In celebration of our 85th anniversary, we are starting a Conservation Conversation! To get the conversation going, we’re asking you to share the actions you will take for nature today, and your hopes and dreams for nature tomorrow. We have been humbled, awed and inspired by your responses. Here are a few of our favourites so far. We’ll continue to post more as they come in.
“I try to keep my backyard as eco-friendly as possible.” — Ruth Hancock
Wild for wildflowers; Photo Credit: Colleen Cirillo
“Enjoying nature at the Beaches and Toronto Islands and relishing my pollinator garden with all its flourishing flowers and bees” — Melanie Milanich
Bumblebee on prairie blazingstar; Photo Credit: Lindsay Barden
“My hope is that more people will become much more conscious of conservation awareness, or the lack of it, and how it affects the world around us.” — Mrs. S. Chatterton
“We must protect our wild, natural environment. It’s under threat! Children and young people need opportunities to be outside and connect with nature.” – Phoebe, Toronto, longtime member
Hanging out at our Willoughby Nature Reserve; Photo Credit: Diana Troya
“It breaks my heart to see appalling loss of habitat. Our constant expansion without regard for wildlife is an absolute tragedy. I have a wonderful dream where everyone values the preservation of nature and we are inspired to protect it.” – Gail, Toronto, member for more than 30 years
Lush wetland habitat; Photo Credit: Joe Crowley
“Every winter we feed the birds. Every fall and spring we plant various saplings or acorns. Every spring we patrol a portion of the Spanish River to pick up garbage that has floated down with the spring flood.” – B & B, Massey, members since 2006
red-breasted nuthatch; Photo Credit: Peter Ferguson
“It gives me a lot of satisfaction that Ontario Nature is making a direct impact in the lives of young people, who hold our future in their hands.” – Andrea, Bowmanville, member since 2007
Spotting a red-backed salamander at the 2015 Youth Summit; Photo Credit: Noah Cole
“Last 2 years, I have organized small community cleanup drives in my area. This year I formed a local group called “Richmond Hill Friends of the Environment”. Our group of 10 adults and children have partnered with RedStone Public School in Richmond Hill to adopt a stream in our neighbourhood. ( Headwaters Community Park). We work with Ontario Streams and our commitment is to protect and care for our local green areas. My hopes and dreams are for a beautiful, green, clean Canada for all generations to come. I want to work towards instilling a love for nature in the children of my neighbourhood.” –Priya U.
“Keep pushing to stop herbicide application in the forests of Northern Ontario. Hydro and forestry companies are killing biodiversity.” —Philippe C.
“As a landscape professional with a biology degree my career has always and will always be focused around studying, conserving and creating new natural areas with appropriate plants and habitat niches to support out local species. This includes planting pollinator gardens, rain gardens, and native food-producing plants such as elderberry, pawpaw, and raspberries in order to create more resilient food systems and cities. By providing food and habitat for local wildlife and facilitating connection of people to the land I hope to improve how we understand and interact with nature. However, as someone that does not have my own property to steward, I believe some of my biggest impacts come from voting with my dollar by buying local and refusing to take part in regular financial systems. I look for triple bottom line companies and products to invest in and donate to organizations that support causes that contribute to nature protection.” —Alison M.
“I have a patch of garden in my backyard that is devoted to common milkweed and other flowers that butterflies and other pollinators like. In terms of tomorrow, I hope that we humans can conserve and cherish our fragile species for posterity.” —Mara G.
“I would like to help children grow up with a positive view of nature and conservation work by fostering a sense of awe.” —Dana B.
“Canoe with our children, soaking in lakes and trails, teaching them to tread lightly and to be inspired by the awe. ‘The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit‘ -Nelson Henderson –Michelle B.
“Sadly as I look around I see the degradation of our wild spaces and wild things. I hope through my humble efforts as a lecturer, professional guide and writer to share what I know and to instill in others the passion I feel for wildlife. If each of us could simply embrace a sincere caring for nature and do something small like pick up litter, plant a butterfly garden, rescue an injured animal or simply share your own knowledge the world would be a better place.” —Geoff C.
“Today through my work with children, I will strive to immerse them into Nature. My hopes and dreams for the future are to use my professional skills (Reflexologist, RECE, and Forest School Practitioner), to create a special center for various ages to encounter nature and promote wellness.” –Bonnie L.
“My hope is that protecting the environment will not be constantly trumped by economic development. The two can work together to provide sustainable, green jobs and the lifestyle we all can enjoy.” —Lynda G.
