Newsletter: November 2023
November 30, 2023 –
A Message from our President
Burkhard is away for a few weeks.
“I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees.”
– H.D. Thoreau
An Ontario Treasure
In the last month, dozens and dozens of donors have contributed towards saving Ontario Place. A big thank you to everyone who has given so generously!
Our partners at Ontario Place for All have filed for a legal injunction to prevent the Government of Ontario from proceeding with development plans on the West Island until a complete environmental assessment is conducted. If you would like to contribute towards this legal action, please visit the crowdfunding page.
Gather for the Greenbelt
On October 28th, 250 guests attended the second Gather event in Barrie, ON, organized with our partner Simcoe County Greenbelt Coalition (SCGC) and featuring Margaret Atwood and special guest Sarah Harmer. SCGC Executive Director, Margaret Prophet, emceed the evening of music, art, poetry, seasonal food and local drink. Thank you to everyone who attended and supported this event – together we raised $40,000 in direct gifts and pledges! We look forward to gathering again soon to continue our work to protect and expand the Greenbelt.
Sand, Surf, Seals and Horses
Our team member Abbie Branchflower is an enthusiastic advocate for wildlife and wild spaces. Last month, she went on a one-day research trip to Nova Scotia’s remote Sable Island. While the island is largely uninfluenced by humans, sadly it is not free from litter and debris; Abbie came across plastic, coffee cups, glass and even a broken mini fridge while there. “To see garbage littering this remote ecosystem is truly upsetting,” said Abbie. She is continuing her work to preserve Sable Island, including by supporting action to protect the waters around the island from offshore drilling. For more, see the Public Voice Fund update below.
- Reducing Poverty Through Legal Reform: To advance legal reforms that reduce poverty, with a particular focus on more effectively serving the needs of low-income people. In partnership with the Centre for Health Science and Law.
- Save the Bay: To protect the Niagara Escarpment and Georgian Bay through informing and educating the public about the environmental, social and economic impacts of a proposed open-loop hydroelectric pumped storage project in Meaford, ON. In partnership with Save Georgian Bay.
- Save the Kemptville (ON) Farmland: To protect and conserve 183 acres of prime agricultural land, its natural heritage and existing farm buildings from being lost to build a provincial prison. In partnership with the Coalition Against the Proposed Prison.
- Youth Climate Action Fund: To fund community events in Grey and Bruce Counties (ON) throughout the year to engage youth and provide space for youth voices in climate action. In partnership with The Sustainability Project Inc.
This autumn, former Small Change Fund intern Emily Pryszlak concluded her internship with the Greener Toronto Fund project. Through this experience, Emily learned critical skills for nonprofit success that set her up for her new role as a Naturalist Teacher at the High Park Nature Centre.
“The internship has been beyond valuable to me, and I cannot stress enough the confidence I have gained,” said Emily. “The experience transformed me from a newly minted university grad in Ecology and Evolutionary biology, to a person with enough knowledge, skills and confidence to land my dream job.”
Public Voice Fund Update
The Public Voice Fund awards grants to charities so they can hire public relations experts to advocate for environmental causes.
Recent grants include:
- East Coast Environmental Law Association: To prevent the federal and provincial governments from approving a bid for offshore oil drilling next to Sable Island and the Gully Marine Protected Area.
- Alberta Ecotrust: To secure provincial support for the Climate Innovation Fund endowment.
- Whistler Centre for Sustainability Institute and Climate Caucus: To establish a $3 billion long term, flexible municipal Climate Action Fund in the 2024 federal budget.
Small News Bites
- On November 22nd, our partners in Hamilton, Ontario successfully defended their Urban Boundary for the second time! Council voted unanimously to overturn the provincial decision to expand the boundary and build on priceless farmland. Congratulations, Hamilton!
- There’s just one more day to let the Ontario government know that you want full and permanent protection for Ontario’s Greenbelt.
- In the GTA? Join Keep the Greenbelt Promise on a field trip to Queen’s Park TOMORROW from 12:30-2:30pm for the Legislative Hearing on the Greenbelt.
- Congratulations to our partners at the Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition on their 20th anniversary! You can support our work together here.
Thank you so much to each and every one of our partners, donors and supporters!
The Small Change Fund Team