The mental and physical benefits of being outside in nature were outlined at LSRCA Annual General Meeting.
The Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority welcomed some special guests at its 67th Annual General Meeting, held on Friday, Jan. 26.
Newmarket-Aurora MPP Chris Ballard, Ontario Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and Dr. Faisal Moola, Associate Professor, Department of Geography at the University of Guelph, both spoke about the importance of the work of the conservation authority in its efforts to protect, restore and enhance nature.
Minister Ballard recognized LSRCA for its environmental contributions for the better part of seven decades. He also highlighted 2018 as the 10th anniversary of the Lake Simcoe Protection Act, the first watershed based legislation in Ontario. “While Lake Simcoe may not be a capital “G” Great Lake," he said, "it’s still a great lake to me.”
Dr. Moola discussed the importance of protecting nature, particularly in urbanized environments, citing the statistic that Canada is in the top 50 urbanized countries on the planet, ahead of the U.K., Germany, Ireland and even the United States. He cautioned the lack of investment in natural infrastructure at a time when it’s needed the most.
He described bees as “flying $50 bills” in reference to the range of benefits the tiny pollinators provide. Dr. Moola also had the audience nodding their agreement when he cited the mental and physical benefits of being outside in nature, a fact echoed by the presentation that followed.
The final presentation detailed the life-changing impacts of the joint program, “Therapy in the Woods,” offered by LSRCA educators and clinicians from Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre. The team described how they piloted the project to introduce nature as a form of therapy to families with children with special needs. Both the educators and clinicians agreed that the program had “magical” results as some of the children began to exhibit some new and positive skills. Due to its resounding success, “Therapy in the Woods” will be offered again in Spring 2018.
Aurora Mayor Geoff Dawe and Innisfil Councillor Richard Simpson will remain in their respective positions of Chair and Vice Chair, for the fourth year in a row.
To read a copy of LSRCA’s Annual Report and to watch the video version, please visit: 2017 Annual Report & Video
Photo: Dr. Faisal Moola addressing LSRCA’s AGM.
Article and photo courtesy LSRCA.