Supporting Native Biodiversity From Home

While many of our events are on hold during this time, there are still ways that you can help to maintain and protect Oakville’s diverse ecosystems. Supporting native biodiversity in our community is easy and can begin at home.
What is a native species?
Organisms that are adapted to the climate and soil conditions of a region and naturally exist there are considered to be native species. Southern Ontario is home to a plethora of beautiful species of animals, fungi, flora, and fauna. Collectively, these species make up the native biodiversity of an area.
Why is it important to maintain native biodiversity?
Native species are very important to our ecosystems and have been evolving in Southern Ontario for thousands of years. A healthy and diverse ecosystem will provide us with clean air, fresh water, and a more stable climate.
How can you help to maintain native biodiversity?
We can all do our part to support native species in Oakville. Maintaining native biodiversity can begin in your own garden! By planting native flower species, you provide a food source for butterflies, bees, and birds who are attracted to the nectar.

 

Below are some of the many beautiful flowers native to Southern Ontario:
Black Eyed Susan: Easily recognizable, this flower has golden petals and a dark, brown and purple centre. The Black Eyed Susan loves full sunlight and does tolerate drought, although moist soil is preferred. This flower makes an excellent addition to a garden and adds some colour!

 

 

Canada Anemone: This plant has many small, white cup-shaped flowers with yellow centres. They spread easily, are drought tolerant, and grow well in both sun and shade. This beautiful (and low maintenance!) plant will fit into any corner of your garden.

 

 

Purple Coneflower: These gorgeous daisy-like flowers will add a pop of colour to your garden. The Purple Coneflower prefers full sun and is drought resistant, so it will not require extra watering during times of regular rainfall. Their pollen filled centres also provide an excellent food source for butterflies. If the soil in your yard is not the best, this flower will thrive. In fact, poor soil encourages more flowering!

 

 

By Christine Macpherson

Summer Youth Job Posting: Environmental Outreach Assistant

(Pending confirmation of funds)

We are hiring! Oakvillegreen is currently accepting applications for the Environmental Outreach Assistant.

Gain some hands-on community greening and environmental outreach experience and help our programs grow and adapt to COVID regulations.

Overview of Position

The youth will support Oakvillegreen’s ongoing nature restoration, environmental education and outreach activities. Specialized work includes the development of rain garden,  water conservation, urban forest and pollinator-friendly garden activities including developing new outreach materials.  Will be expected to recruit, train and guide community members to become volunteer environmental stewards, whether in person or via virtual platforms.

 

Qualifications:

  • aged 15- 30 years at start of employment, to conform to the eligibility requirements of the Federal CSJ grant 
  • a passion for Oakville environmental conservation
  • excellent written and oral communication skills
  • proficiency with Microsoft Office, Excel, Google Docs/Forms, social media tools
  • proficiency in webinar based tools (Zoom, Facebook Live etc) to adapt programming from in-person activities to virtual, due to COVID restrictions in place
  • ability to perform stewardship activities in the field involving lifting, bending, digging, often in inclement weather
  • ideally, undertaking post-secondary education in a relevant field
  • willingness to work evenings and weekends
  • driver’s license and access to a car is an asset
  • experience in environmental education, event planning and working with volunteers is an asset

Eligibility Requirements: 

What youth participants are eligible

To be eligible, youth must:

  • be between 15 and 30 years of age at the start of the employment*
  • be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person to whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act for the duration of the employment**; and,
  • have a valid Social Insurance Number at the start of employment and be legally entitled to work in Canada in accordance with relevant provincial or territorial legislation and regulations

 

This is a  14  week paid position commencing on or around May 25th, 2020. Evenings and weekends are required.

To apply:

Please send a cover letter outlining your qualifications and eligibility, and a resume via email to programs@oakvillegreen.org by 5pm, May 24th, 2020.

 


What is Oakvillegreen up to during the COVID crisis?

COVID has hit us just like the Dr. Seuss tale, How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  But in the same way that stealing all the presents couldn’t keep Christmas from coming, Spring is Back, bringing optimism and renewal!

