It is no secret that our planet is in the midst of both a climate AND a biodiversity crisis due to climate change.  Even our Kingston Municipal Council has declared a climate crisis in our city.  While we alone cannot solve the global problem, we can make a difference by doing our part to increase climate resilience in our city!   How, you might ask?  Well, read on…
We are pleased to announce that CK Rotary has formed a strategic partnership with Little Forests Kingston (see also Facebook), an organization led by Joyce Hostyn, a local community leader and committed “rewilder.”  Joyce’s vision is to vastly increase the forest canopy in all our Kingston neighbourhoods by planting “tiny forests” throughout the city in an effort to increase climate resilience.  
The importance of forests in our natural world is undeniable. Forests not only play a vital role in the Earth’s climate system by sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but also, and equally important, they are also home to 80% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity.  However, due to climate change and the loss of roughly 18 million acres of forest each year, global temperatures continue to rise and biodiversity is declining faster than at any time in human history.  Clearly, we need more forests, and we need them sooner, not later! 

But growing a forest can take 150 to 200 years!  However, a “little forest” can grow to maturity in only 15 to 20 years with the benefit of attaining the biodiversity of the 150-year-old forest in that timeframe!  Growing little forests in this very short time span has been made possible through a revolutionary forest management method developed in Japan some 50 years ago.  It involves densely planting 300 to 600 native trees and shrubs in an area about the size of a tennis court!  While the method has been applied successfully in Japan and and some European countries, it is relatively new to Canada.  But thanks to Little Forests Kingston, we now have some of the first Little Forests in Canada, and more are being planned!
In addition to collaborating with the City of Kingston and Queen’s University, Little Forests Kingston has invited our Cataraqui-Kingston Rotary Club to assume the role of Forest Stewards, allowing us a unique opportunity to embrace and actualize this innovative environmental initiative within Rotary International’s newest Area of Focus, Protecting the Environment!

Within the domain of Forest Stewards, there will be several levels of engagement, from “hands on” activities to teaching volunteers (including children and students!), and organizational tasks, all of which offer flexibility in choosing the kind of participation and comfort that suits each volunteer as we work together to create a “City in a Forest.”  There will be countless opportunities to learn new skills, to be of service to our community, and to develop a deeper appreciation of our environment, all seen through the lens of having a personal impact on climate change.  We have an opportunity and responsibility to TAKE ACTION to improve climate resilience, so JOIN US so that
And create an environmental legacy for your children and grandchildren!
For information on becoming a volunteer Forest Steward or to just participate as needed, go to:
Joyce's presentation to Rotary Club of Cataraqui-Kingston on April 5, 2022