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1000 Acts of Love in Carolinian Canada
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Be My Wild Valentine: 1,000 acts of love in Carolinian Canada. This February the birds and bees are getting a big green valentine from Carolinian Canada's Grow Wild! supporters. It's enough to thaw the frozen heart of this endless winter. How do I love thee? Let me count the trees...

"Passion and commitment are the hallmarks of a good valentine," recounts Bronwen Buck, Carolinian Canada Outreach Coordinator. "Our members know passion!"

Carolinian Canada works with over 150 partner groups to address habitat issues from Toronto to Windsor. This region, the Carolinian Zone, has over 500 rare species and habitats, making it Canada's number one 'biodiversity hotspot'. Through the Grow Wild! program, citizens are increasing their green impact.

Everyone has a different reason to Grow Wild! Youth want to save wildlife. Grandparents think about leaving a legacy. Farmers want to protect soil quality. Municipal leaders envision communities with clean air and water for all. Community groups can 'sponsor' an action for a local wild species or natural area close to their heart.

"We've surpassed our initial goal to collect over 1000 pledges to support healthy ecosystems," explained Jennifer van Overbeeke, Grow Wild! Coordinator and Metcalf Foundation Intern. "Pledges range from braking for Foxsnakes in Chatham-Kent, helping to survey wildlife in Elgin County or choosing native plants to support the birds 'n the bees."

"What people share with us is heartwarming," adds Buck. "They tell us they spend hundreds of hours exploring, planting a pollinator garden or creating a green oasis in their backyard. Their stories inspire and empower others to think beyond recycling for healthier communities."

The love goes both ways. The team has valentines to share from local groups that helped to pilot the program, emphasizing it is free to join. A voluntary action is all we need to count you in.

  • Explore local nature and discover why two-lip (tulip) trees are better than none at Heartland Forest in Niagara.
  • Grow a native plant and let love blossom all around the Rotary EcoTrail in Chatham-Kent.
  • Save a frog. Leave me alone and I'll hop into your heart forever at the Dorchester Mill Pond.

While it will be a challenge to secure a "happily ever after" for some of the rarest of species, Grow Wild! shows how many people care to create a greener future for southwestern Ontario. "It would be wonderful to count in thousands more!" notes Buck.

See more acts of love and share your love in many ways at or #ccgrowwild. Discover challenges and win prizes at Count Yourself In!

The Carolinian Canada team thanks all who have pledged their love for nature. We would like to acknowledge the Government of Ontario's generous assistance to this project as well as the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Environment Canada and TD Friends of the Environment and many, many habitat partners.

About Carolinian Canada Coalition

Since 1984, Carolinian Canada Coalition, now a registered charity, has been a leading ecoregional group in Canada. Stretching from Toronto to Windsor, the Carolinian Life Zone of southern Ontario is among North America's most vibrant and fragile ecoregions. We bring together diverse sectors, people and governments to collaboratively steward this unique habitat network, the green infrastructure to support thriving wild and human communities in harmony for generations.

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