While I lay no claims to having any formal training or professional experience in matters related to nature and wildlife, I have learned some important things through a lifetime of observance.
Nature was my refuge growing up. It gave me a unique sense of belonging, peace and serenity. No doubt you learned in grade school as I did how photosynthesis works. In case you didn’t, this is a process that the leaves on trees go through to help clean the air, making it breathable for us.
In recent years, you might have noticed that a large number of trees are not as healthy or as long lived as they once were. There are several reasons, one of which is the extra stress put on them to clean the air. That stress is magnified by the higher levels of pollution and the destruction of our forests around the world.
Gradually over the years, the birds have diminished in my area which was once surrounded by nature. Sparrows, once extremely prolific, are virtually non-existent. Winter birds are minimal.
Nature in imminent danger
This area was abundant in forests and horse farms. You couldn’t drive anywhere without seeing fields of cows or horses, or passing beautiful scenic overlooks. In May 2015, however, the extent of this loss was brought home in a big way.
Development threatens horse farms
Five minutes from my home lies a territory of rolling hills filled with trees and wildlife. For generations, it was know as horse country for its wealth of equestrian stables and breeding ranches like this one, but they are almost all gone now. (This farm minutes from my home has already been forced out.)
Sadly, the landscape here is rapidly being converted into massive subdivisions that appear seemingly overnight. Notice the new homes in the background advancing towards the horse farm.
In May, I discovered that developers had demolished acres and acres of forests near here. Where trees once stood is now a massive area of mud and bumper-to-bumper houses rising in their place. Huge swaths of forest are being cut out. Photos and others I will be taking of this heart-wrenching destruction will be posted on the Photo Gallery page and in specific posts.
Massive Forests and Wildlife Destroyed for the Sake of Development
This is happening at an alarming rate here in York Region alone. Here is just one of several land clearances by developers that began in just one year.
The equally disturbing aspect of this wonton disregard for nature is that all animals that lived in those areas are ultimately killed or driven from their homes. Small animals that are unable to travel great distances have no chance; the babies, birds eggs and young chicks are destroyed. How many do you think are affected when probably thousands of acres of trees, forests and natural areas are destroyed for the sake of progress? I hope to find some facts for you on this.
While taking photos in these areas the other day it was sad to see birds taking to the skies, clearly upset that their habitats have been destroyed. In the past year, bears have been driven from those areas and into our suburbs; one of which was shot and killed by police after they drove it up a tree where it hoped to gain some degree of safety from its pursuers.
Through this website, I aim to bring these realities to life and hopefully convince you to take steps to help protect nature on all its levels: the wildlife, the trees, the flora and fauna.
Here’s How You Can Help Preserve our Natural Heritage
I personally have willed money to the Nature Conservancy of Canada which purchases natural areas to protect them for future generations. Ducks Unlimited also raises money to protect wildlife. the Bruce Trail Association is another organization that strives to preserve lands that we all can enjoy.
One final point. Developers and the governments that allow them to take the lands seem to forget that we need nature to survive. It provides fresh oxygen for us to breathe. It creates the perfect environment for wildlife to thrive – ducks, birds, fox, wolves, bears, chipmunks, turtles, fish, insects, amphibians and a ton of other species. Each relies on another for survival.
Nature suffers in many ways: floods, storms, fires, pollution, etc. which makes its survival a phenomenal challenge. It is important that we do whatever we can to help minimize those dangers, not just for nature itself but to preserve an environment that can sustain human life in the generations to come.
Unfortunately, loss of our natural habitats is inevitable
As a final note, please understand that I get that new development and loss of wilderness areas is inevitable as cities grow. To be honest, I don’t know what the answer is, since the rapidly growing population needs somewhere to live. However, the Natural Conservancy buys and protects natural habitats from development for at least 99 years. The reason I’ve chosen to donate to this organization is because they operate across Canada, protecting swamp lands and sensitive areas where rare and endangered plants and animals exist. Plus, they’ve been at this for about 50 years. It’s one way we can help.
My name is Sylvia Dickens and I live in a beautiful territory north of Toronto, Ontario called York Region. As a retired award-winning journalist, I aim to dig deep into the facts and provide you with the true implications of nature’s destruction. My hope is that together, we can make a difference.