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Grassy Narrows

The Grassy Narrows First Nation lives at the border of Ontario and Manitoba, near Kenora. Under a 1873 treaty (known as Treaty 3), the Grassy Narrows First Nation was given the right to engage in hunting and fishing on its traditional lands.  Since that time, the community has relied on these activities for subsistence.

However, forestry operations have threatened the Grassy Narrows community. In the 1970s, pollution from a pulp and paper mill contaminated local rivers with mercury, which has caused serious health problems in the community.  More recently, clearcutting on Grassy Narrows’ land has seriously undermined the community’s ability to hunt and fish because it has destroyed wildlife habitat.  Nearly 50% of the community’s traditional land-base has already been clearcut.

The Grassy Narrows First Nation has been resisting the destruction of its land and livelihood for decades and have formally declared a moratorium on all industrial activity within the community’s traditional land use area.  They repeatedly asked Abitibi and Weyerhauser (the companies responsible for clearcutting in the region) to halt operations in their forests, and when this failed, members of the community started a blockade in an attempt to prevent logging trucks from removing timber (2002).

After years of protest, AbitibiBowater announced that it will stop using wood from Grassy Narrows at its Fort Frances pulp mill and that it is seeking to give up its license to manage logging in the contested Whiskey Jack Forest (June 4th, 2008).  It is not yet clear whether logging will continue in order to supply Weyerhaeuser or under what conditions.

The plight of the Grassy Narrows First Nation has gained the attention of environmental and human rights groups from around the world.  The people of Grassy Narrows must be protected from further harm from large-scale logging until recently announced forest management negotiations with the community have run their course.

For more information please visit:

http://freegrassy.org/  

http://www.amnesty.ca/themes/indigenous_grassy_narrows.php

Invite Earthroots to Your Classroom!


Interactive Presentations Available to Schools in the GTA.

If you’re an educator and would like to expose your students to environmental issues, you can arrange for Earthroots to give a presentation at your school. Our staff have experience presenting to audiences of different ages, in a variety of settings.

Presentation topics include:

  • The species and habitats of Ontario
  • Biodiversity in Ontario and around the world
  • The causes and consequences of deforestation
  • Myths and misconceptions about wildlife
  • The effects of climate change


Earthroots is a small, not-for profit, environmental organization. Because we do not receive government funding or corporate support, we charge a nominal fee for our presentations in order to cover expenses. Our fees are on a sliding scale, based on schools’ individual budgets.

 

These are some of the schools in the GTA where Earthroots has made presentations in 2007 / 2008:

Central Technical School

Forest Hill Collegiate

Jarvis Collegiate Institute

OISE 

Rosedale Heights School of the Arts

Rotherglen School

School of Liberal Arts (SOLA)

St. Teresa Catholic Elementary School 

St. Theresa of Lisieux Catholic High School

Thornhill Secondary School


For more information about our school presentations, please contact our office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Fax Thank You

Thank you for adding your voice!

Community Outreach Events

These are some of the events that Earthroots has recently participated in and / or organized:

U of T Environmental Career Day – University of Toronto, Hart House - March 11th, 2010
Earthroots was pleased to be in attendance at this year’s 9th annual Environmental Career Day!  This provided an excellent opportunity for Earthroots to showcase itself to numerous students in the environmental field and recruit experienced volunteers.  Hundreds of students at the 3rd and 4th year undergraduate, Masters and PhD levels attended this event which was organized by The Graduate Environmental Students Association (GESA), Toronto Undergraduate Geography Society (TUGS), and the Environmental Students Union (ENSU), in collaboration with the University of Toronto's Centre for Environment.  http://careerday.environment.utoronto.ca/
Earthroots at the Royal Ontario Museum
Schad Gallery of Biodiversity - Partners in Protection Fridays – February 5th, 2010 (Ongoing)
The Royal Ontario Museum recently opened the Schad Gallery of Biodiversity, a unique gallery that provides a studio space within it where live programming takes place.  Partners in Protection Fridays is a newly developed program that gives special guests and organizations involved with biodiversity-related issues the opportunity to connect with ROM visitors (general public and school visits) via an informal presentation.  Earthroots hosted the museum's first PIP of 2010 on February 5th and will continue to host the workshop in the following months - please come out and visit this beautiful gallery within the ROM and enjoy an educational experience for the whole family! http://www.rom.on.ca/exhibitions/nhistory/nature/index.php

 

Earthroots Fundraiser Show – The Magpie – November 21st, 2009
Earthroots held its second benefit show of the year in November at Magpie Tavern in downtown Toronto.  The event featured great performances by Emilie Mover, Mantler and members of Steamboat, and also featured an awesome dance-filled DJ set by Scott Cudmore (Bring it on Home).  We are very grateful to all of the performers and volunteers that donated their time to making the show a success and want to extend a special thanks to the staff at Magpie Tavern for all of their help.  This benefit would not have been possible without the dedicated work of our in-house event co-ordinator, Audrey Bankley!
http://www.emiliemover.com/
http://www.myspace.com/mantler

 

