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Environment

Garden of renewal is here, even as we cope with social distancing

in Environment/Opinion by

It would be easy to imagine that everything is the same as I head outside to do the morning chores. The ducks aren’t really concerned about staying clean and washing their hands. The cats do some washing, but they keep licking their paws first, so I’m not sure that counts.

The chickens are blissfully unaware of pandemics and the need for physical distancing, although a couple of them keep running away from the rooster.

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The elusive waters of spring are essential for our farm land

in Community/Environment by

Every spring, as I walk through the woods on my farm, I see the pools of water that appear between and around the trees. They remind me of the wood between the worlds, made famous in C.S. Lewis’s stories about Narnia. By jumping into a shallow pool in the woods, one is able to enter whole other worlds, some old, some new. All linked by the woods where the pools live.

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Eating meat and saving our place

in Community/Environment by
Eating meat and saving our place

There were about 40 indigenous leaders along with some settlers from across Canada on the bus, listening to a young indigenous teacher tell us about the first peoples of Toronto when the awkward conversation took place.

As one of his stories unfolded the teacher said, “Of course, we don’t say `Indian’ any more, just like we don’t say `Eskimo’.” There was barely a pause before Annie, who is an older Inuit woman, spoke up. “I call myself `Eskimo’,” she said. “It just means someone who eats whale meat, and I eat whale meat.”

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Trash talk: A plastic waste challenge

in Environment by
From L to R: Jamie Morris, Sylvia Keesmaat, Councillor Tracy Richardson, Ginny Colling, and Deb Pearson.

Last year, more than 917 tonnes of plastic was collected from our 38,000 households in Kawartha Lakes. That’s the calculation of Kerry Snoddy, whose forbidding job title is City of Kawartha Lakes waste management regulatory compliance officer.

It’s so easy for each of us to produce heaping, full bins of plastic waste. Reducing plastics to the absolute minimum? Much more difficult.

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What’s going on with Lake Scugog’s walleye?

in Environment by
What's going on with Lake Scugog's walleye?

The City of Kawartha Lakes was not idly named. The lakes and rivers that crisscross our landscape are a hub for year-round recreation and chief among these pastimes is fishing.

On Lake Scugog, especially, anglers have long been a common sight from ice through open water, flocking from all around to wet a line in the lake’s tea-stained waters. In 2016, however, this story changed after the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) placed a year-round closure on Lake Scugog’s walleye fishery.

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Plastic shock: Tonnes of waste destined for landfill from old Northern Plastic plant

in Community/Environment by
Plastic shock: Tonnes of waste destined for landfill from old Northern Plastic plant
Inside the 50,000 sq. ft building, the sight was shocking. Photos: Jamie Morris.

The former Northern Plastic Lumber plant in Lindsay was sold in 2014 to a U.S. company but its corporate legacy lives on – in the form of what may be up to 40,000 tonnes of abandoned plastic waste still to be disposed of.

Almost six years ago the plant was bought by a U.S. firm and all the equipment was moved to Pennsylvania. All the plastic raw material was left behind for disposal by the new owners.

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Our heritage of trees: Look up, way up, at these gentle giants

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American sycamores, Victoria Avenue north of Peel Street. Photo: Jamie Morris.

Consider this an introduction to a collection of remarkable local residents. Some were here long before any of us were born and will be here long after we die; some are, comparatively, youngsters; one is dead. All of them — even the one that’s dead — contribute immeasurably to our town and ask little in return.

Your guide is Tom Mikel, coordinator of Fleming’s urban forestry programs. Each year he takes his students on a field walk to check out these residents, our Lindsay trees. Described here are the ones that always impress those students, that impressed me when he took me on a tour, and that might just impress you, too.

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250 trees and shrubs planted, spearheaded by Lindsay couple

in Environment by
This new forest will act as a windbreak, feed humans, animals, insects, and help with water run-off.

An incredible 250 trees and shrubs were planted recently at Lavender-Blu EcoFarm in Seagrave, spearheaded by a Lindsay couple who operate ‘Plant a Forest.’

Richard and Sandi Gauder’s ‘Plant a Forest’ concept is not an organization, though. It’s a grass roots concept: just buy trees and plant them, according to Richard Gauder.

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Single-use plastics and Styrofoam: Kawartha Lakes considering voluntary ban

in Environment/Municipal by
Kawartha Lakes considering voluntary ban on single-use plastics and Styrofoam

At the November 5 Committee of the Whole, staff brought forward a recommendation to Council for a voluntary ban of Styrofoam and single-use plastics throughout the municipality. Kawartha Lakes alone produces roughly 10 tonnes of Styrofoam waste and more than one third of all plastics collected come from single-use materials.

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From the ashes, a new beginning

in Community/Environment by
A tractor lifts 13 replacement trees into place. Photo: Jamie Morris.

Last month the Advocate reported on the loss of the 13  trees in Lindsay’s tiny Peace Park, located just north of Central Senior Public School on Albert Street. All were ash, all were infested by emerald ash borers. It was, on a small scale, a foretaste of what is happening across the City; experts say all of our 24,000 ash trees will succumb. 

For Peace Park, the loss was particularly poignant:  A plaque mounted near the stumps let visitors know the trees had represented not only our ten provinces and three territories, but “hope for the future.” 

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