After what seemed like a never-ending winter, spring is finally here!
Before their school year wraps up in June, Ontario Nature’s Youth Council will host a suite of planting events called Our Special Spaces across the province. Since 2011, hundreds of people have joined Our Special Spaces events, contributing to conservation efforts in their communities. Habitat restoration, shoreline cleanups, litter removal and hiking trail maintenance are just a few of the projects council members have led in past years.
This spring, the Youth Council is focusing its efforts on creating pollinator habitat as a part of its campaign to protect Ontario’s wild pollinators. The first Our Special Spaces event happened in Scarborough on Earth Day. Held in partnership with Friends of the Rouge Watershed, the event brought together 120 volunteers to plant more than 200 native trees, shrubs and milkweed seeds in a field that was once covered with invasive vegetation.
“Our Special Spaces is a great way for youth to get involved in their community,” says council member Delenn Kershaw, who volunteered at the event. “I think it’s amazing to spend Earth Day on a beautiful day like this doing what we should be doing, which is helping the environment.”
Thanks to generous support from WWF Canada and TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, Our Special Spaces events will take place across the province throughout May and June this year.
The next event is in Peterborough on May 5th at Trent University’s Nature Area. To register for these events, please visit the Our Special Spaces webpage.
Krystal Lakeman is a member of the Ontario Nature Youth Council and is a student at Trent University taking a joint major in biology and environmental sciences, which has really opened her eyes to the need of understanding the species we aim to protect. After all Baba Dioum said it best; “in the end we conserve only what we love. We love only what we understand, and we only understand what we are taught”.