It’s Earth Month

April 1, 2016 | Tita

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It's Earth Month 2016 and the time has come to take seriously our impact on the planet. Toronto Public Library is happy to present the best of our collections on environmental education, geared to children, teens and adults. Watch for environmental displays in branches across the city and pick up some reading material. At the same time, please join us for Our Fragile Planet, our free environmental programming series. Learn about issues that impact our city, and what you can do to tread lightly on our planet.

After the last river

This is our second year of Our Fragile Planet programming, most of which is supported by TD Friends of the Environment. You’ll notice that there is lots on offer for all audiences. We tackle the serious topics including climate change and how Ontario residents can use the Environmental Bill of Rights to influence decisions. Learn about international climate change negotiations and what ordinary citizens can do to help. The screening of the documentary After the Last River highlights the tragic impact of the entwined agendas of the profitable mining industry and government on one of our First Nation communities. Learn about Grant Hadwin's emotional crusade against the destruction of the world's last great temperate rainforest.


What we eat has a huge impact on the planet, from the controversies around genetically modified organisms to a personal investigation of modern day animal farms. Some feel that our connection to the planet is strengthened through growing your own food – so we also have programs on community gardening, collecting seeds and even growing fig trees in Toronto.

Project animal farm

Beyond diet, how and where we live has an obvious impact on the planet. “Agri-tecture” (the intersection between urban agriculture and architecture) is now a thing in case you’re interested. Sure, we offer those programs that teach you how to reduce the amount of energy you use, or how to use solar power, but you can also learn how our transportation network affects urban biodiversity.

Deer crossing road

Humans are not the only animals to be affected by our changing environment. Learn about species at risk and in particular, Toronto’s misunderstood urban wildlife. In spite of our profound effect on the world’s oceans, they remain an amazing treasure of biodiversity. Our connections with – and responsibility to – all creatures is highlighted in one author’s recounting of the fascinating story of the last three elephants at Toronto Zoo. Learn about Dr. Jane Goodall's fight to save the chimpanzees. And while the charismatic megafauna get most of the attention, you can also learn how to support Monarch butterflies, a keystone species dangerously threatened by pesticides and habitat destruction.

Naturally, you can go much, much deeper with our huge collection of environmental books, DVDs and databases. Select your favourites from our expert staff booklists or directly from the branch display at your local branch. Look for the Fragile Planet posters! This month's Who's Reading What? list was prepared by photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur, and she has lots of environmentally-friendly suggestions too. And finally, watch for more Earth Month themed blog posts throughout the month. Whatever your choice, we hope to inspire awareness of, and appreciation for, our precious earth's environment.