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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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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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Unwrapped: New store aims for zero waste and sustainable living

in Community by
Jenny Connell, owner of Unwrapped. The store is located at 101 Kent St., Lindsay.

For her rustic and reused-themed wedding Jenny Connell took a friend’s mother up on an offer of mismatched dishes and cutlery that otherwise sits in boxes 363 days of the year — brought out only for the annual Amnesty International and Machik dinners.

Afterwards Jenny and her husband, Sam, rolled up their sleeves, cleaned off the dishes, and before heading off on their honeymoon, returned them (along with a donation to Amnesty International).

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

in Community/Environment by
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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Schmale joins other rural MPs in asking for Lake Simcoe Clean-up Fund to be restored

in Federal by
Lake Simcoe, near Beaverton. Photo: Roderick Benns.

Local MP Jamie Schmale joined Lake Simcoe area MPs calling on the Prime Minister to follow through on the Lake Simcoe Clean-up Fund.

The six area rural Conservative MPs are asking the new Liberal government to provide a firm commitment and timeline for reinstating the Lake Simcoe Clean-up Fund.

The original funding program assisted local groups with projects that improved the health of the lake for 10 years before it was cancelled by Trudeau’s government two years ago.

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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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Federal election Q & A with Jamie Schmale of the Conservative Party of Canada

in Federal by
Federal election Q & A with Jamie Schmale of the Conservative Party of Canada

Roderick Benns recently interviewed the PPC, Conservative, Liberal, Green, and NDP candidates for Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes, Brock riding to help voters make an informed decision leading up to the election in October. In our fifth and final installment is Jamie Schmale of the Conservative Party of Canada.

Benns: Can you highlight a policy of your party that will lead to increased employment and increased average income in our riding? 

Schmale: The cost of living is top of mind to many voters in Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock and across this country. Two thirds of Canadians feel that they either can’t pay their bills – or feel that they have nothing left over at the end of the month. Almost half of all Canadian households report being less than $200 a month away from insolvency at month’s end. Fuel, food, home heating, and debt – everything keeps getting more expensive.

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Herbicide use on City roads: Safe or Hazardous?

in Community/Environment by
Herbicide use on City roads: Safe or Hazardous?

Some residents have noticed signs of herbicide use along the shoulders of Kawartha Lakes’ roads and wonder what the consequences are of spraying to control vegetation – and if it even need to be done in the first place.

Denis Turcott is one such individual. Driving from his Newmarket home to his seasonal property in the Kawarthas, he became alarmed when he saw dead vegetation — obviously treated with herbicide — at the sides of major roads in proximity to watercourses and wetlands.

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