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Museum to focus on environment

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Climate change is here—now. Weather systems that use to move through our area, taking the rain or cold with it, now hang over us with no end in sight.

No one likes a Doomsday imagery but climate change will be catastrophic for our children if we can't do enough to keep temperatures under control.

The United Nations has set the “year of no return” to 2030—only 11 years away! Scary, isn't it? How old will you be? What about your children or grandchildren?

Eleven years is no time at all to ensure temperatures do not rise more than 1.5 degrees C. Are we doing all we can? Will it be enough?

If we look around our community, we can see that some very good things have been accomplished. Our own Fort Frances Power Corp. and the town have done some great work when it comes to solar power, LED lighting, and educating the public around energy conservation.

Recycling? Yes, our community has been stepping up.

Inroads also are being made by our business community. Flint House provided a water bottle-filling station at the Rainy Lake Square. La Place Rendez-Vous and other local restaurants have banned straws while many other business owners strongly have discouraged the use of plastic bags.

There are numerous other good things happening. Kudos to all of you who are thinking about these issues and doing your part!

However, climate change is a very real threat that will impact all of us so we need put our heads together and determine what else we can be doing.

As individuals, we need conserve natural resources like water and eliminate products that cause harm, won't break down, or can't be recycled. We must look for opportunities to leave our cars at home and bike or walk instead.

We can plant trees, compost, and consider natural alternatives for shorelines.

There is much that can be done. We just need some guidance as to what.

For example, when planting trees, is one kind better than others? What kind of canopy will it provide? How intrusive is the root system? If current boulevards are too narrow to support trees, are there other options going forward? Narrower streets perhaps?

Communities world-wide are considering responses that are good for them. Some have banned water bottles; others plastic bags. These are doable—we just need to decide when.

From April to June, the Fort Frances Museum's exhibit will be “Taking Back Our Natural World.” Not only will we be providing some information on how climate change is impacting us and the solutions that are available, but also will be inviting the public to submit artwork on this subject.

What are we looking for? Anything that highlights the impact of climate change on our world. It could be as simple as a collage of photos that shows your favourite places on Rainy Lake impacted by garbage washing up on shore or a sculpture made of one-serving-only fast-food containers.

But be creative as there will be prizes!

If you need inspiration, look online under “artwork that highlights climate change.” You'll be blown away!

The deadline for submissions is April 2. Criteria around art submissions can be picked up at the museum or downloaded from our website.

Unfortunately, we must limit size of entries.

Also watch for upcoming workshops and information sessions from presenters on some of these important topics. There are those in our broader community that can answer our questions and provide suggestions on how to lessen our impact on our natural world.

For more information, call me at 274-7891.

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