Dear fellow nature lover, 

This past week we celebrated Canada Day, honouring our special country. Thank you for being a part of our community and taking action, in this spectacular part of the country that we call home.

Protect your share!

You can help create Ontario Nature’s only riverine nature reserve and the 25th in our province-wide network of reserves. The proposed Sydenham River Nature Reserve can be a reality but only if we take swift action now. The Sydenham River is one of Ontario’s most biodiverse waterways and home to some of the richest diversity of endangered and at-risk freshwater mussels in the world. The river is crucial habitat for at risk-turtles including the elusive and endangered spiny softshell and a place where you’ll find trees like blue ash and Kentucky coffee-tree that you cannot see anywhere else in the province. Together, we need to raise $240,000 by September 1st to protect this spectacular 78-hectare property. You’ll save endangered wildlife and protect this vital property forever with your gift today. Thank you!

Grow our Greenbelt!

Water is essential to the health and prosperity of the Greater Golden Horseshoe, home to over 9 million people and some of Canada’s most fertile farmland. Unless we’re vigilant, demands on the regions water resources will undermine our safe and reliable source of freshwater. This month, along with 30 other organizations, we launched the Grow our Greenbelt website. Check it out to learn how to join the movement and protect our water!



Register now for the 2016 Youth Summit 

Registration for Ontario Nature’s 2016 Youth Summit for Biodiversity and Environmental Leadership is now open! Taking place September 23-25 at YMCA Geneva Park on Lake Couchiching, this is an engaging event for young people to participate in compelling and interactive workshops and activities, take part in leadership forums and connect with like-minded peers from across the province. It is a fun, enriching and memorable weekend that youth love – just take a look at what some past attendees have to say about their experiences here. Please share this opportunity with the youth in your life. You can also sponsor youth in your community to attend by contacting Sarah Hedges at 1-800-440-2366 ext. 241 or Click here to register for the Youth Summit before September 12th. 

Victory for urban nature

Ontario Nature’s members and supporters have been a strong voice for the Rouge for many years. We’d like to thank you for standing with us, especially during our recent efforts to improve the federal law. In June, the Government of Canada tabled an important amendment to the Rouge National Urban Park Act that will enshrine ecological integrity as the top priority for park management. This is a huge improvement on the original law that is critical to ensuring the park realizes its full potential to conserve biodiversity and connect urban dwellers with nature in the most heavily populated region of Canada. There is a still lot to do! We’ll be advocating with like-minded group and individuals to expand the park, connect landscapes, enhance landscape connectivity between Lake Ontario and the Oak Ridges moraine, and significantly strengthen the park management plan. Stay tuned for opportunities for you to take action!

Celebrate 85 years of nature conservation

In June, many members and nature enthusiasts joined Ontario Nature on the Bruce Peninsula to participate in our 85th annual gathering and anniversary celebration. It was a beautiful weekend to spend outdoors. Click here to see photos. Stay tuned for details about our 2017 annual gathering coming soon. As part of the celebration, we also had the pleasure of honouring our conservation award winners for their outstanding work. The annual gathering has wrapped up but there are still many Doors Open to Nature events going on! So check out our events calendar to see what’s coming up.

 Status endangered: The spiny softshell turtle

Earlier this spring, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada increased the spiny softshell turtle listing from threatened to endangered. This peculiar looking turtle with a flexible leathery shell is declining all over Ontario. We are thankful for champions of endangered species like this such as Scott Gillingwater. Gillingwater just received the W.W. H. Gunn Conservation Award for his work to help protect and recover the spiny softshell turtle over the past two decades. Ontario Nature’s proposed Sydenham River Nature Reserve is also critical habitat for this species, and many more at-risk species and many more plants and animals. You can learn more about the spiny softshell turtle and how you can help protect it through our Ontario Reptile and Amphibian Atlas project here.

 Your voice matters

You are a part of Ontario Nature’s community. That means your voice, joined with the thousands of others across the province, has power. Thank you for standing with us as we challenge regulations and legislation that are detrimental to nature. Most recently, many of you submitted comments to the Government of Ontario asking that it not weaken hunting restrictions for target predators like wolves and coyotes. We commend the government for listening to your concerns and deciding to leave current hunting restrictions in place. Thank you for speaking up on this issue! You may have also heard the announcement that a number of environmental groups, including Ontario Nature, are heading to court over pollinator-killing pesticides. Click here to learn more. We are committed to protecting Ontario’s wild species and wild spaces and you are a vital part of that commitment. Thank you.



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Images from top to bottom: Tanya Pulfer, Jean Simard, Brendan Toews, Paul Henman, Noah Cole, Scott Gillingwater, Eric Kilby