Our blog this week was submitted by Quinten Wiegersma. Quinten is a high school student, a young environmentalist and an active member of Ontario Nature’s Youth Council.
I have been extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to see so much of Ontario, from Pelee Island on Lake Erie, to the shores of the Arctic Ocean on James Bay and almost everywhere in between (if you’d like to read about some of my adventures you can check out my blog: Birds, Bugs & Botany). Whether I am watching birds, catching dragonflies, hunched over a cool plant, or listening to a wolf howling off in the distance, it all boils down to one thing – my life is defined by nature.
Many of my fondest memories involve protected places. As a young environmentalist coming from the heavily developed Southwestern Ontario, places that have been set aside for nature are often the only areas where I am able to go and enjoy the wonderful world of the outdoors. I am not alone. Thousands more pour into these protected areas each year to enjoy the peace and serenity nature offers us.
Ontario is truly a very special place when it comes to the environment. There are few places on earth that have shorelines, grasslands, expansive freshwater marshes, woodlands, boreal forest and tundra all within its borders. With such unique diversity it makes sense to try and protect as much as possible, right?
Protected places are very important to me, as I know they are to so many other people. They inspired me to become an environmentalist and my hope is that more natural areas will be protected to continue to inspire the love of nature in future generations.
In order for that to happen, we must fight for protected places today. Ontario Nature is fighting to protect Ontario’s wild spaces through their Protected Places Campaign. They are urging the government to meet their commitment to protect at least 17 percent of our lands and inland waters by 2020.
This month, they are devoting their Giving Tuesday cause to this campaign. Every dollar raised will help fight to protect the places we love. Ontario Power Generation will match every dollar you give, up to $15,000. Together, we can protect 17 percent of lands and inland waters in Ontario. You can donate today or visit here for more information.
Quinten Wiegersma is a young birder from southern Ontario and a member of the Ontario Nature Youth Council. You can follow Quinten's birding adventures on his blog, Birds, Bugs & Botany.