A Tiny Forest in Wiarton May Hold the Key to our Survival
the tiny forest
Regenerate Grey Bruce has been permitted and funded to install a newly-announced Miyawaki (Tiny) Forest in Wiarton in the backyard of the local school PSDS, replacing finely-manicured sod with a small, lush biodiversity hotspot. A Miyawaki forest has a recipe that takes advantage of the quick growth of native species of tree, shrub and groundcover. Planting will commence in Wiarton in the next 30 days.
It’s hard not to think big though.
The space, plus all upcoming workbee(s) are a great way to unite groups who are working towards solving local biodiversity, ecological, and climate issues.
So, everyone is welcome.
The project aim is all about promoting local regeneration, something everyone can do in urban, agricultural, and backyard settings.
Bluewater District School Board, Owen Sound Field Naturalists, NeighbourWoods North, Climate Action Teams, The Sustainability Project, Wiarton Rotary, TD Friends of the Environment, Lake Huron Forever, Stewardship Grey Bruce and National Farmers Union are all coming together, and your environmental group is invited into the fold. Greenbelt Fund also has skin in the game having generously supported Regenerate Grey Bruce.
In the meantime, let's not ignore our settler homework. This can include some, if not all, of the tips below:
- Get the lay of the land with a free online video series called “Home on Native Land” https://homeonnativeland.com/courses/home-on-native-land/
- Reflect on our own region's history with Indigenous people, the treaties involved, and on reconciliation https://files.ontario.ca/iao-first-nations-and-treaties-map-en-2022-10-31.pdf
- Discover what the SON Environment Office does for our region today: http://saugeenojibwaynation.ca/resources
- A simple 6-min video to compass-set for regeneration: https://kisstheground.com/possibilities-of-regeneration
the risks of the status quo
We are all staring down climate change, biodiversity loss, and land conversion/hardening, among other challenges, waiting for a catalyst to change everything and upend the status quo. From local to national, a compass setting based on growth inevitably pushes us toward land conversion and competition with nature.
People in our region however, the Traditional Territory of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation, are beginning to face the same direction, united by these planetary crises.
why there’s hope?
Creating a culture of sustainability, and then building a narrative of regeneration may be our only way out of this mess. Local Climate Action Teams (CATs) are already talking about this, and most have monthly meetings. The more we learn from our Indigenous neighbours and from climate science/soil science, the more we're finding that our challenges are interconnected, so please discover the Tiny Forest in Wiarton to find more alliances & synergies there. Directions are here: Newsletter 1 of 5.pdf. and planting will begin soon. While watching a tiny forest grow, you may hold some important conversations.
- What's a healthier and more desirable type of landscaping for my own neighbourhood?
- Why does biodiversity loss matter when the climate crisis is urgent?
- How can I eat local when it's too expensive?
- How can I keep my drinking water safe?
- What's adaptation vs. mitigation?
People are all on their own personal journey of climate action... it's by talking to one another, acting and advocating together with strong social capital, we can change the narrative here.
How could a tiny forest in Wiarton hold the key to our survival? By creating community and then working together to create change. So please bring your group, and offer the interconnections of our challenges with people to inspire them to act, to learn more, and to go further.
author: Leigh Grigg