Nature is spectacular in its simplest form, and magnificent in its complexity. Animal and plant kingdoms alike are stunningly beautiful yet incredibly vulnerable. Some thrive, some survive, and some are lost forever. How can we help protect the ecosystems that sustain us?
As Simple As 1 – 2 – 3
Be aware. Life on Earth is interconnected. When nature falters, we falter. Therefore, we must be aware of how our actions impact the stability of nature around us.
Understand. The pendulum can swing far and hard in the wrong direction when the balance of nature is disrupted. We must keep our wants versus our needs in check.
Act. Choose to take a stance for Ontario’s species at risk. They depend on all of us.
Human activities are harming the world’s terrestrial and marine environments, and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating.
Extensive deforestation is an important driver of biodiversity loss. Many once pristine wetlands are being destroyed by massive residential and industrial developments. Habitat loss, pollution and climate change also pose serious threats.
When do we determine that this so-called ‘progress’ has pushed the stability of wildlife and ecosystems past the breaking point? It is a concerning question as we look toward the future and what might lie ahead.
Our Own Backyard
While many are concerned about the plight of wildlife worldwide, we sometimes lose sight of the beautiful creatures that live right in our own backyards.
Ontario has varied ecosystems. From the incredible boreal forests, tundra and wetlands of the far north to the Carolinian forest of the southern region and the beautiful Niagara Escarpment, our province should be full of biodiversity. Yet more than 230 animals and plants are at risk in Ontario.
To destroy that which shares this planet with us – particularly for the purposes of overindulgence and overconsumption – is a sad legacy. Losing ecosystems like wetlands, forests, prairies and lakes, creates a chain effect that can ultimately affect the wellbeing of our communities.
Nature depends on us. In the opinion of this proud life-long Ontarian and wildlife artist, today is not too soon to protect our wild species and wild spaces.
It is for these reasons that I feel compelled to act in my own humble way. As a wildlife artist and with my love for all things nature, my art has now become my voice. Stepping away from my normal style of art, my latest depictions of our vulnerable species, although haunting, are designed to bring hope to this crisis and shine light on the darkness. This collection has been created for and committed to assisting organizations that are dedicated to the preservation of wild Ontario.
In a quest to help Ontario’s endangered species, one hundred percent of the net proceeds of my original painting ‘Winged Warrior’ will be donated to Ontario Nature for the charity’s ongoing effort in the preservation of wild areas for the sustainability of the monarch butterfly. For more information, please visit: artscapesbysherry.ca.
Sherry Hayes is a professional landscape designer and wildlife artist who draws attention to the plight of wildlife and sensitive lands impacted by over-development and residential intensification, particularly in Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe east area.