The motion by Councillor Marimpietri to Oshawa’s council asking that climate change be declared an “emergency” to protect wildlife, natural environment and the economy is excellent news for those of us who have long had concerns for our environment. At least it will be good news provided the announcement is followed up by meaningful action. And why not, when that action might be far from costly for the city to undertake?
Like most gardeners, my wife and I have noticed a sharp decline in the populations and variety of species of butterflies and wild bees. This decline is attributed in large part to pesticide use and to habitat loss. While Oshawa cannot control pesticide use outside its jurisdiction, it can help alleviate the habitat shortage by dedicating some of the extensive grassed areas of our parks to creating so-called meadowland, simply by over-seeding some of the grassed areas with a mixture of wildflower seeds.
Unlike regular grassed areas of parks, which require routine maintenance, the meadowland requires only to be mowed once a year in October, having provided habitat for birds and pollinators throughout the growing season. The notion that areas of grass in a park should be left untended for a whole season might challenge the ingrained beliefs of Oshawa’s parks department. However, it cannot be argued that vast swathes of pristine lawn are environmentally beneficial, since they provide support only for the manufacturers of lawn mowers and the people who operate them.
If anyone reading this would like to see bird and pollinator habitat created in Oshawa’s parks, I suggest you let Councillor Marimpietri know of your support for his motion and perhaps we will see the fruits of his motion in the near future.
Eleven years ago, Oshawa won the top award for cities of its size in the Communities in Bloom competition. Perhaps we can now lead the way in environmental restoration.