The Ontario Nature Youth Council’s Special Spaces events have wrapped up for this year. All of them were extremely successful, but the highlight for me was the wildflower planting event I attended at Kinghurst Forest Nature Reserve. It was a wonderful day of planting, learning about pollinators and connecting with the earth.
We started the day by planting native wildflowers to support Ontario’s bees, butterflies and moths. I didn’t know how long it would take to plant 180 wildflowers, but with a hard-working and enthusiastic group, we were done in no time. I am overjoyed that we made a difference for declining pollinators in one lovely, sunny morning.
I have always loved gardening and the joy it brings me. So seeing people of all ages laughing, smiling and working together with their hands in the dirt was an incredible experience. Ontario Nature’s Youth Council has highlighted the importance of pollinators and our campaign will continue to engage outstanding community members in our activities.
After lunch, we spent the rest of our time searching for salamanders and hiking through the Kinghurst reserve’s rare old-growth hardwood forest. We discovered over ten eastern red-backed salamanders and one red eft (the terrestrial stage of the red-spotted newt)! Salamanders in the forest indicate a healthy habitat, as these creatures are very sensitive to environmental disturbances.
Thank you to all who attended the event. You truly made a difference for our vulnerable species. I am looking forward to returning to Kinghurst this summer to hike with my family and to see the wildflowers our group planted. Amidst all the environmental issues our world is facing, there is hope. And it’s because of all of you who have helped with Special Spaces events like this one.
Blog contributor Laryssa Marie is an Ontario Nature Youth Council member