Eco-Fair – EarthCycle – University of Toronto, September 24th, 2009
Earthroots took part in U of T’s Environment Week festival, EarthCycle.  The festival’s Eco-Fair was held at the Sidney Smith building on university campus, and featured a variety of local non-profit organizations and community groups.  This year’s EarthCycle was the university’s most ambitious Environment Week to date, featuring 28 events over six days of almost constant activity.  From bike races to eco-tours, documentary film screenings, lectures by world-renowned thinkers, and discussions about issues such as water justice and green energy solutions, EarthCycle had something for everyone!
http://www.earthcycle.ca

 

Changing of the Seasons Gathering in Temagami – September 18th - 21st, 2009
Over the weekend of September 18th, Alex Mathias, an Ojibway elder, hosted his annual ceremony to mark the fall equinox on his traditional family territory in the Temagami region of Ontario. The gathering consisted of a weekend of wilderness camping, solidarity and learning about the old-growth forests that make Temagami unique.  Saturday the 19th featured a 'Changing of the Seasons' ceremony, guest speakers, a potluck lunch, visits to Spirit Rock, and guided hikes through the old-growth forest.  This year's event marked the 20th anniversary of the Red Squirrel Road blockades and provided an opportunity for activists from the old and recent days of the campaign to reconnect!

 

Grange Festival – Grange Park, August 7th, 2009
Earthroots participated at University Settlement’s annual Grange Festival on Friday, August 7th in Grange Park.  The event proved to be a fun-filled afternoon of family entertainment which  included games, prizes, clowns, jugglers and a spelling bee.  Special emphasis was placed on being friendlier to the environment and the festival hosted activities and information booths from local community partners and businesses.
http://www.usrc.ca/

 

Dave Matthews Concert – Molson Amphitheatre – June 9th, 2009
Earthroots was kindly invited by the non-profit organization Reverb and the Dave Matthews Band to attend their concert in Toronto at the Molson Amphitheatre.  Reverb is a non-profit organization deeply rooted within the music and environmental communities that educates and engages musicians and their fans to take action toward a more sustainable future.
This provided an interesting forum for Earthroots to reach out and educate the public, and the show was a blast!
http://www.davematthewsband.com
http://www.reverbrock.org

 

Hap Wilson Book Launch – Mountain Equipment Co-op – May 27th, 2009

Book launch and signing with author, artist and wilderness guide Hap Wilson
On Wednesday, May 27th, Earthroots joined together with author Hap Wilson to host the launch of his most recent book, Trails and Tribulations.  The event took place at Mountain Equipment Co-op where Hap did a presentation and discussed his latest work.  The book shares accounts of the author's lifelong involvement with wilderness living - Wilson knows better than most how to survive under rugged conditions.  As park ranger, canoe guide, outfitter, trail builder, and environmental activist, he has learned firsthand that nature can neither be beaten nor tamed. Trails and Tribulations takes the reader on a journey with the author through natural settings ranging from the austere to the mysterious and breathtaking.  Travel with Hap as he takes on the awesome responsibilities of being a guide, faces animal attacks, blazing forest fires, the threat of hypothermia and other challenges while on the trail.  All proceeds from book sales were donated by Mountain Equipment Co-op to support Earthroots' campaigns.  Beer was served courtesy of Mill Street Brewery and wine was provided by Malivoire.  If you would like to purchase a signed copy of the book ($30.00), please contact Earthroots at 416-599-0152.

http://www.eskakwa.ca/
http://www.malivoire.com
http://www.mec.ca/
http://www.millstreetbrewery.com

Earth Day at Downsview Park – Downsview Park – April 26th, 2009
Earthroots was pleased to once again be included in the festivities at Downsview Park’s annual Earth Day event.  For several years now Earth Day at Downsview Park has been home to the Green Pavilion, a large tent housing over 50 exhibitors and vendors representing various environmental themes.  This event provides an excellent opportunity to help educate the public about environmental issues and what they can do to make a difference.  This year’s festival featured various exhibits, activities and entertainment for the whole family!  http://www.pdp.ca/en/events/earthday2009.cfm

 

Markham Eco-Fest, April 17th, 2009
Earthroots participated in the 2009 Markham EcoFest where there were a wide range of environmental organizations promoting the importance of sustainability.  First hand demonstrations were provided not only to youth, but to all the residents of Markham on environmental solutions related to zero-waste.  Students from many different schools were in attendance and the festival was  jam packed with informative environmental booths, games and activities, special guest speakers (including three campaigners from Earthroots!)  The fair was a fun educational experience for the students and residents of Markham.