For we humans, COVID is a game changer, and this is a time we never could have imagined. We hope that you and your family are staying safe and adapting to the challenges created by a worldwide pandemic.

The good news is that there are still a lot of environmental things that you can do, even if we can’t do them together!

Oakvillegreen’s ONLINE Native Plant Sale is still happening.

Click to shop at our online store that has 20+ choices!  Store

This will be welcome news to those who have been dreaming of working in their gardens or planting pots of native wildflowers for busy pollinators.

Deadline to order is April 27th

Pickup will still take place in Oakville on May 9th(location & details TBD).

Be assured, that those who purchase online and have prepaid orders, will receive an email confirming exact Contact-free pickup details before May 9th.

Evolving circumstances will dictate the details, so please bear with us!

Nature still needs your help during this difficult time. For Oakvillegreen, everyday is Earth Day!

  • Do your own spring clean up on your daily wellness walk in your neighbourhood. Our spring cleanup event with Oakville Environmental Peace & Ecology group is cancelled, but there’s lots of winter garbage emerging in public spaces. Bring a bag, wear gloves and collect items along your way. And don’t forget to wash your hands when you get home!
  • Plant native trees, shrubs, milkweed for Monarchs or ready-to-plant Pollinator Kits for the birds and pollinators and beauty in your backyard. Shop our online store. Here
  • Help control the spread of invasive Garlic Mustard. Garlic Mustard can harm biodiversity, and grows in a wide range of conditions, which is why we have been actively working with citizens to pull it.

Garlic Mustard is already very noticeable along trails & natural areas and NOW is a perfect time to remove it. Take a bag & gloves and pull it up easily by the taproot and dispose in your garbage. (Do not compost it!)

Read more here: https://www.ontarioinvasiveplants.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/OIPC_BMP_GarlicMustard.pdf

  • Bring out any seeds you have around or order seeds online. Start some plants indoors for your garden. There is still lots of time to plant things to eat, native plants and flowers!
  • Get out and appreciate nature, whether it’s your yard or balcony. When in public, respect all distancing rules- but be friendly! A wave or a “good morning” shouted across the street can unify us!

Spring is normally an extremely busy time for Oakvillegreen.

As of today, we have had to postpone all of our events for April and May and June (stay tuned for rebooking dates!).

Normally, Oakvillegreen would be preparing for their numerous events like the community wide clean-up, tree plantings and invasive species pulls that are favourite boots-on-the-ground citizen activities that we have become well known for.  But this year is different!

I am incredibly proud of our two staff members, Beatriz and Anelia who have been working reduced hours, but are truly committed to keeping up the “green” work that we do for our community. Oakvillegreen does not have an office, so we are accustomed to working together remotely.

We have been planning innovative ways to adapt our Green Roots curriculum-based school programming and community education.  We are sharing positive messaging about how to you can “keep greeningand support biodiversity in your very own neighbourhood and backyard.

Maybe you are planting a Victory Garden this year, filled with veggies & flowers.

Try planting a native milkweed plant and invite Monarchs to your backyard with this easy-to-grow host plant. Buy milkweed at our *online* native plant sale.

We are proud of our Oakvillegreen Youth Stewards (OCAYS) who have committed their volunteer time to work in our community to increase biodiversity. This program is currently on hold but we are eager to reconnect with our youth again soon! They have been training to become TD Tree Captains, (thanks to a TD Friends of the Environment Foundation grant) to play a valuable role during our large community events that promote restoration of our local woodlots, river valleys and greenspaces.

Biodiversity and the climate crisis are inextricably linked and we are more devoted than ever, to address both of these issues for a healthy future.

We look to our members and followers, and ask you to share nature-filled pictures or inspirational stories from your vantage point! We are especially aware that not everyone has a large home or a backyard, so we will find fun ways to appreciate nature from inside your homes or from windows or balconies, or while walking the dog!!

Send your photos & stories to president@oakvillegreen.orgfor us to post on our website and social media.

Best Wishes,

Karen Brock

President, Oakvillegreen