafras Farms will also be hand to provide product and information about pollinator beds.


Rebate programs

 Tree planting rebate program
Purchase a tree from the approved list of trees compiled from the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority guide to native plants and receive up to a $50 rebate.

See the terms of reference on the tree planting rebate application form for more information.


Tree Planting Rebate - Terms and Conditions

Tree Planting Rebate Program Application Form


Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority Trees For All

The Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority has partnered with local community groups, environmental agencies, and government organizations that share a common interest in helping Canada reach its goal of planting 2 Billion Trees for a better tomorrow. Together these groups have formed the Niagara Peninsula Tree Planting Partnership, striving to bring as many trees to the Niagara Peninsula watershed as possible, and we need your help!


The Niagara Peninsula Tree Planting Partnership is seeking private landowners to express their interest in tree plantings opportunities on their property to include as part of a future planting grant application and to help shape the Trees For All program. If you have land in Niagara, Haldimand, or Hamilton, we're looking for you.


NPCA Get Involved Portal 


Under the Electricity Act, 1998 all municipalities must comply with the Broader Public Sector: Energy Reporting and Conservation and Demand Management Plans regulation. This regulation requires the City to prepare an Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan that is updated every five years, and to compile and submit their energy consumption data annually. For more information see the Broader Public Sector: Energy Reporting and Conservation and Demand Management Plans regulation

Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan

The City's first Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan (ECDM Plan) was approved by Council in 2014. Energy conservation efforts from 2014 to 2019 achieved the following:

  • Lighting incentives to replace existing inefficient light bulbs (fluorescent and incandescent) to more energy efficient fluorescent bulbs – resulting in 21% decrease in normalized electrical energy intensity
  • Streetlight incentive to retrofit all City-owned streetlights to LED lights – resulting in 41% decrease in annual costs
  • HVAC incentives to upgrade heating and ventilation units at Roselawn and the Library – resulting in a 20% reduction in normalized natural gas energy intensity and the Library, and a 10% reduction at Roselawn.

More details on these projects and others success stories can be found in the new EDCM Plan, which was approved by Council in June 2019.

The new ECDM Plan is built upon the successful foundation laid by the City's 2014-2019 ECDM Plan.

New for the 2019-2024 Plan, are a set of four quantitative goals with respect to energy management:

GoalTargetYear achieved by

Reduce annual energy intensity associated with electricity

10% reduction in annual energy intensity


Reduce electricity consumption from computer server

25% reduction in electricity used by computer servers


Electricity reduction from limiting unnecessary electricity usage

200,000kWh reduction from electricity consumption associated with lighting and plug load


Manage load demand and energy consumption for an overall reduction

15% reduction of yearly kWh/HDD


Please review the ECDM Plan for more information on targets, initiatives and more.


 Annual Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reports
 The City produces an annual Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions report. The report includes energy consumption data (electricity and natural gas) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for all City facilities that are heated and/or cooled. The data from two calendar years previous is used for each annual report (i.e., 2017 data reported in 2019, 2018 data reported in 2020 and so on). The City must submit the report to the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines.

Reports are available free of charge at the Engineering and Operations Centre, located at 1 Killaly Street West, or by clicking on the report links below:

2021 GHG Emissions Report

2020 GHG Emissions Report

2019 GHG Emissions Report

2018 GHG Emissions Report

2017 GHG Emissions Report

2016 GHG Emissions Report

2015 GHG Emissions Report