Our Fragile Planet: Environmental Programs for Fall 2018
From monarch butterflies to polar bears, saving aquatic ecosystems to preserving national parks, learning how to identify trees to picking up tips on how to live a zero-waste lifestyle, Torontonians will have access to a wide range of FREE environmental programs in the fall sessions of the Our Fragile Planet program series.
Since 2014, the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF) has supported this series, increasing environmental awareness and inspiring people of all ages to learn more about the environment through informative lectures, hands-on workshops and engaging community events.
The TD FEF also supported our first-ever Environmentalist in Residence program with Janelle Richards earlier this year at the Albion and Scarborough Civic Centre Branches. Read about Janelle's experience.
Although Janelle's residency is over, there's still a lot we can do for our planet! Here are some of the programs taking place between September and December 2018:
Guest Speakers and Workshops
Dawn Bazely, a professor of biology at York University, will discuss food security and its role in building a sustainable future. She'll also share some botany tips to help you grow a better garden using local vegetables and herbs.
- S. Walter Stewart Branch - Tuesday, September 11, 6:30 to 7:30 pm
Back by popular demand, this hands-on workshop led by the Toronto Master Gardeners will teach you how to help save the endangered monarch butterflies by growing milkweed plants.
- Riverdale Branch - Wednesday, September 12, 6:30-8:00 pm
- Woodside Square Branch - Saturday, September 22, 2-3:30 pm
- Cliffcrest Branch - Thursday, September 27, 6:30-8:00 pm
- Bloor/Gladstone Branch - Saturday, October 13, 10:30 - 12 pm
- Perth/Dupont Branch - Wednesday, October 17, 3:00-4:30 pm (new time)
Learn about chemical hazards, the health effects and what people can do to reduce exposure. Presented by Cecilia Tolley, Senior Environmental Health Specialist and Priya Tanda, Senior Programs Officer from Health Canada.
S. Walter Stewart Branch - Tuesday, September 18, 6:30 to 7:30 pm
Where does Ontario's electricity come from - solar panels, wind turbines, coal plants? Are we really wasting electricity? What is the environmental footprint of our electricity? Learn the answer to some of these questions. Presented by Kyra Bell-Pasht, Senior Energy Conservation and Efficiency Policy Advisor from the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO), Ontario's environmental watchdog.
Malvern Branch - Tuesday, September 18, 6:30 to 7:30 pm
An Enduring Wilderness: Toronto's Natural Parklands was commissioned by the City of Toronto to chronicle the wonders of Toronto's extensive network of sunken rivers, forested vales and the extensive shoreline. Jane Weninger, Senior Planner of Strategic Initiatives, Policy and Analysis from the City of Toronto will share how these distinctive landscapes have been rediscovered, embraced as great civic spaces, and how the parklands are integral parts of urban life.
Lillian H. Smith Branch - Wednesday, September 19, 6:30 to 7:30 pm
From frying pans to polar bears, Dr. Cora Young, Assistant Professor and the Rogers Chair in Chemistry at York University, will discuss the importance of understanding how chemicals move around in the environment, the concern with Arctic contamination, and pollutant trends from Canadian Arctic ice cores.
- Bloor/Gladstone Branch - Thursday, September 20, 7:00 to 8:00 pm
- S. Walter Stewart Branch - Tuesday, October 2, 6:30 to 7:30 pm
This program is also presented as part of Science Literacy Week.
Helping the environment starts in your backyard, but once the growing season is over, how do you protect your nature-friendly landscape features? A member from the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) will talk about what to do this fall to have a healthy winter yard and an amazing spring haven for wildlife!
- College/Shaw Branch - Thursday, September 20, 7:00 to 8:00 pm
- S. Walter Stewart Branch - Thursday, November 22, 6:30 to 7:30 pm
Sophi Robertson, Zero Waste Events Manager from the Toronto Tool Library, will share tips using everyday items that help minimize trash.
Leaside Branch - Wednesday, September 26, 7:00 to 8:00 pm
Sophi will also be presenting other zero waste-related topics such as:
Learn this beautiful art for transporting items without the use of plastic bags, tape or any waste.
- Agincourt Branch - Tuesday, October 23, 2:00 to 3:00 pm
- Woodside Square Branch - Thursday, November 21, 6:30 to 7:30 pm
- Riverdale Branch - Thursday, December 6 at 6:30 to 7:30 pm
Store bought cleaners typically have several toxic ingredients and can be costly. Learn how to make eco-friendly, all-purpose wipes.
- Northern District Branch - Thursday, November 8, 6:30 to 7:30 pm
- Maria A Shchuka Branch - Saturday, November 17, 12:30-1:30 pm
Learn about what zero waste means and why it’s a simpler lifestyle when waste and consumption are reduced.
- Port Union Branch - Thursday, November 22, 6:30 to 7:30 pm
Author of the critically acclaimed book Project Animal Farm, Sonia Faruqi will discuss the importance of ocean conservation and the threats faced by the ocean, including coral reef bleaching and water pollution. These themes are explored in her second book and debut novel The Oyster Thief.
- Riverdale Branch - Thursday, September 27, 6:30 to 7:30 pm
- Northern District Branch - Wednesday, October 24, 7:00 to 8:00 pm
Using the Tree Bee app, a member of Forests Ontario will help you learn more about forests and the trees you walk by every day on your way into the library.
