Working diligently: Small efforts that go a long way!
By: Jennifer Siviero, Donor Communications and Stewardship Coordinator
[caption id="attachment_30830" align="alignright" width="275"] Wesley Dearham is a retired writer-copy editor for the Ottawa Citizen, an amateur musician, avid traveler and dabbling naturalist.[/caption]
From a young age Wesley Dearham was always drawn to the splendor of inland valleys, rugged mountain ranges, seaside plains, extensive coastline and vast oceans that surrounded him in Cape Town, South Africa where he was born. This sense of wonderment with nature would follow him as he moved to Alliston, Ontario shortly after immigrating to Canada with his family in his early years. Through activities like hiking, camping, swimming, and cross-country skiing on his new Canadian landscape, Wesley’s fondness for nature developed into a true love and appreciation for Canadian nature through all of its seasons.
Wesley says he has learned to appreciate all of the diverse and unique parts of Canada. “I recognize how Canada differs in a natural sense to almost everywhere else,” said Wesley as he reflected on family camping trips to Algonquin Park, and time spent with his family relaxing, enjoying and appreciating the great beauty of the Midland area near Georgian Bay, amazed by the uniqueness of Canada’s “in-land ocean”, the Great Lakes.
But, he knows that with great appreciation for Canadian nature comes the responsibility to protect it. “We can’t take for granted what we have, we can’t let it be challenged or compromised” says Wesley. “We need to find a balance and be sure that what we have, we preserve.”
He and his family do their part to protect Canadian nature by preserving the areas they use most at their family cottage, a legacy of his in-laws, in the Laurentians Mountains north of Montreal. Wesley takes pride in his children's and his 7 year old grandson's love for nature; he, his family and their community stand to protect their lake and with a fragile ecosystem through environmentally minded rules like banning certain types of motor boats on the lake and activities on land. Wesley says small efforts like these go a long way when ensuring the protection and preservation of natural areas.
Read here for more tips to ensure healthy lakes and shorelines.
“Ultimately, everything is dependent on our natural environment, and the natural environment needs supporters,” says Wesley. “Supporting organizations that make nature a priority is a great way to do that.” Wesley has been a supporter of Nature Canada since 1995 and says that while there are many organizations that one can choose to support, Nature Canada is the option that worked best for him as Nature Canada makes, “efforts at the federal level to protect ecosystems, endangered and threatened species, and water and air quality,” and ensures that, “national parks and natural features are a priority.” He hopes that we continue to, “make sure we keep adding as much as we can to preserved areas.”
Read more about more protected areas for Canada.
Now in his retirement, Wesley is an avid traveler and throughout his travels he often reflects on the challenges faced by other countries and how they are relatable to the challenges faced in Canada. “It’s so easy to see that some species are so close to extinction, if we don’t pay attention. We must be aware of challenges like climate change and its effects on our world,” he says. And while he doesn’t believe that Canada is doing a bad job at protecting natural areas compared to other places in the world, he is adamant that there is much room for improvement. “There are countries who are struggling with environmental issues, and who are under more pressures than ours,” says Wesley. “We have our own challenges and we must work diligently.”
Like Wesley, you too can help us work diligently to protect and preserve Canada's nature by giving a gift today! You can also follow these links to read more about Nature Canada’s work with threatened and endangered species, parks and protected areas, and strengthening environmental laws.