 

Earthroots Fundraiser Show – The Ossington – March 26th, 2009
Earthroots' first fundraiser show of the year consisted of an evening of live music featuring local players Wyrd Visions, Nordic Nomadic and Brian Borcherdt. Their performances were followed by a DJ set by Toronto artist Brendan Flanagan, as part of The Ossington’s Good One – ‘a weekly artist-turned-DJ night featuring music by the creatively rich’.  We would like to extend a special thank-you to all of those who helped make the event a success, notably: The Ossington, Soundscapes, Pat C, Adam Bell, Carla Jespersen, Jeremy Patrick McCormick, Seema Chandroga and all of the performers involved.
U of T Environmental Career Day – University of Toronto, Hart House - March 6th, 2009
Earthroots was pleased to be in attendance at this year’s 8th annual Environmental Career Day!  This provided an excellent opportunity for Earthroots to showcase itself to numerous students in the environmental field and recruit experienced volunteers.  Hundreds of students at the 3rd and 4th year undergraduate, Masters and PhD levels attended this event which was organized by The Graduate Environmental Students Association (GESA), Toronto Undergraduate Geography Society (TUGS), and the Environmental Students Union (ENSU), in collaboration with the University of Toronto's Centre for Environment.  http://careerday.environment.utoronto.ca/

 

Caribou Mask Exhibition - The Caribou Mask Project, Metro Hall – November 20th - 25th, 2008
This exhibition featured the beautiful work of numerous First Nations and inner-city school children.  Co-ordinated by mask-maker Pamela Schuller and cultural teacher Marie Gaudet, this collaborative project involved Earthroots, the First Nations School, Central Technical School and the Native Child Family Centre.  The students came together through the project to create caribou papier-mâché masks to raise awareness about the plight of this threatened species, and to share their culture with the public.

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Run With the Caribou – The Caribou Migration Event, Withrow Park - November 2nd, 2008
Featuring the work created through the Caribou Mask Project, the goal of the Run With the Caribou event was to raise awareness of the plight of the Woodland Caribou in northern Ontario and to explore aboriginal culture through caribou mythologies, songs, stories and ceremony. During this family event held at Withrow Park, mask-makers and wearers embarked on a journey around the four directions of the medicine wheel, accompanied by traditional native drumming, singing and story telling. To view photos of the event, please visit the Earthroots gallery: http://www.earthroots.org/index.php/component/option,com_rsgallery2/Itemid,49/

 

EcoLeague Forum – October 30th, 2008
Earthroots was excited to participate in this year’s EcoLeague Forum. With the help of Markham Councillor, Erin Shapero, we held an educational workshop focusing on the role of the Oak Ridges Moraine and the importance of protecting Ontario’s watersheds. After the presentation, students brainstormed with us to come up with other ideas about what can be done to help protect the province’s precious water resources. Councillor Shapero shared her inspirational stories and informed the students about some of the best ways to put pressure on the provincial government to protect the Moraine.

EcoLeague is a year-long program that engages students in experiential learning and helps them take on sustainability focused action projects on issues that directly impact them. EcoLeague also helps teachers meet curriculum expectations through engaging and environmentally-focused learning activities.
http://www.ecoleague.ca

 

Planet In Focus Film Festival – October 22nd - 26th, 2008
Earthroots was a participant and community partner at the 9th Annual Planet in Focus Film Festival!  Some of the most outstanding and compelling environmental films and videos created by Canadian and international filmmakers were featured at this festival over the course of 5 days. Earthroots co-presented About Water, a film that focuses on three stories spread over three regions addressing the harsh realities linked to our dependence on water.  The film screened at the ROM on Saturday, October 25th. We also participated at PIF's eco-exchange market on the same day at Innis College, University of Toronto.  The exchange featured a number of leading environmental franchises and organizations from across the GTA.  http://www.planetinfocus.org/

 

Changing of the Seasons Gathering in Temagami – September 13th- 15th, 2008
Over the weekend of September 13th, Alex Mathias, an Ojibway elder, hosted his annual ceremony to mark the fall equinox on his traditional family territory in the Temagami region of Ontario. The gathering consisted of a weekend of wilderness camping, solidarity and learning about the old-growth forests that make Temagami unique.  Saturday the 14th featured a 'Changing of the Seasons' ceremony, guest speakers, a potluck lunch, visits to Spirit Rock, and guided hikes through the old-growth forest.

 

Earthdance – September 13th, 2008
Earthdance, the Global Dance Festival for Peace has grown to become the world's largest simultaneous music and dance event. Founded in 1996, with 22 cities and 18 countries participating, Earthdance has grown to over 300 locations in 60 countries participating in 2007, with locations ranging from the club-lands of New York to the rainforests of Brazil. The event in Toronto featured DJ Anny Fyreagle's mix of world rhythms and live music, a labyrinth walk and a draw.  Earthroots is pleased to have been chosen by Earthdance as the recipient of a portion of the proceeds generated!   http://www.earthdance.org/

 

The 24th Annual Vegetarian Food Fair – September 5th, 6th & 7th, 2008
Earthroots was pleased to attend the Veggie Food Fair again this year! The Food Fair takes place each September inside and on the grounds of York Quay Centre, Harbourfront Centre. Themes of focus at the fair included health and wellness, vegetarian cuisine, the environment, animal welfare, and community-building activism.  http://www.veg.ca/

 

Counting Crows & Maroon 5 at the Molson Amphitheatre – August 19th, 2008
The Counting Crows (in participation with GreyBird Foundation), invited Earthroots to table at this great concert held at the Amphitheatre.  GreyBird was founded by the group to promote local community organizations in cities where the band performs.  We are pleased that the Counting Crows invited us to participate in this initiative once again, and that the band said a few words about Earthroots to their audience during the show!  http://www.greybirdfoundation.org/

 

