Action Sandy Hill strikes new environment committee

Tim Williams

Act globally, act locally — a twist on an old environmental maxim. To address environmental degradation, global systems need to change, but grassroots action can help achieve that change and benefit the local community at the same time.

With this reformulated maxim in mind, last fall Action Sandy Hill (your local community association) identified addressing environmental issues in Sandy Hill as a focus for its efforts and struck an environment committee to get the ball rolling.

According to its terms of reference, the Environment Committee will:

  • engage with, consult, and inform members of the Sandy Hill community as well as any other relevant community or non-governmental organizations — including other committees of ASH — in order to promote activities and measures that improve the environment of Sandy Hill; and
  • advise the ASH board on methods by which ASH might influence the City of Ottawa’s plans, policies, and bylaws such that they better serve the joint goals of improving the environment of Sandy Hill and ensuring that the City plays a major role in achieving global environmental objectives.

The committee meets on the second Monday of every month, both in-person and with a virtual connection. It has now met four times to identify its priorities and begin actions, such as:

  • organizing a spring environment fair in Strathcona Park;
  • replanting and protecting Sandy Hill’s trees to support biodiversity and create shade for protection from the increasing heat of summer;
  • addressing the persistent issue of garbage and litter;

encouraging growth of native plants, particularly those that attract pollinators, and controlling invasive species;

  • engaging with the City to reduce the use of road salt, while improving winter mobility on sidewalks

Addressing environmental issues can seem overwhelming. The headlines scream: “Climate crisis! Biodiversity crisis!” Governments worldwide meet at seemingly endless, futile conferences.

But what can we do? What can Sandy Hill do as a community? The ASH Environment Committee is here to help answer those questions. There is so much to do. If you are a resident of Sandy Hill and interested in joining the committee or helping to support its work, please contact either Bryan Dewalt, bdewalt.ash@gmail.com, or Marilyn Whitaker, marilynwonash@gmail.com .

The bigger they are, the harder they fall: a massive tree in Robinson Field is pulverized into splinters by the terrible ice storm of early April.
Photo Christine Aubry