University of Waterloo study links planting native trees, greenery with lower day-time temperatures

University of Waterloo study links planting native trees, greenery with lower day-time temperatures

As study by the University of Waterloo has concluded that native trees, shrubs and greenery can help reduce day-time temperatures by over four degrees within a decade. According to a release from the university, researchers came to this conclusion from gathering thermal images of backyards before and after native plants were re-introduced.

Read the entire story in Kitchener Today at: https://www.kitchenertoday.com/amp/local-news/uw-study-links-planting-native-trees-greenery-with-lower-day-time-temperatures-2574524

A message from OPAL President

The following message was sent along to us to share from President of the Oxford People Against the Landfill, Bryan Smith on July 8, 2020:

This message is for all OPAL Board members and the members of the boards of our Alliance partners – Transition to Less Waste, the Ingersoll District Nature Club, Oxford Green Watch, the Oxford Coalition for Social Justice, Oxford Environmental Action Committee…. (and feel free to pass this on!)

  1. It has been an exciting afternoon and I suspect you might have heard that today at Queen’s Park, Bill 197, which contains a section (2.3) related to the “demand the right” and thus the dump fight, was read and voted on. It passed first reading. (It needs three readings).
  2. The CBC is already on the story as are or will be other media. Sam Coghlan of OPAL’s Zorra committee passed on the link below. Have a read. Look for updates in other media or in the

ERO number 019-2051 (Goggle will find it as did our ally Suzanne Crellin).

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/london/ingersoll-legislation-right-refuse-landfill-1.5642584

 

  1. Next steps include the following and more:
    • Marking July 16 at 1:00 pm in your calendar for a gathering in Ingersoll where Ernie Hardeman accompanied by local mayors and some Ministers will announce this part of the bill. Be there. Stay 6 feet away from those who do not share your home, circle or bubble. Even at that distance, wear a mask. (We will try to have some, but much much prefer that you bring and leave with your reusable one.( No garbage means no dump). Chances are that the event will be outdoors, so be prepared for more scorching sun by bringing a parasol, or the alternative, so a slicker.
    • Anti-dump signs would be great at the event and great on your lawn. If you don’t have one for all to see already, contact me by phone 519 456 5270 or reply by email.
    • Continuing your conversations with Zorra residents and Councillors, SouthWest Oxford residents and Councillors and Ingersoll residents and Councillors about all the reasons why they should resoundingly reject Walker’s dump plan
    • Thanking all who have helped to get us this far.
    • Encouraging Ministers Yurek and Hardeman to persuade all MPPs at Queen’s Park to pass Bill 197 through second and third readings with the provisions around the right to say “No” all intact in the bill.
    • Telling people who ask “Where should it go?” to have a look at CBC’s Gem’s “Good People” episode 5 which has some very beautiful landscapes (and their opposite) in Zorra and some very practical solutions.
    • Taking deep breath, realizing that this has been an almost 9 year battle during which we have gained strength with every passing day, and preparing to encourage all decision-makers to say “No” to Walker’s dump.

 

Thank you. It’s not over, but this is major progress!

Bryan

Ontario Municipalities to be given right to approve new landfill proposals

Ontario Municipalities to be given right to approve new landfill proposals

With introduction of new legislation, Ingersoll Council’s long effort nears a successful conclusion.

 Press Release from the Town of Ingersoll

INGERSOLL, ONTARIO, July 8, 2020 — The three-year effort of Ingersoll Council to champion landfill approval rights for local communities has achieved a significant milestone. The Ontario Government has introduced legislation that will provide municipal governments with the right to approve all new landfill projects. The legislation provides that municipalities within 3.5km of a proposed landfill site – whether a host municipality, or a neighbouring municipality – will have the right to approve or reject these projects. If a landfill site proponent has not received this municipal approval, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks (MOECP) would not approve its proposal.

Prior to this new legislation being passed, private sector waste companies had no obligation to gain the support of the local municipal governments. While a community like Ingersoll may have objected to becoming home to a new landfill site, the provincial government’s longstanding environmental assessment process effectively tied the hands of Town Council to demand any changes, including whether or not to allow the project to proceed at all.

These changes to Ontario’s Environmental Assessment legislation will give each of the municipal councils of Ingersoll, Southwest Oxford, and Zorra Township, the opportunity to vote on whether or not to approve Walker Industries’ proposed project to build and operate a 17 million tonne landfill site in a Zorra quarry.

“The legislation will ensure that each municipal council will be able to vote NO to Walker’s proposed project,” said Ingersoll Mayor, Ted Comiskey. “Such a no vote by any Council would mean that Walker would be unable to receive approval from the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks.”

To develop the support of the provincial government, Ingersoll Council created the Demand the Right Coalition of Ontario Municipalities (www.demandtheright.ca). With Mayor Comiskey acting as its Chair, the Coalition grew to 148 municipalities representing over 70 percent of Ontario’s population. Each of these communities passed Council Motions demanding that the wishes of municipal governments and their citizens be respected for all new landfills anywhere in the province.

