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They thought they could and so they did; The steady rise of Climate Action Muskoka


Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith joined Climate Action Muskoka on Nov. 15, 2019.


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Agatha Farmer


Every Friday at around noon a group of people has been diligently gathering in Bracebridge for months. They have gained some media and political attention here and there as protest groups often do. But media coverage or not it seems the members of this group are not out there in the dead of winter with freezing temperatures on some days for the camera attention. Through their weekly perseverance they have demonstrated an incredible passion and connection to the environment, they have created community, awareness, but most importantly a drive for even the smallest of changes. Because change is good, change is evolvement. Take notice Muskoka because this group is organized and motivated for all the right reasons and elections are a mere two years away.


So who are these hungry for a status quo change individuals willing to dedicate an hour every week during their lunch break to better life for humanity.


On their Facebook page Climate Action Muskoka describes their group, currently sitting at 188 members, as "an inclusive, non-partisan group. Strictly about the environment." New members are encouraged to join if you consider "yourself a Muskoka person, who believes that there is a climate crisis, that we can and must do something about it, and that we are stronger if we all work together, then you should belong to this group."


Climate Action Muskoka is comprised of people concerned about climate change in Muskoka who believe in working together to inspire individuals, groups, and every level of government to make the changes needed to meet this historic challenge.


Over the course of the fall months the group had a visit from Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith and a meeting in November with newly elected Parry Sound-Musoka MP Scott Aitchison to present him with a petition signed by over 500 Muskoka residents looking for bold action on climate. The group said they discussed ways of collaborating on the issue with the MP.


In a recent newsletter Climate Action Muskoka poses the question; Do we call ourselves a steering committee?


And answers it with a clear strategy for the future of this small group which has snowballed into a local Muskoka movement that is growing in numbers and support.


"A lot of expertise and passion in the room on January 12, as this group sat down to talk about the shape we'd like to see Climate Action Muskoka take. So much to do, and Muskoka, we know this community is up for the challenge. We’re creating sub-committees. We’re developing our short and long-term objectives. We’re working toward weekly climate strikes in other Muskoka communities. United in our mission to work together to face climate change. Contact us for meeting notes."



Climate Action Muskoka members meet on Jan. 12.


The group has been recently offered the opportunity to share their message via a community radio show. Organizer Tamsen Tillson was approached by Jeff Carter of Hunters Bay Radio to put together a monthly 22-minute radio show about climate activism on behalf of Climate Action Muskoka.


"We're planning to call it Muskoka Drawdown. Based on the Project Drawdown premise and applying it to Muskoka. It will be a solutions-based exploration of what is being done, who is doing it, and how we can all work together to reverse global warming in Muskoka. I'll be looking for lots of help. Launch date to be confirmed. Please stay tuned," Tillson said.


Project Drawdown is a research organization that reviews, analyses, and identifies the most viable global climate solutions, and shares these findings with the world.


Climate Action Muskoka is in it for the long haul and recently quoted "Rome wasn't built in a day."


The group climate strikes at Memorial Park in Bracebridge every Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. All are welcome. If you don't have a sign, the organizers will try to find you one. The group offers the following advice on sign making; "If you're making one, 'Honk for Climate Action' has been very popular with passers-by. They encourage to bring your family and friends.


With the success of the weekly protests in Bracebridge Climate Action Muskoka would like to expand the movement across the region. The group is looking for a few passionate people in Huntsville, Gravenhurst, and other Muskoka towns willing to come together and help organize and support a weekly climate strike.


Leading the environmental change charge organizers offer carpooling options to join the weekly protests. If you would like to carpool and live outside of Bracebridge contact the Climate Action Muskoka Facebook page, or email climateactionmuskoka@gmail.com.


Find Climate Action Muskoka online at www.climateactionmuskoka.org.

Facebook: Climate Action Muskoka | Instagram: @climateactionmuskoka climateactionmuskoka@gmail.com and hello@climateactionmuskoka.org. Also check hashtag #climateactionmuskoka for new posts.

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