I am fortunate and thankful because I start each morning by going outside, taking the dog for a walk or to romp with other dogs at a park. The routine is always the same. It started years before the pandemic and continues now, as lockdown regulations rise and fall like the tide but still permit dog walks.
A dog embodies hope – hope that outside the door there will be a squirrel to try to chase, another dog to play with, a friendly person with treats or simply to give a quick pat on the head.
The hope is contagious, and no matter what time of year or (almost) what kind of weather, I look forward to these outings. It is a wonderful opportunity to experience changes in the weather, temperature, daylight hours and seasons.
Sometimes I am rewarded with special sights, such as a flock of snow buntings very early this Spring, apparently following the shore Lake Simcoe in their northward trip to their far-off summer home. The beautiful song and glorious burst of white feathers as they gathered in the bright blue sky to continue their journey were breathtaking.
I hope you are able to embrace Spring after this long year of isolation from people and, for many, nature.
Irene Turnbull reminds us, starting on Page 26, that we can reconnect with nature by bringing colours and elements from the outside into our homes.
At the same time, there is reason for concern about the future of nature in the Lake Simcoe area, as the Ontario government undertakes its 10-year review of the Lake Simcoe Protection Plan. The Lake Simcoe area is one of the fastest-growing regions in Canada and home to 465,000 people (2016 census data does not include recent growth). Based on provincial and municipal growth plans, the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority says the urban area in our watershed will increase by approximately 50-percent by 2041 — and the population will nearly double.
Unless this is taken into account when reviewing the LSPP, there is no assurance of future protection for the lake.
The Lake Simcoe Caucus is a group of Members of the Provincial Parliament whose riding boundaries surround Lake Simcoe and who have a vested interest in its protection and preservation. Which one is your MPP? Let them know you want them to protect the lake by strengthening the Lake Simcoe Protection Act. Lake Simcoe depends on them.
Stay safe. See you at the lake!