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‘Green wishes’ for 2022 from Peterborough’s environmental and social justice leaders

‘Green wishes’ for 2022 from Peterborough’s environmental and social justice leaders

For Our Grandchildren board member Scott McKinlay photographed this barred owl through his living room window. McKinlay's
For Our Grandchildren board member Scott McKinlay photographed this barred owl through his living room window. McKinlay's
Scott McKinlay, a member of For Our Grandchildren, photographed this barred Owl through his living room window. McKinlay’s “green desire” for 2022 is to continue to find, preserve and nurture opportunities to connect with our natural roots. (Photo: Scott McKinlay)

What would you give the Peterborough Region if you could gift it a special gift in 2022? This is part two of our three-part holiday column series featuring the responses of local leaders to the question, “What is your green wish for our community for 2022?”

Last week we featured the wishes from local politicians as well as business leaders. We are thrilled to welcome in the New Year with the next set of green wishes, this week as 2021 ends.

We would love to hear your thoughts! Share your green wishes for 2022 with us via social media @PtboGreenUP, or by visiting greenup.on.ca/green-wish.

GreenUP wishes you a happy holiday season!

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Tegan Moss, Executive Director at GreenUP

GreenUP executive director Tegan Moss connecting with nature in her garden. (Photo courtesy of Tegan Moss)
Tegan Moss, GreenUP executive director, connects with nature in her garden. (Photo courtesy Tegan Moss

When I’m outside, I often feel connected and content. I will be attracted to something, whether it is a moment on my commute to work or hours spent digging in my garden.

An earthworm reminds you that the soil is alive. A sunbeam strikes a leaf that is absorbing CO2. With a backdrop of wispy cloud cover, pollinators buzz by. I could be stunned by the beauty, resilience and strength of the natural world for a few seconds.

My green wish is for 2022 that everyone feels connected to nature, and that we can use that feeling to drive action and address climate change.

 

Scott McKinlay is a Board Member at For Our Grandchildren

During the pandemic, people from all walks of life have found solace in nature. There are few things more peaceful than a sunrise on a calm lake in the Kawarthas. (Photo: Scott McKinlay)
People from all walks found refuge in nature during this pandemic. A sunrise over a tranquil lake in the Kawarthas is peaceful. (Photo: Scott McKinlay)

Two years of WTFs (Wishes that Failed) have passed and one thing is clear: People from all walks of the life have found solace within nature.

So, my wish for 2022 and beyond, is that people and governments continue to find, preserve and nurture opportunities to connect with our natural roots. Not only do they inspire compassion for Earthmates, but also they rekindle an appreciation of the delicate balance between water, wind, fire, and earth.

We need more victories such as Jackson Park’s heritage classification, and less destruction to achieve short-term gains.

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Malaika Collette is a Climate Activist and Program Coordinator at Kawartha World Issues Centre

Earlier this year, Malaika Collette of Kawartha World Issues Centre went to COP26 in Scotland as a youth activist.
Malaika Collette, Kawartha World Issues Centre, went to COP26 in Scotland earlier this year as a youth activist. “The Scottish land was breathtaking and empowers me to keep fighting for a better world.” (Photo courtesy of Malaika Collette)

My green wish is for our community in 2022 that we become stronger as a climate community, continue to build relationships and plan engaging and impactful activities, and that we grow even more.

I hope our community can organize and participate in mass mobilizations in order to continue to show that we have the power to create change.

I would also like to see climate changes prioritized in the upcoming municipal and provincial elections.

 

Julie Cosgrove, Executive director of the Kawartha World Issues Centre

Julie Cosgrove in her front yard showing her winter kale, composting pumpkins, and enthusiasm for winter cycling. (Photo: James Outterson)
Julie Cosgrove shows her enthusiasm for winter cycling and winter kale in her front yard. (Photo: James Outterson

My green wish is to take a moment to remember the time months ago when the sky was clear and the blue deeperened. When birds flew in and animals returned to our quiet streets, we can recollect that moment and find what it is we love about our beautiful home.

Thich Nhat Hn, Zen master and peace activist refers to love being more than a feeling.

My hope is that we all realize our collective power to protect what we value and love, and to allow the transformation that climate change and a Just COVID recovery require of us, before it’s too late.