Hillside Festival – July 25th-27th, 2008
Earthroots attended Guelph's 25th Hillside Festival on July 26th & 27th alongside numerous community organizations.  Hillside is renowned for its artistic lineup, a flavourful blend of up-and-coming Canadian performers, world artists, and local talent.  The program at this year’s festival was richly diverse and highly entertaining!  http://www.hillsidefestival.ca/

 

Going Green at the Grange Festival - July 18th, 2008
This festival at Grange Park included free games, food, face painting, amusement rides, magic, music and more! Earthroots and numerous other groups attended the event in an effort to educate the public about sustainable living and how they can maintain healthier lifestyles and go green at home, at work and in the community.  http://www.usrc.ca/

 

Earthroots Gallery Fundraiser, *Hotshot Gallery – June 20th – 22nd, 2008

Numerous local artists and musicians joined Earthroots on June 20th, 2008, at Toronto’s Hotshot Gallery.  The primary objective of the show was to build coalescence between the environmental movement and the city’s local music and arts community, in an effort to increase awareness about Ontario’s pressing conservation and biodiversity issues.  The secondary objective was to raise funds for Earthroots’ campaigns! 

The event explored the nature of the relationship between arts, entertainment and the environment and focused on the importance of rekindling and maintaining this connection within our immediate creative community and beyond.

We would like to extend a special thank-you to all of the artists, musicians and contributors involved:

Artists:  James Mejia (www.jamesmejia.com), Pat C (www.patc.ca), Jenn Sciarrino (www.jennsciarrino.com), Karen Kraven (www.karenkraven.com), Julie Fader (www.juliefader.com), Erica Beyea (www.myspace.com/beyea), and Anna May Henry (www.annamayhenry.com).

Musicians:  Brian Borcherdt (www.myspace.com/brianborcherdt or www.holyf*ckmusic.com), Lily Frost (www.lilyfrost.com) and Emilie Mover (www.myspace.com/emiliemover).

Volunteers:  Seema Chandroga, Lesley-Ann Chiavaroli, John & Beverley Ellis, Marilou Loncol-Daigneault, Tania Lukic, Paul McCrady, Noah from Hotshot and Allison Roberts.

Contributors:  Flat Rock Cellars, Fuse Magazine, Harmony Organic, Malivoire, Mill Street Brewery, Plan B Organic Farm, Summer Fresh, Sweets From The Earth and Wellington Brewery.

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To view more photos of the event please click here.

 

Sustainability Fair - Living Green in the City, Unitarian Fellowship of Northwest Toronto - June 7, 2008
Earthroots participated at this eco-fair, held to educate the public about the importance of maintaining a sustainable lifestyle in the city.  Sustainable day-to-day practices highlighted included: eating local organic produce, growing produce, using alternative sources of power and fewer resources.   http://www.cuc.ca/gta/

 

Pedestrian Sunday, Kensington Market – May 25th, 2008
This vibrant street fair, which made the season’s debut on the last Sunday of May, was a delight to take in for all those who attended.  The spectacular weather allowed for a variety of activities and entertainment to take place on this vehicle-free day in Kensington Market.  Keep an eye out for the Earthroots display at the next PS Kensington, set to take place on June 29th, 2008.   http://www.pskensington.ca/

 

Holy F*ck – An Earthroots Benefit, Wrongbar – May 16th, 2008
Holy F*ck joined together with Off the International Radar to raise funds for Earthroots at this spectacular, sold-out show at Wrongbar.  Earthroots would like to take this opportunity to thank Brian Borcherdt, Graham Walsh, Matt McQuaide, Brad Kilpatrick and Matt Shulz for their thoughtful contribution.   http://holyf*ckmusic.com/

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To view more photos of the event please click here.

 

Iconic Species & Screen Printing Workshop, Global Development Village – May 8th, 2008
This exciting initiative facilitated by Youth of the World showcased a plethora of non-profit and charitable organizations with mandates correlating to the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs), as established by the United Nations and Youth of the World in September, 2000.  This event was designed to educate students in grades 7-12 about the pressing issues relating to these goals, and thus motivate them to work towards attaining these MDGs by 2015.

Earthroots held a workshop consisting of two components.  The first phase of the workshop addressed Earthroots’ MDG, Environmental Sustainability, and highlighted the symbolic value of two of Canada’s iconic species, the wolf and the caribou.  The students were educated about the plight of these important indicator species and were encouraged to demand better protection for species at risk, and for the environment in general. The second phase of the workshop consisted of a silk-screen printing session where the students printed images of the wolf and caribou onto fabric patches, which they were then able to take home with them.   http://www.youthoftheworld.ca/Overview/

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To view more photos of the event please click here.
An Evening of Green, Etobicoke School for the Arts – April 25th, 2008

Etobicoke School for the Arts invited Earthroots to attend ‘An Evening of Green’ which corresponded with the school’s Earth Week activities.  Earthroots was pleased to attend alongside a variety of information displays, vendors and entertainment.

