Green Wishes for 2022 – Part 2

December 30th, 2021

Naturalizing the backyard is a way of sharing space with wildlife. This barred owl was photographed through Scott McKinlay’s living room window. (Photo by Scott McKinlay.)

By Jackie Donaldson, Coordinator, GreenUP

If you could grant the Peterborough region a special gift for 2022, what would it be? This is part two of our 3-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 of local politicians and business leaders. This week, we are excited to ring in the New Year with our next set of green wishes from local environmental and social justice leaders.

We would love to hear from you too! Please share your green wish for 2022 with us on social media @PtboGreenUP or visit greenup.on.ca/green-wishes

Happy 2022 from the team at GreenUP!

Tegan Moss, Executive Director at GreenUP

Tegan Moss, Executive Director of GreenUP, connecting with nature in her garden.

“I often experience feelings of connection and contentment when I am outside. Be it a brief moment on my ride to work or after hours spent with a shovel in my garden, something will capture my attention and call me into the present moment. An earthworm reminds me that the soil is living. A sunbeam strikes a leaf that is breathing in CO2. Pollinators buzz by with a backdrop of wispy clouds. For just a few breaths I might stand awe struck with the beauty and resilience of the natural world. My green wish for 2022 is that everyone be able to feel their own connection to nature and that together we can use those feelings as fuel to take action and address the climate crisis.”

Scott McKinlay, Board Member with For Our Grandchildren

There are few things more peaceful than a sunrise on a calm lake in the Kawarthas. (Photo by Scott McKinlay.)

“After almost two years of countless WTFs (Wishes That Failed), one thing has become abundantly clear. People from all walks of life have found solace in nature. So, my wish for 2022 and beyond, is that people and governments will continue to find, preserve, and nurture opportunities to reconnect with our natural roots. Experiences in nature not only inspire compassion for our Earthmates, but they rekindle an appreciation for the delicate balance between earth, wind, water, and fire. We need more victories like the heritage designation of Jackson Park, and less destruction in pursuit of short-term gains.”

Malaika Collette, Climate Activist, and Program Coordinator with Kawartha World Issues Centre

Malaika Collette went to COP26 in Glasgow 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 for our community in 2022 is that we will grow even stronger as a climate community and continue to build relationships with one another while planning engaging and impactful events. I hope our community can plan and participate in mass mobilizations to continue to show the power that our community has in creating change. I would also like to see climate change prioritized in both the upcoming provincial and municipal 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 by James Outterson.)

“My green wish is that we pause to recall that moment months ago when the skies cleared and the blue deepened, when birds flocked and animals crept back into our quiet neighbourhoods, and know what it is exactly that we love about this beautiful place, our home.”

“Zen master and peace activist, Thich Nhat Hahn, refers to love as a capacity, more than a feeling. My wish is that we realize our collective capacity to protect what we love and value, to enable the transformation which climate change and a JUST Covid-recovery require of us, before it’s too late.”

Jacob Rodenberg, Executive Director of Camp Kawartha, and co-author of the Big Book of Nature Activities

“Here is hoping we can go beyond doing less harm by striving 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. We can bring nature back. We can infuse our built spaces with nature both inside and out. 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. In these challenging times, the answer is located right where it has always been – in nature.”

Drew Monkman, Author, Naturalist, Columnist, Retired Teacher, and co-author of the Big Book of Nature Activities

“This year I discovered Fleming College Woods,” shares Drew Monkman. “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 by Drew Monkman.)

“My hope is that Bird Friendly Peterborough, a local conservation organization, will be successful in having Peterborough designated as a Bird Friendly City. In the past 50 years, North American bird populations have dropped by more than 25%. We can reverse this trend with science-backed action. Certification would be a source of community pride and tell the rest of Canada that our city takes important actions to help birds and reverse the declines in our own backyard. See birdfriendlypeterborough.ca

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

Cam Douglas shared this photo of hiking with his Youth Leadership in Sustainability (YLS) class through the wonderous old-growth Catchacoma Forest. (Photo by Cam Douglas.)

“My green wish is focused locally and politically this year. I hope that the candidates that step forward for our 2022 municipal election understand the imperative of moving away from business as usual in city budgeting, policy, and operations to address the related biodiversity and climate crises our community and planet are facing. I hope too that our citizenry actively and vocally move the political space towards action on these crisis, so that our leaders can more easily manoeuvre 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

Brianna Salmon was inspired to see GreenUP’s Girl’s Climate Leadership Program grow during its second year in 2021.

“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. To address the climate crisis, we will need these lessons as well as a monumental and sustained commitment from all levels of society. In 2022, I hope we meet this challenge with solutions that are creative, inclusive, and lasting.

We’d love to hear from you, too. Share your green wish on our social media pages @PtboGreenUP or visit greenup.on.ca/green-wishes

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