On October 24, SOUL held a special general meeting to determine how best to proceed as an organization. The meeting minutes are available here.
The ultimate decision was to continue on the current path of educating and informing municipalities and land care professionals on the organic land care standards. In the longer term, SOUL will update language pertaining to how we care of the land, focusing more on a care based relationship with the land and the ecosystem as a whole.
We hope that you will continue on this journey with us.
Congratulations to the 2022 Greener Greenspace recipients
We are pleased to announce that the 2022 Greener Greenspace recipients are posted on our website.
What do these greenspaces, such as community gardens, food forests, demonstration gardens, and ecological restoration projects have in common?
Each site is unique in its location, history, size and scope. Yet, they are all examples of sustainable, regenerative land care projects supported and cared for by their surrounding communities to enhance nature and create healthier, greener and more resilient greenspaces.
Please check out the thirty-nine greenspaces recognized this year and stay tuned as we profile the sites through webinars, videos and blogs throughout the year.
SOUL is seeking a new Executive Director.
Our executive director is in the process of downsizing her commitments and has expressed her intention to move away from her current roll.
We are seeking someone to take over the responsibilities of Executive Director in a open-ended contract position.
Please see the full description of the role and other details here.
Starting January 11, 2022
SOUL’s 2022 Year of the Ecological Garden
Every Tuesday at 3:00pm Eastern, Noon Pacific
Tickets are free or by donation
A year-long series promoting ecological land care and the expertise of SOUL members.
Hosted on Zoom, each session will be 45 minutes with a host and a guest, opening with an introduction or short presentation followed by a 30-minute Q&A
January: Developing Urban Ecology - Cultivating Ecological Relationships Close to Home
February: Greener Greenspaces – Recognizing examples of greener public spaces and speaking with some of the people who have helped in their creation and care
March: Trees in Urban Settings
April: Urban Agriculture and Food Sovereignty
May: Soil Care and Composting
June: Ecological Turf Care – and turf alternatives
July: Greener Greenspaces – Virtual tours of some of the 2021 recognition recipients
August: Greener Greenspaces – Virtual tours of some of the 2021 recognition recipients
September: Urban Biodiversity – Pollinators and Habitat
October: Urban Biodiversity – Native Plants, Seed Saving, Stratification and Winter Sowing
November: The Right to Garden – Land Access, Bylaws and other Barriers to Practicing Land Care
December: Livelihoods in Ecological Land Care
We are very pleased to announce that the 2021 Greener Greenspace recognition recipients are now posted on the SOUL website. From tiny to extensive, volunteer led to municipally created and maintained, the sites are diverse and distinctive. Please check out these examples of sustainable, regenerative and ecological land care that we hope will offer inspiration and empowerment for everyone embracing and promoting land care practices.
We are excited to announce the launch of a Greener Greenspaces, a new recognition program promoting ecological approaches to urban land care.
Greener Greenspaces encourages landscapers, groundskeepers and horticulturalists in cities and towns across Canada to care for publicly accessible greenspaces in ways that promote ecological health, resilience and biodiversity.
We are living in a climate emergency and a biodiversity crisis. How we alter, create and care for greenspace matters. Healthier and biodiverse landscapes support climate adaptation and mitigation and provide enormous ecological services.
The program recognizes site-specific greenspaces, such as parks, school grounds, campuses, institutional grounds, community gardens and other spaces that demonstrate they are cared for in ways that:
increase biodiversity and support plant health
improve soil health and protect air and water quality
take steps to minimize waste and energy consumption
actively avoid the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides
The 2021 program is now open for submissions and we will be accepting applications until October 15th.
The program details and application form are now online at organiclandcare.ca
If there is a greenspace that you would like to nominate, or someone in your community that you would like to put us in touch with, please do. The email for this program is firstname.lastname@example.org
On National Indigenous Peoples Day, I always reflect on the reality that, in doing the work we do, we are working with land.
The historical, social and legal status of that land is complicated and, in many cases, troubling.
I live and work in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on unceded Algonquin lands. My livelihood is directly, physically tied to stolen land. In many other places in this country, we work with lands covered by treaties that have not been honored.
This map is a great starting point for finding the territories, languages and treaties of the places we live and work.
It can sometimes feel like there isn’t much for us, as individuals, to do with this reality.
As challenging as getting started can be, there are growing calls for learning more about the history and present of the places we live and the diversity of people and cultures that have the deepest roots in these places.
There is a lot of critical work that needs to be done to create ecosystem health in urban spaces. This is important, healing work that needs to be completed in partnership with soils, plants and micro and macro-organisms. We know that taking time to get to know the life we are working with is critical to practicing care-centered work with land. What many of are still in the process of learning about is the cultural and social ecosystem that we are working with.
The SOUL series on The Role of Horticulture in Cultivating Social and Land Equity explored a range of experiences and voices on land relationship, directly relating to landscaping and horticulture. The sessions were recorded and are available for viewing on the SOUL website.
In Urban Green Space and Land Access Isaac Crosby shared stories about his work and experiences in horticulture as a Black and Indigenous person and about his projects and plans relating to the Indigenous gardens he has been creating at Evergreen Brickworks in Toronto. If you don't have time to watch the entire series right now, this would be a good session to check out in honour of Indigenous Peoples day.
By taking the time to learn about the historical and present human relationships and experiences with the land and the spaces we work with and in, our work can also help to heal human and cultural ecosystems.
Happy Solstice Everyone,
The Canadian Society for Organic Urban Land Care
Since 2005, Sunnybrook’s groundskeeping team, led by Head Groundskeeper Rohan Harrison, has worked to optimize the ecological health of the grounds. This has resulted in the adoption of 100% organic land care practices to build soil health, which in turn contributes to plant and tree health. As described by Mr. Harrison, “like in humans, proper nutrition (soil management) is the foundation to create and maintain a healthy, environmentally-friendly and sustainable landscape – that heals!”
We are pleased to be able to share with you this Case Study of the Use of Organic Land Care Practices at a Health Care Campus.
We’ve been working on adding expanded member profiles to the SOUL website. Please check out the stories of your land care peers and some of what they have been working on.
I was particularly taken with some of the work that Cate Henderson is doing for the Kenhteke Seed Sanctuary and Learning Centre, which is centred around the Rematriation of an heirloom seed collection to Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory-a Haudenosaunee community near Prince Edward County.
Are you passionate about organic land care? Have ideas that can help SOUL grow nationally? Want to be a part of the future of organic land care? Join the Board of Directors! We are looking for passionate people to join the 2018-19 SOUL Board to help us navigate the major change of becoming a federal organization.
To nominate someone (or yourself), please submit your name and contact info to adminATorganiclandcare.ca by midnight PST Sunday, October 21, 2018.
Canadian Society for Organic Urban Land Care (SOUL)Contact Us