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Second annual Hold the Line festival looks to keep urban sprawl front and centre

The festival was created by a group of local advocates who support the region's country side line policy
Hold the Line
Photo from @samnabi on Twitter

The second annual Hold the Line festival is taking place this weekend. 

The festival was created by a group of local advocates who support the Region of Waterloo country side line policy that limits urban sprawl into the country. 

The festival features two cycling treks including a 135 km ride around the tri-cities and a 35 km cycle around Wellesley. 

The festival, which kicks off Friday evening and runs all day Saturday, also includes multiple musical acts and food trucks. 

Aside from the festival, the group is also making sure the country side line policy is not lost during this year's municipal election. 

"We're not bringing this up as an issue because we think we're going to elect a council full of people that want to bulldoze the countryside." said Sam Nabi, one of the organizers with Hold the Line.

"It's more of a reminder, and also looking forward in the next four years." he added.

"There's a good chance we might have another challenge to the line...we just want to make sure that residents know this is a thing worth protecting, and also that the politicians are aware that a lot of people care about it." Nabi told KitchenerToday.

The countryside line was created back in 2003.

It is essentially a firm boundary between city and country, to set clear boundaries for urban growth in Waterloo Region.

It also protects our drinking water. Nabi says 75 per cent of our water supplies in the cities comes from the ground.

He says there was a challenge by developers a few years ago which saw the line expanded in southwest Kitchener.

"Really what we're trying to do is be pro-active, both with educating citizens on why this is an important thing to preserve, and also just reminding the politicians that what they've done so far is a great job, and we don't want them to lose steam on it. We want them to keep it top of mind when they're planning for the future of urban growth of our cities." added Nabi.

You can read the responses of election candidates here.

with files from Blair Adams

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