1) Gardening and Canning Workshops– Climate Action Niagara offers members of the community free-of-charge gardening and canning workshops in the Spring/Fall. Individuals learn about the basics of gardening so they are able to grow food on their own. The canning workshops provide individuals with the education required to be able to preserve food that they have harvested from their gardens or have purchased.
2) Community Gardens – Twelve community gardens have been facilitated in multiple communities for carbon reduction and greater resiliency across Niagara. With generous support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, we locate each community garden where need is greatest, and provide gardening and canning workshops in under served areas.
Consuming local food is the single most effective action addressing climate change stressed. Local food production and consumption reduces food miles and subsequent fossil fuel emissions, supports the local economy, is less likely to be contaminated with prohibited pesticides or of a genetically modified crop and fosters bonds between societies and their nurturing environment, leading to greater natural awareness, appreciation and protection. Gardeners are taught to utilize these gardens even in the cold weather and as a result, some of these gardens operate until January.
Community garden locations:
a. St. Catharines- 8 community gardens
b. For Erie- 3 community gardens
c. Welland- 1 community garden
3) Niagara’s Fruit Tree Trail
Climate Action Niagara is preparing for the launch of Niagara’s Fruit Tree Trails which will revitalize heritage fruit orchard remnants along trail systems throughout Niagara for public recreational use, self-guided tours, educational tourism events, urban agricultural land preservation and increased local food security. Select publically accessible fruit trees will be pruned seasonally to increase the yield of this local and organic produce. These rehabilitated fruit trees are accessible to cyclists, runners, tourists and anyone looking for a unique stroll. Intermittent plantings of heritage fruiting trees and shrubs will infill to connect the recreational trails across the Region.
4) Niagara’s Great Heritage Tree Hunt
The main focus of the Heritage Tree Hunt is to offer recognition to these significant trees within the Region, educate community members on the value of trees, and protect them for generations to come. In order to merit protection under to Ontario Heritage Act, trees must exhibit significant social, cultural and historical value. Heritage trees are identified and assessed based on their age, size, appearance, and most importantly their cultural and historical significance.
Students annually collect data on the health and annual growth of their tree plantings as they explore issues surrounding climate change locally and globally. Data collection is entered online and used as an early indicator of species decline. Since 2010, Climate Action Niagara in collaboration with ACER, provides these programs for 3 to 6 Niagara schools per year.
Go Global Plots in Niagara
Go Global is a network of one-hectare plots, which demonstrate the effectiveness of local monitoring and reporting of environmental change in long-term forest biodiversity monitoring programs.
ACER and community partners monitor and collect data in one-hectare forest plots representative of regional ecosystems by trained volunteers using Smithsonian/Environment Canada protocols.
Twelve one-hectare plots along Southern Ontario’s escarpment were inventoried and measured in accordance with the Smithsonian’s International Forest research protocols. These activities involve the community in understanding the consequences of climate change and human impact on our ecosystem and enable comparison with global forests.
Funded by Earth Day Canada/Sobey’s and in collaboration with the Niagara Parks Commission, Climate Action Niagara, Scouts Canada, and ACER established two new one-hectare plots in Paradise Grove Park, NOTL and additional plots will be established in Niagara in 2013/14
Cleanup of Terry Fox Trail/Earth Day Local Food Feasts/Piloted Boulevard Greenings
ACER partner for the naturalization of school properties (16 trees and 45 shrubs) providing classroom workshops in composting. recycling, species support, soil health, and plant propagation
Partnered with the City of St. Catharines to put on the Greener Tomorrow conference
Assisted municipalities with educational campaigns for idling, energy use, and pesticides
Provide native species plantings, education of native species, native tree seed collections and tours
Assist other trade shows and municipalities with greener vendors
Provide presentations on urban forestry, species in decline, migration rates as well as heat and drought tolerances
Provide monthly e-newsletters to share best practices and areas of concern for a healthier future
Special Events Include….
Eco-Action Award – Sponsor award for Welland/Pelham Chamber of Commerce
Eco Speaker and Film Series – Speaker and film series whcih covers a broad range of eco issues including; local food, home canning, increasing productivity and soil health without pesticides, indoor composting-Vermiculture, affordable solar and wind energies, land use for a sustainable future, transit in Niagara, Niagara soil health, green investment, the urban canopy, heritage trees, species at risk, energy reduction plans, and GMO’s