I would like to comment on the article “North Grenville Environmental Action Advisory Committee sets its direction” in your April 27, 2023 issue. It is too bad that this Advisory Committee wasn’t active many years ago. We really need to work at eliminating the harm we have done to our environment.
It brings to mind the four acres of Crown Land (public and Indigenous People’s lands) that is being used by the Kemptville Disc Golf Club. In the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources “Recreational activities on Crown Land”, this Disc Golf is not a listed recreational activity. This activity would have had to be approved by MNR, which it was. One of the processes in using Crown Land is an assessment of potential impacts on Indigenous and Treaty rights. Unfortunately, the Algonquins of Eastern Ontario are still trying to negotiate a treaty with the governments, provincial and federal, ever since the settlers first came to Eastern Ontario. I asked MNR what their process was in their decision to approve the Disc Golf activity on Crown Land. I still have not heard from them.
My other concern is with the impact on the environment. The EACC article mentions how “humans have neglected to recognize the damage we have done to plants, animals and the Earth as a whole.” One of the points made in the Recreational Activities on Crown Land is “protecting the natural environment.” “When using Crown Land, you are asked to act responsibly to help protect the natural environment and understand the risks associated with your activity.” This is not happening in that four acres and anyone who understands what a forest is will know that more than four acres is being affected. In the four acres, all of the understory has been trampled and trees were cut down. The understory included many white trilliums, our provincial flower. The trillium takes 7 to 11 years to produce a flower and only produces one seed a year. It has a sweet coating on it which entices ants to take the seed to their nests and eat the coating. This enables the plant to germinate. With the trampling of the undergrowth, the trilliums won’t come back. Also, there was a nice patch of wild ginger and it is now gone, so much for biodiversity. Without the understory, the soil structure has been damaged and now there is nothing to hold the water when it rains, creating very dry conditions for the trees. On the last bird walk that happened before the pandemic, there were five species of birds singing in the four acres; last summer, there was one. North America has lost three billion, not million, billion birds since 1970; we need every bit of habitat for them to raise their young.
I really hope that the EACC can reverse these trends that are happening here and make North Grenville a greener place.