Grassroots Action

What makes the Sierra Club Canada Foundation so effective is our network of experts, partners and volunteers. Our chapters are engaged in many projects at the local level. Want to get involved? Contact our national office or your local chapter. If you have a dedicated group of members who want to lead their own projects within a region, you could start a Group. According to our organization's policy: Groups may be formed by any three or more members who wish to be active in their local community or within a larger geographic area, in relation to a particular conservation issue or issues, with the intention that the group exist on an ongoing basis. Otherwise, more time-limited local issues are to be managed within the auspices of the Chapter, or if none exists, then in co- operation with program staff working at the national level.

Sierra Club Ontario is seeking Executive Committee members

Sierra Club Ontario's (SCO) Nomination Committee is seeking candidates as members to serve on its volunteer, non-profit Executive Committee, commencing January 2018. 

Candidates should be passionate about environmental protection and supporting grassroots activists in local communities to advocate for a more sustainable, greener future. We are looking for candidates who meet one (or more) of the following criteria:

Watch for Wildlife - Letters from you

Watch for Wildlife logo

This blog compiles comments from a number of the letters we've received over the last two years. Letter writers emphasize the need to raise awareness about wildlife vehicle collisions and implement protective measures, and they relate stories about how wildlife collisions have impacted them.

Excerpts of Letters from Some of the People who have written Watch for Wildlife

(names are withheld for the privacy of writers)

Not Collateral Damage

It was a great time for learning outdoors at Riverfest in Edmonton!

Dear Friends:
Thank you to all our volunteers, friends, and families for supporting Sierra Club Canada Foundation's Big Nature Tent for public education at Edmonton's inaugural Riverfest 2017.
At the Big Nature Tent
We appreciate your time, expertise, and creativity as a generous donation to conservation advocacy and a wonderful fall outing on the weekend of September 16th.

Let's Save our Bees!

Are you interested in learning about bees and local pollinators, including causes for their decline and actions you can take to help support their habitat?

Come out and attend our FREE WORKSHOP on September 29th, from 11am -12.30pm, at University of Toronto's Hart House! Refreshments including local honey and organic fruits will be provided.

Spaces are limited, so REGISTER NOW! 

Come run with Sierra Club Canada Foundation and fundraise for the Planet!


Do you have a passion for the environment and want to do something to help stop Climate Change? Would you love to be part of something bigger and make an impact in your community? Are you looking to get back in shape and achieve your 2017 fitness goals? Or... do you just simply enjoy running for the fun of it?

Red Flags Waving for Rouge National Urban Park

The following article was written by Stephanie Hulse, Sierra Club Ontario's Environmental Outreach Coordinator.

Did you know that in the heart of Ontario’s Greenbelt - a swath of federal protected conservation land that reaches from Niagara to Northumberland (also known as the Greater Golden Horseshoe) - is a national park under threat from a range of sprawl-related issues?

A long weekend treat just for you!

The summer is a time when many folks take a break, take it a little slower and take some needed time off.

And while our small team plans to do a bit of that, in fact, it’s shaping up to be one of the busiest times for us.

The summer is also a time when funds drop off, but our work doesn’t stop! We could use your support and a funding boost at this time.

Significant changes needed to tackle Lake Erie’s algal bloom problem

Lake Erie's algal blooms are hurting the lake's ecosystem, Ontario’s economy, and the health of communities that depend on it.


The following article was written by Dr. Lino Grima, former professor of Water Resources Policy and Environmental Management at the University of Toronto, Chair of Sierra Club Ontario's Great Lakes Campaign and Co-Chair of Sierra Club's Binational Great Lakes Committee.

An important part of Sierra Club Ontario’s advocacy work is the protection and restoration of the Great Lakes ecosystem, which constitutes the largest body of fresh water in the world. A major threat to the Great Lakes is the eutrophication(1) of Lake Erie leading to algal blooms, and the presence of health-threatening microcystin(2), especially in the western basin of the lake. Harmful and nuisance algal blooms are negatively impacting Lake Erie’s environment and Ontario’s economy, and present significant risks to human health.

To mitigate this problem, Canada has been working with its partners to develop a Canada-Ontario Action Plan to help reduce the amount of phosphorus – a key factor causing algae – from entering the lake. Back in March 2017, the Governments of Canada and Ontario circulated a joint “Draft Action Plan” -- a discussion document to assist in the engagement of key stakeholders, First Nations and Métis communities, and the public in action plan development -- to reduce phosphorus loading in Lake Erie, and achieve their 40 per cent phosphorus reduction target.

Sierra Club Ontario would like to congratulate Canada and Ontario’s leadership on this critical issue and particularly on the involvement of its citizens. We are encouraged that the Governments of Canada and Ontario recognize that the financial, social, and ecological costs of these blooms are significant and that action is urgently needed to reverse the trend. 

However, as-is, the plan is inadequate -- it does not adequately describe what actions are necessary to achieve the proposed 40 per cent phosphorus reduction target. Without significant modifications to the Draft Action Plan, especially targeting agricultural sources of phosphorus and other non-point sources, Sierra Club Ontario fears that the final Action Plan will not adequately address the threat of algal blooms to Lake Erie. 

In its current iteration, the Plan lacks most of the attributes of effective action plans including:

·      Specific and measureable actions and objectives;

·      Measureable results;

·      Clear and reasonable timelines and deadlines;

·      Accountability;

·      Adequate budget for implementation.

As a member of the Great Lakes Protection Act Alliance (GLPAA)(3), Sierra Club Ontario has supported the GLPAA’s recent submission(4) in response to this Plan, particularly its call to confirm a timeline to reduce the phosphorus load reduction by 40 per cent by 2025 for the Ontario portion of the western and central basins of Lake Erie.   

Enough is known about the problem to make a start on reducing the load of phosphorus and other nutrients such as nitrogen. However, the Plan would need to include more robust monitoring and adaptive management so that the scientific understanding would be enhanced and the policy refined.   

Sierra Club Canada Foundation and Sierra Club Ontario expect that the authors of the Draft Action Plan will be responsive to the feedback garnered through the consultation process, and that the final Action Plan, expected to be in place by February 2018, will be significantly more comprehensive as a result.

 

Dan McDermott's Legacy as Freshwater Hero

The following blog was written by Kristina Jackson, Sierra Club Canada Foundation's National Operations Director, and long time friend and colleague of Dan McDermott.

The Freshwater Hero 2017 award is a canoe-shaped piece of wood, lovely, solid and smooth. The canoe shape indicates the close connection between humans and water. And in this case it symbolizes the respect of other enviros for Sierra Club's Dan McDermott.