Wildlife & Natural Spaces

You cannot protect what you do not know. Nature’s diversity exists all around us. SCCF works with individuals, partners and community groups to promote knowledge of wildlife and natural environments. We work to preserve and protect for all to enjoy, both now and in the future.

Victories in Freele Tract and Carruthers Creek Headwaters Show Power of Citizen Engagement in Land Use Planning

Although the government of Premier Douglas Ford is no Valhalla for environmental protection, two recent decisions in rejecting municipally supported requests for Ministerial Zoning Orders (MZO) show that engaged citizens can wrest positive victories. One MZO request, by the County of Simcoe, would have put a waste transfer station in the 207-acre part of Simcoe County Forest, designated as the Freele Tract. The second by the Town of Pickering, supported by a developer, supported the urbanization of the headwaters of Carruthers Creek.

Parkland, Wetlands, and Rocky Mountains! Top 3 Alberta Hikes + Bonus Walk

Paved, gravel, natural surface – trails take on a variety of forms. They can traverse great distances into the backcountry, travel through an urban park, or roam through local neighbourhoods. Historically, trails were used for the transport of goods and livestock between local villages and towns. Walking for leisure was a luxury, mostly reserved for those with garden paths or access to local forested trails. Recreational walking grew in popularity in North America at the end of the 19th century and gained traction post-war in the 20th century.

Great Healing Forests and Water

Urgent update: Since the discovery of the expansion of the range of the dense blazing star, a new threat has emerged to their survival. Without any reporting of their expansion or of the extent of the destruction in February 2020 to the adjacent habitat of a rare orchid, the Great Plains ladies' tresses, Niagara Falls is going ahead with a Public Meeting on Tuesday, October 6, 2020. Due to COVID the meeting is virtual. You MUST get your comments submitted before the 6th. City Council could proceed to authorize their destruction, subject to an appeal to the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal.

Two Reviews Show Why Both Environmental Assessment and Conservation Authority Acts Should Be Left Alone

The Mohawk elder Danny Beaton (Turtle Clan) speaks on the threat posed by two environmental reviews in Ontario.
He warns,

“How many books have to be written about environmental protection or films made by David Suzuki, Ed Burtynsky, or Jacques Cousteau, before we create another environmental crisis? How many environmental disasters — Katrina, Bangladesh? How many mega projects do we need? There is an Earth crisis still unfolding from killing wild animals in China.

The Prairie Living Room

The Prairie Living Room

Who could have predicted that in 2020 we would have to make to collective decision to stay inside our living room for extended period of time? These have been hard times for many.

We wanted to celebrate the hard decision our community has made to physically distance during Covid-19 by providing a new 'living room'. This living room is green, playful, beautiful and reflects our local flora. Now more than ever we need the benefits of nature for our physical and mental health.

Waverly Beach Birthplace of American Civil Rights Movement

The explosion of the movement for racial equality recently brings into highlight a threatened old growth forest called Waverly Beach, in Fort Erie, Ontario. Its sacred groves in 1905, earlier a home for refugees from slavery, became the birth place of the Niagara Movement. It was a forerunner of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP).

Opposition to Ring of Fire Increases

As revelations mount about problems with mercury contamination from the now closed De Beers Victor Diamond Mine in Attawapiskat, opposition to proposed Ring of Fire mining projects soar. Claims by the Wildlands League that the company did not release the monitoring results for mercury contamination at 5 of 9 monitoring wells, received a boost on January 13, 2020, when Justice David A. Thomas ruled that these claims of violation of Ontario environmental laws could proceed to trial.

Rejoignez-nous et regardez votre effet papillon en action !

Il y a quelques semaines, j'ai vu mon premier papillon de la saison. Après un hiver au climat capricieux, et au milieu de la crise sanitaire actuelle, la vue de cette jolie petite créature - d’un orange flamboyant sur l'herbe morne du printemps, avec ses ailes qui battent doucement - a été un baume pour mes yeux et mon cœur. (Ce n’était pas un papillon monarque. Je suis toujours en train de faire des recherches - peut-être était-ce un papillon belle-dame (Vanessa cardui ?))

OPP Makes Its Mind Up Too Soon

The Ontario Provincial Police investigation into the hiring of Carmen D’Angelo as Chief Executive Officer (CAO) of the Niagara Region has taken a new direction. Now that the former CAO and the Regional Councillors who supported him are in the clear, the OPP is pursuing a new target. The new target is Bonnie Lysyk, the Auditor General of Ontario.

Good News for Brampton Bikers

Take action now - City seeking input to build bike lanes and green infrastructure.

The City of Brampton has taken a progressive stance towards active transportation following the increasing interest in cycling seen during the ongoing pandemic. As of April 18, 2020 they have decided to temporarily close off curb lanes for vehicular traffic and, instead, install interim bike lanes along an East West travel corridor.

Devastating News About The Dead Right Whale

It's the saddest news 

We are heartbroken to learn that the dead right whale found off New Jersey this week is actually the first born calf of the 2019/2020 season, and was the very first calf of right whale #3560.

From initial observations, it appears this calf died as a result of propeller and trauma injuries from two separate vessel strikes. According to NOAA, the first injuries were to his head and chest, and the second – and likely fatal injury – was to his tail stock.

Tell Minister of Municipal Affairs to Rescue Freele Tract

One of the great victories of the environmental movement of Ontario is now under attack — the Simcoe County Forests. The system was created under the leadership of Premier E. C. Drury, and his friend Edmund Zavitz, to rescue the Simcoe County from being buried in marching sand wastes. This was triggered by ruthless deforestation. 

The Freele Tract is being defended by a valiant 770-member environmental protection group which should never have had to be organized. It’s called the Friends of Simcoe County Forests. 

Best Practices for Staying Connected to Nature During Covid-19

We find ourselves in unprecedented times. We are working hard to adapt to the new normal and do our part to reduce the spread of the virus. We encourage you to stay connected to nature in what can be difficult and stressful times. Although we cannot be in nature together, we can still enjoy the outdoors apart! Spending time in the fresh air is helpful for mental health and staying active during this time. Here are our best practices for how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly.

1. Stay Up to Date with Local Health Authority Guidelines

Bad Week

blog by Gretchen Fitzgerald

On Wednesday afternoon, we received the decision from the federal court that, while our case questioning the regulation exempting exploratory drilling from impact assessment was serious enough to warrant judicial review, the exemption itself could come into force even as we continue to pursue the case.

Your $10 Can Save 400 Whales

At this very moment, whale mother and calf pairs are heading north to their Canadian home waters.

It’s a perilous time for them, both for the journey north itself, and for what awaits them when they arrive in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Right whales are on the brink. Sierra Club Canada Foundation has been at the forefront in the fight to protect them. We know when proper measures are put in place, whales are protected and fewer whales will die. You can help save the 400 remaining right whales.

We can’t have another summer of losses like we did last year.