 

Earth Day Plant Sale, Corus Entertainment – April 22nd, 2008
Corus Entertainment held an Earth Day event which featured a plant sale and screening of the acclaimed new film ‘The 11th Hour’.  A percentage of proceeds from the sale was generously donated to Earthroots; we were grateful to be Corus’ organization of choice for this fundraising opportunity.  http://www.corusent.com/index.asp

 

Earth Day, Downsview Park – April 20th, 2008
Earthroots participated in this annual Earth Day celebration which featured numerous conservation organizations and interactive activities.   http://www.earthday.ca/pub/events/festival/downsview.php

 

EnviroFEST 2008 / NGO Fair at Victoria College – March 19th, 2008
This NGO fair, which was part of Victoria College’s EnviroFEST2008, showcased numerous environmental advocacy groups.  This was a great occasion for Earthroots to discuss urgent conservation issues with U of T students.   http://www.vicenvirofest.ca/Envirofest/Home.html

 

Career Day, University of Toronto – March 7th, 2008
Earthroots was pleased to participate in University of Toronto's Environmental Career Day, 2008. The event was a good opportunity for us to showcase our campaigns and inform students of volunteering opportunities with the organization.   http://www.utoronto.ca/divenv/careerday2008/index.htm

 

Sustainability Fair at Ryerson University - January 22, 2008
Ryerson Green Campus Initiative and the Sustainability Coalition organized this event as part of their Sustainability Week.  The fair hosted water bottle and light bulb exchanges; a number of organizations and student groups attended and displayed materials highlighting the importance of conservation and sustainability.   http://www.ryegci.com/

 

Kyoto Now  -  Climate Rally, March & Eco-Fair - International Day of Action
December 8th, 2007

Earthroots joined people from all around the world to demand that our leaders take urgent action to prevent catastrophic global warming.  The event coincided with the halfway point of the historic United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which took place December 3 - 14, 2007 in Bali, Indonesia.   http://www.torontoclimatecampaign.org/d8rally2007

 

Endangered Lunch & Eco-Fair / Rally at Queen's Park - November 5th, 2007
Held by Earthroots, Sierra Club of Canada and Land Over Landings.  The goal of the event was to address the threat that the proposed Pickering airport will have on local agriculture in the area.  (A lunch comprised of a variety of local produce was served to highlight the importance of supporting local agriculture).

 

Planet In Focus Film Festival - October 27th & 28th, 2007
Planet in Focus is Canada’s most acclaimed International Environmental Film and Video festival.  We tabled at the Eco-Exchange at Innis Town Hall organized by PIF. 
http://www.planetinfocus.org/

 

The Gathering - Changing of the Seasons Ceremony in Temagami - September 15th-18th, 2007
Over the weekend of September 15th, Alex Mathias, an Ojibway elder, hosted his annual ceremony to mark the fall equinox on his traditional family territory in the Temagami region of Ontario. Many of Earthroots staff, volunteers and friends were in attendance.  It was a weekend of wilderness camping, spirituality, solidarity and learning about the old-growth forests that make Temagami unique. There was a traditional 'Changing of the Seasons' ceremony, canoe excursions, guest speakers, visits to Spirit Rock, sweat lodges and hikes through the old-growth forest.  To view photos of the event, please click here .

 

The 23rd Annual Vegetarian Food Fair- September 7th - 9th, 2007
Earthroots participated in Toronto’s Vegetarian Food Fair, the largest of its kind in North America, in order to highlight our campaigns to protect wild animals.  The event hosted hundreds of exhibitors, cooking demos, free food samples, performances and workshops. 
http://www.veg.ca/

 

Hillside Festival - July 27th-29th, 2007
This music festival in Guelph was a delight to attend! 
http://hillsidefestival.ca/

 

Wolf Lake Canoe Trip - August 24th - 26th, 2007
Earthroots attended this beautiful canoe trip organized by Friends of Chiniguchi.  Located in the southwest corner of Temagami along the Chiniguchi waterway, Wolf Lake is the largest contiguous stand of old-growth red pine trees in all of Canada, and most likely in the world.  Unfortunately new developments threaten this national treasure. For many years the Wolf Lake region has had a forest reserve status protecting the old-growth stands from logging interests, however, this level of protection may be lifted in the near future.   http://www.friendsofchiniguchi.com/

 

Pedestrian Sundays in Kensington Market - May-October 2007
We participated in this diverse and lively street fair which took place on the last Sunday of each month!   http://www.pskensington.ca/

 

Downsview Park's SpringFest - May 5th, 2007
Earthroots celebrated the warmth and beauty of the spring season alongside other green participants.  We also held a mask-painting workshop for children attending the festival.

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Green Living Show- April 27th-29th, 2007
We were happy to participate in "Toronto's first consumer show dedicated to all things green."   http://www.greenlivingshow.ca

 

Downsview Tree Planting Eco Fair - April 22nd, 2007
We had a literature table set-up at this wonderful Earth Day celebration.
http://www.earthday.ca/pub/events/festival/downsview.php

 

Peterborough Demo- April 2007
A group of Earthroots staff and volunteers gathered in Peterborough in front of the Ministry of Natural Resources Offices to urge the government to ban sport-hunting in all protected areas.

 

Earthroots Benefit Show - March 30th, 2007
A collection of Toronto's finest indie gems came together to create an unforgettable show in honour of Earthroots!  Performers included Julie Fader, Brian Borcehrdt, Graham Walsh, Andre Ethier, Sean MacDonald and Live Country Music.  A profound thank-you to all involved and to Ideal Coffee and Be Well Know How Naturopathy for their generous gift donations to the performers and for the fundraising raffle held at the show!

