Newsletter: June 2022

Newsletter: June 2022

JUNE 28, 2022 –

A Message from our Green-Thumbed President

We take our victories – small and large. Last month we had a small but meaningful one.

We helped folks in Smiths Falls, Ontario fight to keep their natural garden after the local Bylaw Enforcement officer issued an order to remove it. We brought the appeal to the Ontario Superior Court and, faced with a lawsuit, the Town retreated. The garden is now safe (there have been several high-profile lawsuits on natural gardens over the years – all won!).

We know naturalized gardens – yards planted to support biodiversity – bring countless environmental benefits. Even so, habitat gardeners often have to fight local bylaws in order to protect their right to a naturalized landscape. Consider, it is only as of this January that the City of Toronto no longer requires special exemption permits for natural gardens!

We shouldn’t have to hire lawyers to protect a natural garden. But we will if we have to.

– Burkhard


2021: A Year in Review

Check out our 2021 Annual Report for an overview of Small Change Fund’s biggest year yet. A sincere thank you to all of those who made our growth possible.

Congratulations, Abbie and Shayne

Our team member, Abbie, tied the knot on June 18th. As nature lovers, she and her husband, Shayne, chose to get married underneath a hundred-year-old oak tree.

The weather was touch and go, right up until the day of. Happily, the rain stopped and they had the wedding of their dreams surrounded by friends and family.

Anishnabe-led Moose Research Project: Update

It was an active spring for the Anishnabe-led Moose Research Project. We launched a successful art auction, released t-shirts for sale and our partners with The Anishnabe Moose Research Committee made their first community visit. In Pikogan, the Committee ran a highly rewarding, weekend-long workshop for a wide range of audience members interested in protecting the moose population. The Committee has several more of these presentations booked for the summer.

Bracebridge, Ontario Wetland at Risk

We are partnering with South Bracebridge Environmental Protection Group Inc to defend 443 acres of wetlands and environmentally sensitive lands from development. The area is home to a recorded 204 species, 20 of which are Species-At-Risk and a further seven Endangered Species.

Check out the project page to read more and donate towards this crucial cause.

The Next Chapter in Reconciliation

Small Change Fund is committed to acting on the 94 Calls to Action defined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and turning Reconciliation into on-the-ground action. As part of this commitment, we are supporting The Canadian Library which aims to cover thousands of books in Indigenous fabric to produce an art installation in honour of missing and murdered Indigenous Women and Children across Canada. The project honours the lives lost and creates awareness in the hopes of effecting positive change.

Small News Bites

  • Jacqueline Lee-Tam, Co-director of the Climate Justice Organizing HUB and Small Change Fund staff member, presented on the strategic importance of supporting the grassroots sector at the Philanthropy Workshop’s Global Summit.
  • For many years, Ontario has been told that urban sprawl will help fix housing affordability. We challenged this lie through a communications campaign, including radio ads which can be heard here.
  • The Public Voice Fund is a year old! In our inaugural year, the Fund awarded 12 grants towards government relations support for Canadian charities. This support was spread across the country, with grants in six individual provinces and over 40% of the funds used for national causes.

Happy summer, everyone!


The Small Change Fund Team