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: Scott Hortop and Climate Network Lanark 

Just before COVID hit us last year, the nascent Climate Network Lanark set out to engage the Lanark community in building a low-carbon, resilient place to work and play. CNL imagines a Lanark where the natural ecosystems are valued and conserved for our grandkids and their grandkids. Check out their work here.

Scott’s grandchildren playing in soon-to-be composted leaves

Scott Hortop (Almonte) is a member of the Climate Network Lanark’ Compost Working Group. 

Scott has spent the four years since his retirement digging into the science of soil—and he’s come upon an uncommon way to address one aspect of the climate emergency with a special kind of compost. Building on good-old-fashioned leaf mold, Dr. David Johnson, a professor at New Mexico State University has developed a low-cost method to produce fungal dominant compost that can re-introduce fungal life into overworked soil. Fungi fill a complex, supportive role for most plants and improve yields and nutritional density of crops. For more information, check out this California State University website: Bioreactor

And the main ingredients for this compost? Fall leaves and a little bit of muscle. Scott has completed three test batches, each one a cubic metre. This spring will see the first real instances of using this compost to inoculate seeds. Four batches were started in fall 2020 with leaves given by the citizens of Almonte. 

“When we have mastered the method, our vision is to build a bridge between town and farm. Towns-people who bag their leaves in the fall could come together; roll up their sleeves; divert the leaves away from landfill; and help process the leaves into compost/inoculant for use on neighbouring farms,” said Scott. 

“I am determined to have something to say to my family when they ask what I did about the climate crisis,” said Scott. “In my seventy years, very few things have been so clear. “

Roll up Your Sleeves and Spend Some Time with Climate Network Lanark 

Spend Some Time with a Climate Organization Near You

  • Living Green is a Matawatchan-based group that uses its time to explore local food production. This has included studying permaculture methods, planting nut trees, and learning how to graft fruit trees, make sauerkraut, and press apples. Interested in joining the Living Green team? Contact Ken Birkett for more information joandken@xplornet.ca.  
  • 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