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Temagami Template Letter

Draft Forest Management Plan for Temagami

 

We need your voice to speak out for increased protection of Temagami's wilderness!  Please copy and paste the text below into a Word document, modify it to reflect your unique perspective, and print out and mail the letter to the Minister of Natural Resources at the address below. 

To view the posting on the Environmental Bill of Rights please visit http://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEB-External/ and type in EBR# 010-0008. 

For more information please contact Earthroots Forest Campaigner, Mark Kear, at 416-599-0152 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you could also email us copy of your letter for our records at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., we would appreciate it.   

 

Temagami Template Letter

 

Please direct your letter to: 

Honourable Donna Cansfield
Minister of Natural Resources
99 Wellesley Street West, Room 6630, Whitney Block
Toronto, ON
M7A 1W3
Fax: 416-325-5316
 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.    This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it      

 

Honourable Donna Cansfield, Minister of Natural Resources
99 Wellesley Street West, Room 6630, Whitney Block, Toronto, ON  M7A 1W3
Fax: 416-325-5316  

Re: EBR Registry Number: 010-0008 - Forest Management Plan for the Temagami Crown Management Unit (CMU) for the 10-year period April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2019 – Public Inspection of Approved Plan 

Dear Minister Cansfield,
 
On March 4th, 2009, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) released the final version of the 2009-2019 Temagami Forest Management Plan (FMP). The Plan is one of the most contentious in the history of the management unit (MU).  For the first time in Ontario's history the Local Citizens' Committee (LCC) expressed its general disagreement with the draft plan, and a record 8 issue resolution processes were initiated. 

I am concerned that the Plan endorses logging in endangered old-growth ecosystems, threatens the viability of ecotourism, and provides no strategy for dealing with climate change. The Plan must be modified to ensure that ecological and recreational values are protected and that Temagami has a sustainable future.  As a concerned citizen of Ontario, I am asking that following amendments and additions be made to the 2009-2019 Temagami Forest Management Plan before it is too late: 

- Only 65% of the area allocated for harvest has been utilized and mill demand is at a historic low, therefore the area allocated for harvest must be adjusted to reflect recent changes in industrial wood demand and past utilization levels.
 
- Increasing road density promotes illegal access, inflates OMNR monitoring and enforcement costs, and threatens ecological integrity, therefore targets to reduce or maintain road density must be developed for the short term (10 years) and medium term (20 years) - not only the long term (100 years).
 
- Old-growth red and white pine forest is an endangered ecosystem and more than half of what remains is located in Temagami, therefore old-growth red and white pine must be excluded from operations altogether.
 
- First Nations people have the right to be consulted and accommodated, and cut-block Canton 60 is located in close proximity to the Spirit Forest (home to the Wakimika Triangle, the largest old-growth red and white pine forest in the world) and the Spirit Rock sacred site, therefore cut-block Canton 60 must be removed from operations.
 
- The growth of ecotourism and the diversification of the local economy are dependent upon the creation of unbroken protected areas free of industrial activities, therefore the Western Backcountry must be off limits to logging and eventually granted park status in its entirety.
 
- Temagami's ancient forest ecosystems contain centuries of accumulated carbon, and global warming is a threat to Temagami's forests in the form of extreme weather events, insect infestations and shifting zones of species competition, therefore a climate change strategy - including objectives, indicators and targets - must be developed for Temagami.
 
Thank you for the opportunity to participate in the FMP process; I hope that the OMNR will take a progressive approach to managing the Temagami region by addressing these concerns. 

Sincerely, 

Wolf and Tree Adoption Packages

Adopt a tree or wolf this holiday season and help protect Ontario's wilderness and wildlife!

Earthroots is offering different packages ($50, $75 or $100) to choose from through our adopt a tree or wolf programs.  The basic package comes with a personalized certificate, an Earthroots membership, literature and a plush toy ("Howlie" wolf or Pine Marten).  The books we offer in our various premium packages are Hap Wilson's The Cabin, Joanie and Gary McGuffin's In The Footsteps of Grey Owl, Celia Godkin's children's book Wolf Island, Farley Mowat's classic Never Cry Wolf, and David Mech's Wolves: Behaviour, Ecology, and Conservation.  All proceeds go towards Earthroots' work to protect Ontario's wild wolves or Temagami's ancient pine forests.

 
icon Click here to download an adoption package order form. (1006 kB)

 

For faster processing, please fax the form to 416-340-2429 or place your order by phone by calling 416-599-0152 x11 (Monday - Friday, 10AM - 6PM).

Public comment period re: cormorant and deer culling in Presqu'ile Provincial Park

The public has an opportunity to comment on a controversial proposal to shoot both whitetail deer and Double-crested Cormorants for the next 10 years at Presqu'ile Provincial Park near Belleville, Ontario. The comment period ends on Monday December 29th, 2008.

To review the background documents, please visit http://www.ontarioparks.com/english/pres_planning.html

If this proposal is allowed to pass without public opposition, it could set the stage for other culls in the provincial parks system and/or establish indefinite culls.  Ontario Parks, in their ‘screening’ document, have already stated that they anticipate little reaction for the proposed deer cull.

