Sioux Lookout Environment Committee looks for new ways to connect with residents
Mike Lawrence - Staff Writer
The Sioux Lookout Environment Committee has a new way to connect with area residents and highlight various environmental issues to the wider community. Individuals wishing to catch up on area environmental initiatives and projects can check out the Sioux Lookout Environment Committee's Facebook page.
Anne Saltel, Environment Committee Vice-Chair, explained, “The Environment Committee is a municipal committee. Being a committee of the municipality, our main goal is in an advisory capacity and also to educate the public about the environment and climate change.
“As part of our education side of things, we recently started the Facebook group. The purpose is to bring awareness about environmental issues and also climate change, and what we can do locally in our community to make change. We decided that anyone can post in there and comment on posts. We didn’t want the page to be just advertisements for committee initiatives. Advertising Curb-Side Swap, those kinds of things, will still go through the municipal website and the municipal Facebook page. Our purpose on our Facebook page is to bring awareness to issues that are happening. For example, this new greenhouse that’s starting in Dryden, that’s posted on there. Joyce (Timpson) added a post on the impacts of crypto-currency, about how much electricity it uses.”
Speaking of the new Facebook page, Joyce Timpson, Municipal Councillor and Chair of the Environment Committee added, “In light of the need for all of us to act to address the climate crisis, we were looking for a way to reach as many people as possible with information about what they can do as individuals. So, we created a public Facebook Page, Sioux Lookout Environment Committee. We have posted information such as webinars on matters such as gardening and composting. One member of the group posted her experience with owning an electric car. We have 87 members so far and anyone can join the group. We encourage people to join.”
While the Facebook page may be a recent development for the committee, it continues to create and implement work plans in cooperation with the municipality. One such recent initiative is the institution of a voluntary “no-mow zone”. Saltel explained the idea as such, “The ‘no mow zone’ has been approved by the municipality again this year. We are encouraging people to support pollinators by allowing lawns to grow uncut, for April, May and June. The bylaw restrictions of lawns above a certain height will be put on hold so that people can let their lawns and dandelions grow.”
Another popular initiative supported by the committee is the Sioux Lookout Community Garden. As Saltel noted, “The community garden is doing great. The municipality has been excellent at supporting the garden and making any kind of repairs that it may need. Joanne Falk is the lead person should anyone want a plot; she’s been so good at getting that garden going and keeping it going.”
Saltel also encourages anyone who knows of an individual or group that deserves to be recognized for their environmental initiatives or sustainable practices, to please reach out to the Environmental Committee, stating, “Another thing too is the environmental recognition. We are trying to reach out and find those people that are doing those little things and trying to make a difference. We’d like to recognize them. Sometimes one thing leads to another, and if someone hears how someone has started say, a greenhouse, maybe it will spark them to think of ways they can contribute as well.”