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Norland forester plants one millionth tree

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A Norland area forester has planted her 1,000,000th tree on a property near Norland in May.

Eleanor Reed has been a planting delivery agent for the 50 Million Tree Program since it began in 2008. The program is managed by Forests Ontario and was funded by the Province of Ontario until 2019 and will be funded by the federal government in 2020 – 2025, after the Province under the Conservative government cancelled the program.

Through the program, Reed planted trees for over 150 landowners in Kawartha Lakes and surrounding municipalities. She established nearly 1300 acres of forest. These young forests sequester significant amounts of carbon every year and help to mitigate the effects of climate change.

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Environmental Youth Hero Award recipients recognized

in Environment by
Dunsford students Leah Connor, Jake Connor and Mattie Ariza, for their environmental project titled “Operation Garbage Pickers.” With Pat Warren and Tracy Richardson.

During the week of June 24, Kawartha Lakes Environmental Advisory Committee recognized students across the municipality for their exemplary efforts toward enhancing and protecting the environment in the current school year (2018 to 2019). A total of three awards were presented to students ranging from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 7.

The first Environmental Youth Hero award was presented to Alexis Benns, a Grade 7 student at Central Senior Public School, who was nominated for her efforts in raising awareness on climate change by organizing community marches. Alexis felt compelled to take action on her own because of her recent studies of the impacts that climate change is having on the environment. On March 15 and May 3, Ms. Benns was able to organize two marches that involved not only students from multiple schools within the area, but members of the community as well.

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Contaminated brownfields: Time to clean up our ugly past

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Contaminated brownfields: Time to clean up our ugly past
Photo: Sienna Frost.

We have all driven or walked past them — the empty lots, both big and small, that have sat undeveloped and seemingly abandoned or forgotten, in some cases for decades. Whether it’s a former gas station on the city’s busiest street, the site of a former brake pad factory or a long empty First World War munitions plant cum rubber processor, these sites — referred to commonly as ‘brownfields’ — lie dormant; they are victims of an earlier time.

We used to do things a lot differently in the past. Be it from a leaky gas station tank or the unsafe handling and disposal of chemicals used in manufacturing, we have been left with a sobering, expensive – and ugly – brownfields legacy.

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Water: How farmers meet the challenge of too little, too much

in Community/Environment by
Leslie Dyment, at Crow Hill Farm in Cameron.

Farmers have been concerned about water issues for as long as human beings have been growing crops. From the irrigation ditches of the ancient near east, to the flooding of ancient Egypt, the lack of water, or too much of it, has shaped the rhythms of farming life.

As a result, farmers throughout history have developed various strategies related to water. Some of these—like the worship of ancient fertility gods and goddesses—seem a little odd to us now. Some, like tile drainage, are still practiced but are somewhat controversial. Others, such as the use of terrace farming and dams, continue to be used today.

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Dandelion days: What will you have to drink?

in Environment/Opinion by

It was a warm spring day at our food co-op as we ran the annual plant exchange. Gardeners with overflowing yards had dropped off excess plants and cuttings, and now those in need of greenery were choosing which plants they would like to take home.

“Excuse me,” said a hesitant voice, “I’m looking for some help with dandelions.” It was one of the neighbours from down the block. “I really need to find a way to deal with all the dandelions in my grass.”

My colleague and I shared a glance. “Well,” I said, “You could always leave them. They are one of the earliest sources of pollen for bees, and they are fun for the kids to pick. You could also eat their leaves.”

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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

in Environment/Municipal by
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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Permaculture: A better approach to gardening for your health, wealth, and environment

in Community/Environment by

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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Healthy Environment Plan 18 months in the making

in Environment/Municipal by
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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