Below is a sign-on letter that describes the proposal in more detail, and can be emailed, faxed or mailed to Ontario Parks.  Please make sure you cc Premier McGuinty - he needs to know there is public opposition to this plan.

While the sign-on letter is available to you, individual personal letters are best and will carry more weight with the decision makers.

Corina Brdar, Zone Ecologist
Ontario Parks, Southeast Zone
51 Heakes Lane
Kingston, ON
K7M 9B1
Fax: 613-536-7228
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Dear Ms. Brdar,

I am writing to express my opposition to Ontario Parks’ proposed culling program of both whitetail deer and double-crested cormorants in Presqu’ile Provincial Park.  Ontario Parks has already harassed and killed tens of thousands of nesting cormorants at Presqu’ile, and almost two hundred whitetail deer over the last 5 years.

I do not support Ontario Parks in their efforts to implement an unrestricted program to continually kill both deer and cormorants without any further public notification for the next 10 years; this would amount to a total of 15 years of continually culling native wildlife in Presqu'ile.  If this proposal is allowed to proceed, killing these animals will become routine and part of the overall park maintenance program.  Culling native wildlife in our protected areas is not in line with the true meaning of protecting ecological integrity.

This controversial proposal is unprecedented in Ontario’s provincial parks, perceived by most Ontarians as places of wildlife refuge.  If implemented this plan will allow the slaughter of native wildlife based on the discretion of government wildlife managers, and will block all input from the public and stakeholders.  Numerous experts believe that culling serves no real conservation concern; it does not reduce the local area's desirability to wildlife species nor its carrying capacity - it is also extremely costly.

Both whitetail deer and double-crested cormorants are native to Ontario, and play a vital role in maintaining ecological stability.  Double-crested cormorants are fish-eating birds and top aquatic predators.  Eliminating these animals from Presqu’ile will disrupt the natural processes occuring within the ecosystem which includes the aquatic ecology of Lake Ontario.  

Ontario Parks states that both deer and cormorants are ‘over-abundant’ and must be controlled however the idea that wildlife populations are exceeding natural limits and must be controlled by human intervention has no foundation in scientific study; the motivation behind this is a result of political pressure rather than ecological principles.  Populations have always been self-regulating through the abundance of food and habitat; a basic ecological principle that is true for all species.

If this proposal goes forward, Ontario Parks will be creating a legacy of killing wildlife in our province’s protected areas.  I oppose this proposal and support full protection of our native wildlife populations in Ontario’s provincial parks.

Sincerely,

cc

Premier Dalton McGuinty
Legislative Building, Queen’s Park
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1A1
Fax: 416-325-3745

Earthroots' Etsy Store

Here are some of the latest items in our new Etsy online store. 


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Volunteer Opportunities

Earthroots Needs Community Outreach Volunteers!


Earthroots needs help outside of our office with upcoming special events, fundraisers, eco-fairs, and a variety of Earth Day related festivals in the GTA.

We are seeking individuals who are passionate about wilderness conservation and
enjoy engaging the public.

Main tasks include:

* Preparation of materials for eco-fairs,
* Setting up the Earthroots booth (literature and educational materials display),
* Tending to the booth over the course of the event,
* Engaging attendees in dialogue about Earthroots' campaigns to protect Ontario's wilderness, wildlife and watersheds.

If you are interested in participating in fun events in the environmental community and contributing your time towards a great cause, please send an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Data-Entry Volunteer


Earthroots is in need of a volunteer to assist with administrative tasks, primarily data-entry and issuing donor tax receipts.

Main tasks include:

* Sorting donation slips,
* Entering donations into the data-base using Microsoft Access,
* Issuing tax receipts to donors,
* Preparing tax receipt mailing packages.

We require a volunteer to come into our office (located at Richmond and Spadina in downtown Toronto) one or two days a week to assist with the above duties.  Candidates should be proficient with computers and possess great attention to detail.  Although volunteers will be fully trained by the Outreach Coordinator to use our in-house systems, previous experience doing data-entry (especially for a non-profit organization) is an asset.

Please send an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Employment Opportunities

Current Openings - Spring 2016

 

Environmental Outreach Canvasser

Earthroots is a grassroots non-profit environmental organization dedicated to protecting wilderness, wildlife and watersheds, through research, education and action.  We are currently seeking outgoing, responsible, environmentally-minded individuals to join our door-to-door canvass.  For almost two decades our dedicated canvass team has played an essential role in helping the organization achieve its goals.  The position involves engaging people in residential neighbourhoods in Toronto to raise awareness about the organization and our campaigns, get petitions signed, and ask for financial support.  This is a paid part-time position.

While canvassing has its trials and tribulations and is not for everyone, this could be the perfect job for you!  Spreading the word about important environmental issues while working with a group of politically active and like-minded individuals can be very rewarding.  This position allows flexibility in terms of scheduling your shifts each week and also provides a lot of insight into the inner-workings of a small environmental group – it is a great way to get your foot in the door at Earthroots.  Finding employment that you can feel good about is challenging these days – if this position sounds like a good fit for you, then look no further!

