by Candy Venning

I’m not going to tell you to sharpen your shovels, oil your secateur springs and clean out the garage… all worthy but there are enough chores in December.

Instead I’m going to tell you a little about the local ‘green’ charities that could use your time, money or a follow and share on social media.

  • Royal Botanical Gardens protects 2,400 acres of Nature Sanctuaries, offers courses, lectures, an excellent café, special events and so much more. The gardens are absolutely glorious. One of my favourite things about a yearly membership is how often I use it, knowing I’m able to visit as often as I like with no admission charge, this includes the incredible rock gardens, greenhouse in winter, and extensive trails that lead down to Cootes paradise. Family $130 = 2 adults and up to 6 children, Seniors and single memberships approx. ½ that cost. No cash? Consider volunteering for invasive species removal or other events. The RBG is a real treasure!
  • Green Venture / ca empowers Hamiltonians to implement greener practices in their homes and communities to make our city a climate champion. Those de-pave projects along Barton and in schoolyards are made possible by this group applying for grants and working with multiple stakeholders & community members to complete these projects, they also have a seedling sale in spring as well as various educational programs at Eco-house. Check them out or sign up to volunteer.
  • The Hamilton Naturalists Club states their primary goal: ‘To promote the enjoyment of nature through environmental appreciation and conservation’ The club has worked hard to raise funds to purchase 10 nature sanctuaries which permanently protect over 500 acres of natural lands while stewarding an additional 60 acres. They regularly meet for hikes, birding and lectures. Membership is just $45, a great gift!
  • Environment Hamilton / org – The clue is in the name but seriously, membership is free via e-mail, you’ll have opportunities to participate in local activism, from in-person protesting, tree planting, contacting counsellors and politicians to fight sprawl and more. They’re a super inclusive and friendly group doing great things to protect people and places in Hamilton and beyond.
  • Hobbitstee Wildlife Refuge / com – a safe and highly equipped facility where sick, injured and orphaned wildlife are rehabilitated. They believe every living creature deserves a second chance, they are an excellent source for education about what to do if you find injured or ‘abandoned’ wildlife. Their online store has some of the most awesome and unusual earrings (for example, these salamanders) for gifting – go shop, or donate now!

Also, let’s not forget our domestic animals; Salty Animal Rescue /, Ladybird Animal Sanctuary / and others who consistently need funds for veterinary services or food for all their creatures.  I’ll be donating in memory of my beautiful kitty who passed over the rainbow bridge last year around this time.

  • Donate to your local seed library – if you’re in the habit of collecting seeds you might want to ask your local garden club (or consider joining) where and what seeds they would like.
  • Offer to volunteer some garden services at your local hospice, retirement home or community garden.

So there we have it – a fantastic list of reminders that there are wonderful people doing good things in the world (including you) and we can donate a little time, money or attention to help boost their efforts!