Comiskey said, “On behalf of Ingersoll Council, I wish to express our sincere appreciation to Premier Ford for keeping his election promise and Environment Minister Yurek for his work to develop and introduce this legislation. We are especially appreciative for the efforts of Ernie Hardeman who first championed local approval and has continued to pursue the issue as our MPP.”

During the legislative process, details can change. The Town will actively participate in the process, updating the community on a regular basis, and until the legislation is passed into law.

“As it will likely take through the summer for the legislation to pass,” Comiskey said, “we’ll hold off any big celebration. I am optimistic, but we have much more work to do. It will be important for local residents to make sure their own town council knows where they stand.”

Please also see the CBC story.

Conservation Authorities’ Letter to Ontario Premier

Enclosed is a letter sent by Ontario Nature to Ontario Premier Doug Ford, regarding the value of Conservation Authorities. Ontario Nature received cross-sectoral support from 112 signatories, including from the Ingersoll District Nature Club and other environmental, agricultural and engineering organizations and businesses. This is another important pushback to the Ontario government to stop them from eroding the mandate of all our conservation authorities.  This would be a particular blow to our part of the province, with the Thames watershed covering virtually all of southwestern Ontario.

Read the letter at: Support for Ontario’s Conservation Authorities – Letter to Premier Ford

Important Notice:  COVID-19 and the Lawson Nature Reserve

Important Notice: COVID-19 and the Lawson Nature Reserve

Ontario Nature knows that getting outdoors to appreciate nature is a key element of our physical and mental well-being, especially at times such as these.  In light of the current situation around the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we strongly encourage everyone to practice social distancing. Please do not gather in groups larger than two people, keep two metres away from other individuals and keep your dog on a leash at all times. Please do not touch any railings, signs or other surfaces to avoid any possible transmission.

All events taking place on Ontario Nature reserves have been cancelled and we are not doing trail maintenance until further notice. Use of our trails is at your own risk.

If you have any questions, please call 1-800-440-2366.  Please follow the advice of health and government officials. Practice good hand hygiene, keep your distance and be respectful of others.

Ingersoll District Nature Club supports Ontario Nature in their decision to reduce the opportunity for the spread of COVID-19.

Organize Your Earth Hour 2020 Event

Organize Your Earth Hour 2020 Event

EarthHourlogo1In 2007, Earth Hour encouraged people around the world to switch off their lights to call attention to climate change. More than a decade later, the climate crisis remains, magnified by another urgent threat: the rapid loss of biodiversity and nature.

The rate of global loss of nature in the last 50 years is unprecedented in human history – and as we saw with the fires in the Amazon and most recently, in Australia, it’s only getting worse. 😢

For the city folks out there, we get it – nature and the outdoors aren’t really in your backyard, and the buildings around you aren’t on fire so why care, right? Wrong!

We may not always realize it, but nature has a critical role in almost every aspect of our lives. From the water we drink, the air we breathe, the food we eat – that’s right, no nature means no pizza or chocolate 😯 – and even the sports we play, nature is critical to our survival, well-being, and quality of life!

But that’s not all – nature is also one of our strongest allies against climate change, which could affect one billion people by 2050.

This Earth Hour, you have the power to spread awareness in your community on the importance of celebrating, protecting, and restoring nature.

Learn more. 

Results of Annual Christmas Bird Count

Brown Creeper - (Certhia americana)

Thanks are extended to the eight club members who participated in this year’s annual Christmas Bird Count, held on December 28, 2019. Sightings of 17 species from the two-hour walk are noted below along with count numbers from December 2017 and 2018, for comparison. There was little activity in the Reserve – perhaps due to warmer weather some birds are staying farther north for longer.

Species 2019 2018 2017
American Goldfinch 9 35 17
Northern Cardinal 0 13 9
Dark-Eyed Junco 0 7 36
American Tree Sparrow 0 0 1
Brown Creeper 2 0 2
White-breasted Nuthatch 9 11 9
Black-capped Chickadee 19 43 23
American Crow 9 5 3
Blue Jay 1 5 18
Mourning Dove 3 1 11
Canada Geese 1 45 22
Herring Gull 8 1 0
Hairy Woodpecker 0 1 0
Downy Woodpecker 4 12 9
Red-bellied Woodpecker 5 3 4
Ducks (unidentified) 0 15 0
Red-tailed Hawk 0 1 0
Harrier Hawk 1 0 0
Coopers Hawk 1 0 0
Starlings 15 0 0
Great Horned Owl 1 0 0
Bald Eagle 1 0 0
Rock Pidgeons 20 0 0

Red-Breasted Nuthatch - (Sitta canadensis)Brown Creeper - (Certhia americana)

Photos courtesy of Terry Parker, Professional Wildlife Photographer.