“I sign every petition and letter I get online from a myriad of conservation organizations worldwide. Have done so for years. At least 50,000. Any environmental issue, any wildlife issue, natural area issue, wildlife habitat issue, marine issue, etc. I’m quite certain there is a large growing mindfulness on the part of more and more people worldwide to be interested in, concerned about, and help protect and nurture animals and nature with each spin of the globe. And this is good.” —Kenneth L.
“The plan is to move closer to work and get rid of the car. We buy mostly all organic produce and as often as we can, we buy local from sustainable farms.” —Rebecca W.
I will continue years of letter writing, researching and generally complaining about the disorder and/or lack of planning for northwestern Ontario’s boreal forest and all flora and fauna within it.
“I desperately hope for more Ontario citizens and politicians to work together to sensibly and sincerely understand just how quickly climate change, industrial actions and lack of insight from our natural resources and environmental ministers have about northern Ontario. Nothing will save our moose, caribou, forests etc without coordinated care. I also hope for research and scientific interest in northern Ontario.” –Karen N.
“I love cleaning plastic garbage off of any beach I visit, locally or abroad. I hope and wish that we can prevent plastic and garbage from entering waterways and better yet, if we all just pick a few pieces when we visit a beach the impact is much bigger than we think.” —Alex F.
“We use no pesticides or chemical sprays, and try to keep much of our 25 acres as natural as possible. We do this even though we grow hay for our two horses and keep a large pasture for them. Our hope is that there will be enough natural areas that our grandchildren and their grandchildren can enjoy natural areas of the country, and continue to see birds and other wildlife living in a wild natural environment.” —Tony C.
“My front yard is flowers and strategically placed fruit (rhubarb, tomatoes), and vegetables (Swiss chard, beans, leeks). My back yard is a mature Carolinian forest of black oak complete with may apples, Solomon’s seal, early meadow rue, violets, jack-in-the-pulpit, ferns, and bloodroot. The forest is well over 100 years old– I know, I’ve been here for 77 of them!” — Marilyn F.
“I am attempting to and will hopefully succeed in making my backyard into a native plant wildlife habitat. Less lawn, more creatures! I am trying to reduce my overall consumption and waste, drive an EV, and try to bike wherever I can. In the future, I hope we build sustainable cities with appropriate density and transportation so that we can preserve wild spaces. There are so many exciting ideas happening now, from green energy to rooftop gardens and beyond; I hope they catch fire and take hold. Oh, and I hope that one day it becomes normal to pick up garbage rather than drop it. (I’m the weirdo collecting garbage every time I am in the park or on a trail).” —Laura T.
“That more and more people realize how important arable/farming land is and how vital it is to keep it for farming. It is fine to build houses – practical and beautiful – but if we swallow all our farmland and arable land with buildings, who will feed us?” —Patricia W.
I will be volunteering at Sauble Beach and Wasaga Beach for the Piping Plovers. This will be my seventh year as a volunteer. I will also keep adding my name to every petition sent to me from Ontario Nature or Nature Canada.” —Joanne A.
“I am currently writing informative articles for our local paper about wildlife and habitats around our community. My intention is to bring awareness of what’s right here in our own backyard and how we can help to conserve the land and species of wildlife that live here. By bringing attention to this, I am hoping that we will have a more well informed group of residents that care about our natural areas and are willing to help in conservation efforts.” —Janice V.
“My hope for nature tomorrow is that more people will choose careers in conservation, and if they cannot, then I hope they will consciously choose a lifestyle that produces the smallest ecological foot-print possible on our wounded but still-beautiful Earth.” — Norman L.
“I will keep my cat safe from the dangers of free roam, and save bird lives. I will plant native plants in my garden to reduce water consumption & nurture pollinators. My hopes for a nature tomorrow? That there is one. That we tackle climate change, and consider nature/our home in every decision, every evaluation, every aspect of our society.” —Sarah C.
“I have a very eco-friendly back yard for birds (trees and shrubs always have nests), hummingbirds (feeders, bee balm and butterfly bushes), butterflies (many flowers and milkweed) and many other pollinators. I hope more people will become aware of the terrible bee death situation and will help bees to thrive by planting flowers in gardens and urge our politicians to control neonic use.” — Sue A.
“I will take the time to explain my sustainable life choices to those I interact with as awareness and a reality check is necessary. I hope that my small actions inspire people to change their behaviours and contribute to conservation in the future.” —Isha M.
We want you to join our Conservation Conversation! Share your actions and dreams for nature with us, here. Or join the conversation by sharing a photo with us on social media using the hashtag #85fornature.
Ontario Nature is a charity that has been protecting wild species and wild spaces through conservation, education and public engagement since 1931. We are there when nature needs us most.