This year, Earth Day falls on a Friday. So we’re turning Earth Day into a three-day ‘Yours to Protect’ weekend so we can come together to celebrate Ontario’s natural heritage and call on our government to do a better job protecting it!
Ontario’s population is growing and we need to build vibrant, affordable and sustainable communities throughout the province. By housing people in walkable communities close to where they work, we can reduce our need for new highways and sprawl developments and preserve the wetlands, farmland and forests we cherish so dearly. We envision an Ontario where our cities, towns and villages grow within nature, instead of on top of it.
On April 22nd, 23rd and 24th we’ll be working with local groups all across the province who want to host rallies, protests and nature walks to draw attention to local environmental problems or give people a chance to experience some of the many marvelous natural spaces in this beautiful province.
If you are having trouble registering send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who can register?
Anybody. You can be a group, an individual or a coalition of groups. Whether you’re one person who has booked a meeting with their MPP and would like company or a big organization planning a march with thousands of participants you can be part of YTP Weekend. While the Yours to Protect movement is supportive of most environmental organizing some ‘solutions’ to environmental problems can do more harm than good, so we ask that participants read and abide by the YTP Weekend Vision Statement.
What kind of event should I host?
Anything that draws attention to an environmental problem or piece of natural heritage that is worth protecting. You could hold a rally at an MPP’s office or a busy intersection. This nature walk along the route of the 413 with biologist Ryan Norris was an enjoyable and informative event that received considerable media coverage. You could hand out information about a local environmental issue at a farmer’s market, organize a bike ride or go bird-watching. If you’re not sure what to do – we can help you plan something.
What if I only have one or two volunteers?
Some groups and individuals who wanted to participate but didn’t have the capacity to run a large event or rally are delivering the Environmental Priorities Working Group questionnaire to their local MPP and MPP candidates to remind them that Ontarians care about environmental policy. Learn more in our how-to guide or just register and we’ll reach out to you and provide support.
When should I register?
You should register even if you’re just thinking of hosting an event. Someone from the Yours to Protect Team will contact you to help you finalize your plans before we add it to the map or publicize it. We can also provide support with planning or connect you with other organizers in your area.
What about Ramadan and Passover?
The Yours to Protect Weekend includes important religious holidays. We made it a three-day event instead of setting a specific date and time so that organizers could choose a time that fit with the needs of their local community. April 23rd is the last day of Passover and many Jewish people will be marking the holiday with their community. All three days also fall within Ramadan, so many Muslims will be fasting. While Muslims still work and participate in cultural events during Ramadan, you may want to hold your event earlier in the day or schedule it so Muslim participants can break their fast at the end of your event (between 7:10 and 7:15pm depending on the day). If possible, you could even host a community meal.