Post-secondary education in an environmentally related discipline, and/or past experience working or volunteering in the not-for-profit sector are an asset, but not required.

For more information or to apply, please send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 

 

Collaborative Greenbelt Wetlands Assessment Project

Some of Canada’s fastest growing urban areas are in and around Ontario’s Greenbelt.  The 2007 Report of the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO) stated that this “unprecedented growth” is putting “great pressure” on natural features such as wetlands.  “The province,” the report continued, “has invested significant energy in the development of legislation, plans, policies and guidelines aimed at striking a balance between the rapid growth of human communities and the need to protect important natural resources and features.”  The report concluded that it is necessary now “to take a step back and evaluate whether these efforts will achieve the intended goals of ecosystem protection and the creation of truly sustainable urban communities in Southern Ontario.”

As part of a collaborative project led by Ecojustice (formerly Sierra Legal Defence Fund) and generously funded by the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, Earthroots will be examining how well the Greenbelt legislation is protecting wetlands and their surrounding watersheds.  Echoing the concerns of the Environmental Commissioner, we fear that integral issues affecting Southern Ontario’s hydrologic systems are seeping through the cracks between overlapping pieces of legislation and split responsibilities among Ontario’s Ministries.  

Ontario’s Greenbelt encompasses the previously protected Oak Ridges Moraine and Niagara Escarpment, as well as creating an additional million acres of Protected Countryside, forming a complete ring of protection from the Niagara region in the east, to Peterborough and Northumberland counties in the west.  Because the Greenbelt includes the previously protected Oak Ridges Moraine and Niagara Escarpment, different plans and policies offer different levels of protection on the respective Oak Ridges Moraine, Niagara Escarpment, and Protected Countryside areas of the Greenbelt.

The division of responsibilities between Ontario’s Ministries adds another level of complexity to the layers of legislation protecting our water sources: the Ministry of Natural Resources is responsible for identifying, classifying and keeping an inventory of wetlands; the Ministry of the Environment is responsible for monitoring and sustainably regulating the use of water from lakes, rivers, streams, and underground aquifers; and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing created and is responsible for the Greenbelt Plan as well as the protection that it offers to all of these different hydrological features.  

Earthroots has been playing a watch dog role, particularly on the Oak Ridges Moraine, to get a sense of how protection is actually unfolding on the ground.  Unfortunately, it appears there are numerous gaps, loopholes, and weaknesses in protection that are allowing the continued degradation of key water features.  For example, in Aurora, a controversial new golf course development is threatening to bypass legislation.  If this development moves forward it will have untold impacts on 7 onsite provincially significant wetlands, as well as further taxing aquifers in an area already experiencing serious water shortages.  For more information, click here.   

Our work with Ecojustice on the 2008 “Ontario’s Water Hazard” case study also exposed serious weaknesses in the Ministry of the Environment’s (MOE) system for sustainably allowing the use of water resources.  Lax standards and a failure to examine the cumulative impacts of water taking permits has resulted in the over-use of groundwater in our case study area on the Moraine, such that groundwater levels have been declining in the area since at least 1997 (for more information visit the Ontario’s Water Hazard link area of our website).  Earthroots is now examining the legality and long-term implications of two separate applications that are proposing to pipe water from the protected area of the Oak Ridges Moraine to service new developments outside of the Greenbelt.  For more information, click here.  This is by no means an exhaustive list of issues with current protection.  What many people do not realize is that ‘protection’ can have many different meanings; as the Greenbelt is now 5 years old and nearing its first formal review in 2015, we must now evaluate the effectiveness of this legislation and how it is actually working out on the ground.

With the generous support of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation and the added expertise of our project partners at Ecojustice, Ontario Nature, and Ducks Unlimited, we are excited to be moving forward with this collaborative Greenbelt Wetlands Assessment project.  Through a series of case studies on the Oak Ridges Moraine, Niagara Escarpment, and Protected Countryside areas of the Greenbelt, we will appraise the effectiveness of the Greenbelt in protecting wetlands and their surrounding watersheds.  Case studies will be geographically diverse, and involve proposals that were (or are being) considered by a municipality and that would potentially impact wetlands.  

Using an integrated approach, we will also be examining all of the water takings (surface and ground) within a relevant vicinity of our wetlands case studies, allowing us to examine the cumulative impacts of water use.  This will also allow us to examine the integral connections between wetlands, surface water, and groundwater, connections that we fear are currently falling through gaps in policy that exist between provincial Ministries and their respective mandates and responsibilities.

Our objectives include commenting on the implementation of the Greenbelt, as well as identifying barriers and opportunities for policy reform prior to the upcoming 2015 review of the Greenbelt legislation.  Once our research is complete, we will engage in a rigorous outreach program to share our results and recommendation with a number of stakeholders who are wrestling with this new legislation, including provincial Ministries, other interested not-for-profit organizations, concerned members of the public, and municipalities.

Initial work on this project began in the summer of 2009, when Earthroots, Ecojustice, and our project partners were awarded a start-up planning grant from the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, allowing us to begin developing our project and methodology.  Our full project is now underway and is expected to be wrap up in June 2011.

Visit our Etsy Store

Support wilderness and wildlife protection by purchasing items from our Etsy store.

 

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