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Jacob Rodenberg, Executive Director of Camp Kawartha, and Co-author of The Big Book of Nature Activities

Designed and built by Straworks Inc., the new Rotary Health Centre at Camp Kawartha features carbon-storing materials like locally grown straw bale walls. If conventional materials had been used for this building, manufacturing emissions would have been nearly 40 tonnes. (Photo: Camp Kawartha)
Straworks Inc. designed and built the new Rotary Health Centre at Camp Kawartha. It features carbon-storing materials such as straw bale walls. Manufacturing emissions for this building would have exceeded 40 tonnes if it had been constructed with conventional materials. (Photo by Camp Kawartha

Here’s hoping that we can do more than just doing less harm and strive to do good. Let’s create natural rich spaces where both nature and people thrive. Let’s go beyond merely sustaining and work towards regenerating. Nature can be restored.

It is possible to infuse built spaces with nature, both inside and outside. We can use natural materials — so that when their life cycle is over, they become part of the soil. Let’s plant food right next to where we live, so we can harvest local and healthy food. Let’s design products based on the circular economy. In nature nothing goes to waste — so every product, when its useful life is over, can be re-purposed for something else.

The answer to these difficult times is right there, in nature.

 

Drew Monkman is an Author, Columnist and Naturalist. He is also a Retired Teacher. He is Co-author of Big Book of Nature Activities.

Naturalist Drew Monkman's
Naturalist Drew Monkman’s “green wish” for 2022 is that Peterborough becomes certified as a bird-friendly city. “This year I discovered Fleming College Woods. I learned first hand what a great destination this is for spring wildflowers, American Beech trees, and non-flowering plants like mosses and liverworts.” (Photo: Drew Monkman)

My hope is that Bird Friendly Peterborough – a local conservation group – will be able to have Peterborough designated as Bird Friendly City.

See Also

Over the past 50 years, North American bird population has dropped by more that 25%. This trend can be reversed with science-backed actions.

It would be a source pride for the community and a way to show Canada that our city is taking important steps to help birds in our backyard. See www.birdfriendlypeterborough.ca.

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Cam Douglas, Coordinator of Youth Leadership in Sustainability and Lead Teacher

Cam Douglas shared this photo of a hike with his Youth Leadership in Sustainability class through the old-growth Catchacoma Forest.
Cam Douglas shared this photo from a hike he took with his Youth Leadership in Sustainable class through the Catchacoma Forest. “I hope our city’s youth are engaged directly and sincerely in decision-making, and that that they can see their priorities reflected in council decisions.” (Photo: Cam Douglas)

My green wish is to focus locally and politically in the coming year. I hope the candidates who stand for the 2022 municipal elections understand the need to move beyond the business as usual approach to city budgeting, policy and operations in order address the climate and biodiversity crises that our community faces.

I also hope that the citizens of the city will be vocal in pushing for the political space to address these crises, so that leaders can move more easily in the right direction. Finally, I hope our city’s youth are engaged directly and sincerely in decision-making, and that that they can see their priorities reflected in council decisions.

Our response to COVID shows what we can do together when we’re at our best. Rest, breathe, then let’s get to work!

 

Brianna Salmon, Executive director of Green Communities Canada

Jen Feigin, Dana Jordan, and Brianna Salmon (former executive director of GreenUP and current executive director of Green Communities Canada) discuss climate leadership with participants in the inaugural Girl's Climate Leadership Program at GreenUP Ecology Park in 2020. (Photo courtesy of GreenUP)
Jen Feigin, Dana Jordan, and Brianna Salmon (former executive director of GreenUP and current executive director of Green Communities Canada) discuss climate leadership with participants in the inaugural Girl’s Climate Leadership Program at GreenUP Ecology Park in 2020. (Photo courtesy GreenUP

My green wish for 2022 is that communities across the country come together to rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic, drawing upon the lessons we’ve learned about the power of collective action, the need to prioritize those who are most vulnerable, and the importance of investing in locally.

These lessons will be crucial for addressing the climate crisis. We also need a massive and sustained commitment from all levels.

I hope to see 2022 as a year of creative, inclusive and lasting solutions.

 

Please return next week for the third and final instalment of our green wish 2022 series when we’ll feature green wishes from local cultural leaders and celebrities.

We’d love to hear from you, too. You can share your green wishes on our social media pages @PtboGreenUP and by visiting greenup.on.ca/green-wish.

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