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Water in plastic: Who’s most responsible in the drive for endless growth?

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Water in plastic: Who’s most responsible in the drive for endless growth?

It was a peaceful climate justice protest organized by a high school student inspired by activist Greta Thunberg. A man approached us to say he fully supported what we were doing; and in the next breath said he hoped we didn’t think the carbon tax was going to make a difference. A fellow protester asked him what approach we should take: “Reduce, reuse and recycle. Just like we’ve always done.” Our visitor then jumped into his car and drove away.

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Kawartha Lakes looking at new alternatives to reduce environmental footprint

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Kawartha Lakes looking at new alternatives to reduce environmental footprint
Councillor Kathleen Seymour-Fagan has proposed a possible Styrofoam ban.

A motion brought forward by Councillor Kathleen Seymour-Fagan to Committee of the Whole on May 7 proposed looking at a possible Styrofoam ban. The memo recommended that Kawartha Lakes staff conduct a study surrounding the feasibility of a ban and bring a report back to Council by the end of this year.

“It’s time that we do something. We can’t ban what’s coming in from external sources, such as online retailers, but we can ban what’s being used and sold directly in our municipality. It all ends up in the landfill,” commented Councillor Seymour-Fagan.

“I own a restaurant and there are options to ban Styrofoam. Part of our Strategic Plan is a healthy environment, and this is part of a healthy environment. It’s time we take a leadership role in change.”

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‘We want change:’ Student activists demand climate change action in strike

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Several major cities across Canada saw climate strikes similar to this one. Photo: Mallory Cramp-Waldinsperger.

They may not be old enough to vote, but a group of students made their voices loud and clear in today’s climate strike. What began as a handful of Central Senior Public School students gathering at Victoria Park quickly grew to a swarm of approximately 70 protesters.

As they marched down Kent Street in downtown Lindsay today, the students, accompanied by several adult supporters carried handmade signs with slogans like “The sea is rising, so are we,” and “Planet over profit.”

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Marsh at Colborne and Hwy 35 formed while development stalled

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Marsh at Colborne and Hwy 35 formed while development stalled

Most residents of Lindsay are well aware of the construction efforts taking place at Colborne street and highway 35. Talk of a new Walmart, along with plans for more housing is making this a hot topic.

However, it is fair to say that many people are probably unaware of the finer details of the whole matter.

When topsoil was removed from the site some 10-15 years ago, a layer of clay from beneath the ground was exposed, which allowed spring rainwater to pool and accumulate. Over time, this formed a small marsh, which has now become home to numerous species of plants and wildlife. Some of these species are plants like Asters, Reeds, Horsetails and Water Plantain. In addition, Raccoons, Muskrats and Coyotes have also chosen to call the marsh home.

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For the birds — and for people who want birds

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Two approaches to birding: 1. Go to where the birds are. 2. Get the birds to come to you.

A few weeks ago Rob Stavinga, whose day-job is watershed resources technician with Kawartha Conservation but whose full-time passion is birds, demonstrated the first. He led two groups on “owl prowls” at Ken Reid Conservation Area, where, as of January, 2019, a total of 176 bird species have been reported.

Last week he addressed that second approach. After a nudge from his wife, he reluctantly put down his binoculars (he’d been checking out redpolls at his feeders) and made his way to Ops Community Centre to present a “Backyard Birding” workshop, one of a number of educational events being sponsored by the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust.

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Burnt River grapples with flooding as Ford slashes funding

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Burnt River flooding continues. Photo: Geoff Coleman.

Flooding in the Burnt River and Fenelon Falls area continues, as sandbags are filled for resident pickup at the Burnt River Works Yard. Meanwhile, the PC government under Premier Doug Ford has slashed flood funding by 50 per cent to the conservation authorities that do this work. While the Burnt River area is not under Kawartha Conservation’s purview, the Fenelon Falls area is.

The Gull and Black rivers are at very high levels due to snowmelt and heavy precipitation. Water levels are being managed as best as possible but flooding is likely to occur in areas prone to flooding along these rivers.

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On the Owl Prowl at Ken Reid Conservation

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The Northern Saw Whet loves dense forests.

The first rule of Owl Prowl is: You do not talk — about Owl Prowl or anything else — when you enter the owl’s world. Listen, listen, listen, is the advice offered by Rob Stavinga, the avid birder leading the prowl.

We — the lucky few who snapped up the spots for Kawartha Conservation’s first prowl –are gathered in the Ken Reid administration centre on a Saturday evening to learn about owls and hear some pre-prowl tips.

Rob wants us to become a bit owl-like ourselves, though from his introduction, it’s clear we’ll never come up to owl standards. There are 22 of us, including an excited and excitable three-and-a-half year old named Ian, and we have none of the sound-dampening adaptations of owls, so we’re just not going to be completely soundless.

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Permaculture: A better approach to gardening for your health, wealth, and environment

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If you want to be an environmentally conscious gardener or homeowner, it may be worth considering an alternative method to planning your property. The traditional North American suburban lawn and garden typically requires much maintenance, generous amounts of watering and the addition of fertilizers and chemicals in order to be successful.

These activities degrade land and incorporate pollutants into the local environment. Quite recently, around the world, a new movement has brought hope for the future of our planet, and it starts with the homeowner.

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Learning from the first ‘farmers’ how to save the earth

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There is something about a drive through the country that is deeply satisfying. Green fields divided by tree lines or split rail fences. The occasional dry stone wall. Cattle or sheep dotted in the fields and cozy farmhouses flanked by wooden barns. An idyllic picture of a pastoral farming way of life.

When the first settlers came to Canada and encountered the Indigenous people of these lands, they did not realize that the land they were looking at also reflected a pastoral, farming way of life. There was so much lush greenery. The woods seems so thick and the animals so abundant. This was nothing like the farms they had left behind in England and France and Spain. This land didn’t appear to be managed. It didn’t look controlled. And it certainly didn’t look as though anyone was trying to raise crops or breed animals.

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Healthy Environment Plan 18 months in the making

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Holding the Healthy Environment Plan: Tracy Richardson, Councillor, Denise Williams, Project Lead.

The Healthy Environment Plan has been 18 months in the making, involving a 60-member working group and consultations with more than 2,600 community members.

Council Champion Tracy Richardson kicked off the presentation by sharing that “the Healthy Environment Plan is a transformational plan that maps out high-level strategies for reducing greenhouse gasses over the next 10 years. It addresses changes in our growing seasons, droughts, flooding, impact of freeze-thaw cycles and warmer lake temperatures. This is a community plan; it was created with the community and will be carried out by all of us as we seek to cope with climate change adaptation and mitigation.”

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