The Ontario government recently scrapped the province’s Cap and Trade program and is now looking for suggestions, by Nov. 16, as to what they should replace it with. Replace it they must. In early October, the UN’s panel of climate scientists released a report warning that we have 12 years to limit warming to 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels (that’s .5 degrees more than our current warming level).
A new cooperative project is taking shape in Kawartha Lakes aimed at providing residents with access to fresh and healthy fruit. Under the direction of the Kawartha Lakes Food Coalition Food Security Working Group, apple and pear trees will be planted at Orchard Park in Lindsay. An additional 70 apple trees are being planted at affordable housing sites across Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton.
“This fruit will feed seniors, children and adults in Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton who live in poverty. At the same time, it creates habitat and food for wildlife while reducing pollution and the effects of carbon emissions,” commented Liza Hancock, anti-poverty and human rights activist who spearheaded the project.
Imagine that you are standing on the water tower in Fenelon Falls, looking as far as the eye can see. To the north lies Coboconk, to the east Bobcaygeon. To the south is Lindsay and to the west Beaverton. Except that you can’t see any of these places. Instead all you see is bare earth, roads and trucks driving deeper and deeper into excavated dirt. In fact, as far south as Pontypool there is no vegetation, just dirt piled higher and higher as the trucks go deeper.
This is what I saw when I went to the oil sands four years ago. An entire ecosystem destroyed, with the result that even those who live far outside of the tar sands can’t find animals to hunt anymore, berries to eat anymore, water that doesn’t give them cancer.
It was a hot evening when we visited with José after his shift in the papaya factory in Belize. We were there to hear his story: how he had grown up in a small village close by, how he had cultivated corn for tortillas on communal village land, and beans, squash, peppers and greens in a garden behind his thatched hut.
Then the papaya company moved in and the government forced him and the other villagers off their land so that papaya could be grown instead. José now works at the papaya factory for very low wages. Not only does he have to buy his food in the town, he now also has to pay rent.
Jason Brain is by no means the first local resident to be dismayed by litter in our community and take action. We have had ‘adopted roads’ in several parts of the city for years. Every spring, for example, the Fenelon Falls Rotary Club cleans up the ditches along part of CKL Road 8 going out of Fenelon.
Many other organizations, businesses, families and individuals do the same throughout our city and have done so for years: Taking personal time and effort to clean what is public land. And just ask anyone who owns property along alternate routes to our dumps – they are constantly picking up for other inconsiderate — and let’s face it — criminal people.
We have all noticed it lately while driving around the Kawartha Lakes. A farm goes up for sale. Once sold, the big machines go in and cut down the trees between the fields, often piling them up into piles for burning. Then the spring rains come. The field, without trees, doesn’t drain well. There are new boggy areas. The new landowner, at considerable expense, has someone come in to lay the long plastic pipes to tile, or drain, the field, in hopes that this will solve the problem. But this is not the only problem that has been created.
Joe Valas never intended to be a full-time beekeeper, but for 60 years, honey fans in the Kawartha Lakes have been glad he did just that.
After escaping Slovakia in 1952, Valas — a cabinetmaker trained to work with hand tools — moved to Southampton to find work. However, machinery had taken over furniture production in Canada, so he took temporary work on a farm and instead, found a field of clover.
School’s not yet out at Fleming College’s Frost Campus where the summer semester is just now winding down for some students in Fish & Wildlife, Ecosystem Management, Forestry, and Heavy Equipment, and where environmental projects have been on the go all summer.
Maybe because the campus is on the edge of town, what happens there often passes unnoticed. Too bad, because what happens is cutting-edge and inspiring environmental action.
After a quick summer stroll through downtown Lindsay, one can see that this little town of ours is full of life. Trees and flowering plants take refuge on lawns and in neighbouring yards, and yet some of those plants are less than welcome. Dog-Strangling Vine is a highly invasive species which was introduced from Eurasia to the United States as a garden plant in the mid-1800s.
Now, in the 21st century, it has become increasingly prolific in Southern Ontario, competing with native plant species that are essential food sources for our insects, birds, and mammals. For those who can recognize its characteristic oval-shaped leaves, arranged in pairs on its fleshy stem, and seed pods which resemble green chili peppers, it is a frightful addition to Lindsay’s list of flora.
It’s 9 a.m. at Victoria Park. Another hot, cloudless summer morning, so a picnic table in the shade of an oak tree in Victoria Park is a good place to be. It is in fact the perfect place to be to meet up with Megan Phillips, the City’s horticulturist. Megan and some of her six-member crew of summer students have some work to do in the park.
They aren’t hard to spot. A City truck pulls up and they all clamber out in steel-toed work-boots and fluorescent orange high-visibility t-shirts.