- Alderwood Branch - Thursday, September 27, 7:00 to 8:00 pm
- Northern District Branch - Thursday, October 4, 6:30 to 7:30 pm
- Port Union Branch - Tuesday, November 20, 6:30 to 7:30 pm
Environmental sustainability starts with the basics – reduce, reuse and recycle! A member of the City of Toronto's Solid Waste Management Services' 3Rs Ambassador Volunteer Program will talk about why the 3Rs are important, how they impact the environment and what the community at large is doing to help increase their usage.
- Burrows Hall Branch - Friday, September 28, 1:00 to 2:00 pm
- City Hall Branch - Thursday, October 4, 1:00 to 2:00 pm
- Locke Branch - Wednesday, October 17, 6:30 to 7:30 pm
- Victoria Village Branch - Thursday, October 18, 6:00 to 7:00 pm
- Annette Street Branch - Tuesday, November 13, 7:00 to 8:00 pm
In partnership with the National Film Board and as part of Nuit Blanche, the 9-minute Canadian short film A Sea Turtle Story will be screened, followed by a zero-waste arts workshop.
- Lillian H. Smith Branch - Saturday, September 29, 2:00 to 4:00 pm
Meagan Dellavilla, a member of the Indigenous Environmental Justice Project (IEJ Project) will talk about youth engagement in the environmental justice movement. Using arts-based research methods, Meagan’s work seeks to ensure young people’s voices are included in the construction of an Indigenous-informed environmental justice framework.
- Beaches Branch - Wednesday, October 10, 2018, 7:00 to 8:00 pm
Located right here in Toronto, Rouge National Urban Park protects and conserves natural, cultural and agricultural heritage. Learn how the Rouge is a unique model for environmental protection in an urban setting with a member of Parks Canada.
- Leaside Branch - Saturday, October 13, 2:00 to 3:00 pm
Considered to be one of the most important forests in the world, Ontario's Far North could be on the cusp of significant change from potential developments and climate change. Justina C. Ray, President and Senior Scientist of the Wildlife Conservation Society Canada (WCS Canada), will talk about the Far North boreal region, one of the world’s largest areas of intact wilderness and home to more than 40 communities of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation.
- Beaches Branch - Wednesday, October 24, 7:00 to 8:00 pm
Re-think the way we talk about aquatic species to develop a greater appreciation for them! Mary Kate Whibbs, biologist and educator at the Toronto Zoo, will discuss how the language we use to describe aquatic species can influence our construction of value for that species.
- Deer Park Branch - Saturday, October 20, 2:30 to 3:30 pm
Learn how to attract these feathered friends to your garden and provide them with the essentials of life through careful plant choice, design and maintenance. Presented by Colleen Cirillo, director of education at the Toronto Botanical Garden.
- Albion Branch - Wednesday, October 31, 1:00 to 2:00 pm
- Barbara Frum Branch - Tuesday, November 13, 2:00 to 3:00 pm
Documentary Film Screenings
The stunning documentary Bluefin explores the baffling mystery of why the normally wary bluefin tuna no longer fear humans. The issues are brought forward including why we should be concerned for the fate of these fish set in the "tuna capital of the world": North Lake, PEI. The film is screened in partnership with the National Film Board of Canada.
- Northern District Branch - Tuesday, September 18, 6:00 to 7:00 pm
Meet Julia Barnes, the award-winning filmmaker from Burlington who created Sea of Life in hopes to inspire people to care more about the oceans. After screening the film, Julia will be available for a Q&A session. Film duration: 1 hour 28 minutes. Open captioned.
- Deer Park Branch - Thursday, September 13, 2:00 to 4:00 pm
- Lillian H. Smith Branch - Wednesday, October 3, 6:00 to 8:00 pm
York University Faculty of Science's Lecture Series
This fall, our partnership with York University's Faculty of Science's Lecture Series will also be part of the Our Fragile Planet program series! This year's theme is Biodiversity Conservation in the 21st Century. The resilience of our planet and the future of humanity rely on biodiversity. After all, biodiversity is the reason why we have air, food, water and medicines. But biodiversity is vulnerable, and in many cases in crisis around the world.
In this series of talks presented in partnership with Ontario Nature, we consider biodiversity in Canada and abroad and explore what is being done to understand and conserve the fascinating animals that have the current attention of researchers:
Professor Laurence Packer will outline the enormous diversity of bees and the vital role that wild bees play in agricultural and wild habitats.
- Don Mills Branch - Thursday, October 4, 7:00 to 8:00 pm
Professor Valerie Schoof discusses why primate conservation is essential to maintaining overall biodiversity, and the value of understanding how factors like primate behaviour, human-wildlife conflict, and more.
- Toronto Reference Library - Wednesday, October 17, 7:00 to 8:00 pm
Professor Gregory Thiemann discusses the current and future status of polar bears and examines why the conservation of these charismatic carnivores has become a hot-button issue.
- Brentwood Branch - Thursday, October 18, 7:00 to 8:00 pm
Professor Bridget Stutchbury reviews the many causes of songbird declines and what you can do to help.
- Lillian H. Smith Branch - Tuesday, October 23, 6:00 to 7:00 pm
Professor Gail Fraser describes the role of cormorants in the Great Lakes ecosystems and how cormorant ecology relates to biodiversity conservation.
- Deer Park Branch - Saturday, October 27, 2:00 to 3:00 pm
Our Fragile Planet programs for 2018 will be bullfrogpowered with 100 percent green electricity. This means that Bullfrog Power's generators put 100 percent green power onto the grid to match the amount of conventional electricity these events use, displacing energy from polluting sources.
Across Canada, Bullfrog's green electricity comes from a blend of wind and low-impact hydropower sourced from new Canadian renewable energy facilities.