Collective Action

We are not alone in our concern about climate change. Climate groups are popping up across the country in an effort to address climate issues that most affect them. Our network members represent people—often seniors—who want to have a clear answer when their families ask them “what did you do about the climate crisis?” In the examples below people used their time, with the help of others, to make real change in their communities.

Spotlight On: Andee Pelan and Living Green Barrie

During the month of May, Andee Pelan and Sarah Herr of Living Green Barrie planted over 1,000 trees as part of LGB’s 10,000 Trees for Barrie Campaign. You can donate to plant a tree here.   

Andee Pelan, Project Director of Living Green Barrie, sees trees as the best way to make a difference when it comes to climate change.   

“With tree planting, you know it’s 100 per cent going to help with climate change, habitat, human health and green infrastructure.”   

Andee Pelan plants a tree as part of the LGB 10,000 Trees for Barrie campaign.
Andee Pelan plants a tree as part of the LGB 10,000 Trees for Barrie campaign.

Andee came up with the 10,000 Trees for Barrie campaign in 2018 precisely because it’s an easy, straightforward target, and—pre-Covid of course—it’s a way to foster community.   

“City staff could go plant a tree,” said Andee, “but I would prefer a senior citizen plant a tree, a new Canadian or five-year-old plant one. It’s about getting your hands in the dirt and doing something that is inherently hopeful.”   

Normally there would be 100-150 people at a tree planting event. Because of pandemic restrictions, this year Andee and Sarah had to do it themselves, with the help of a few folks at the Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority. They planted 1,074 trees over two days.   

Trees, as Andee mentioned, provide a whole host of benefits to their environment. They are also coming to the rescue of Living Green Barrie, as the organization struggles to stay afloat during the pandemic.   

“We really need funding support,” said Andee. “And we bought a bunch of trees and shrubs, but we didn’t have a location for them. So, they are part of a tree and shrub sale.”   

The sale started on May 18th. If you live in Barrie, it’s not too late to grab your own native tree or shrub!   

Living Green Barrie has been in the city for 30 years. “Most people in Barrie have probably heard of us,” said Andee. And while the organization has had some ebbs and flows, Andee is excited for what’s to come.  

“We want to develop a neighbourhood tree steward plan, where we plant trees in small pockets, like a cul-de-sac…and invite people who live next to them to come out and plant trees, and take on the stewardship of watering, pest management and mulching. Then they become part of this network of people who take ownership of our trees.”   

Asked what she would suggest to people who are interested in getting involved in climate action, Andee showcased Living Green Barrie’s newest campaign, called 10 Actions for Climate. Each month features a simple idea that can be done at home, or at an individual level.   

For example, March’s action invites people to watch Living Green’s Webinar on green investing, and in April, Living Green asks people to try to buy less and try to avoid plastic.  

May’s action? Plant a tree.   

Foster Sustainability and Resilience with Living Green Barrie
  • Live in Barrie? Volunteers harvest fruit that would otherwise go to waste and share it with social service agencies. Get involved by volunteering to pick fruit, being a Harvest Hero, or by being a project sponsor.
  • Subscribe to the Living Green Barrie newsletter.
  • Buy a plant at Living Green Barrie’s Native Tree & Shrub Sale 2021. All proceeds go to the 10,000 Trees for Barrie project.

Spend Some Time with a Climate Organization Near You

  • Webinars have become the forum for gatherings and discussions during the pandemic and so many groups are taking advantage. Swapnil a group that helps Bangladeshi newcomers integrate into Canadian society recently had a webinar comparing the global response to COVID-19 with the response to climate change. You can watch the recorded conversation with English subtitles here.
  • The Suzuki Elders are a voluntary association of self-identified elders working with and through the David Suzuki Foundation. They bring their voices, experiences and memories to mentor, motivate and support other elders and younger generations in dialogue and action on environmental issues. Apply to become a  Suzuki Elder!   
The Suzuki Elders