Earth Day, Cold, Wet & Windy – Again!

Saturday morning dawned the same way that it has for the past three years, windy, wet and numbingly cold. Storm clouds raced across the sky bringing driving snow and hail pellets. With the temperature hovering around 5 degrees, the snow did not stay on the ground but the biting wind made it feel far cooler than the temperature indicated. Despite that, several hardy souls made the trek to the Earth Day celebration by bicycle, some coming from as far away as Georgetown.

Cyclists leave from Paul Palleschi Recreation Centre in Heart Lake heading for the Earth Day celebration at Gore Meadows Community Centre

This year’s event was held at Gore Meadows Community Centre located in Brampton’s northeast at the corner of Castlemore Road and The Gore Road. A good weather day would have brought out hundreds for the festival and celebration event. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other ideas, which was a disappointment for the many exhibitors who lined the boards of the covered but outdoor skating facility.

Three current City Councilors attended including Deputy Mayor Harkirat Singh, Wards 9 & 10 Councilor Gurpartap Singh Toor and Wards 1 & 5 Councilor Rowena Santos.

A past Councilor, Doug Whillans was also recognized at the event receiving a well deserved Grow Green Environmental Stewardship Award in recognition for his championing of environmental causes while in Council and for his support for community gardening and his contribution of thousands of food packages to local food banks over the years.

Past City Councilor Doug Whillans receives Environmental Stewardship Award from current city Councilors Singh and Toor.

Other award winners, Heart Lake Turtle Troopers received the Organizational Environmental Stewardship award for their work in protecting turtle habitat and educating the public on the eco-system services provided by urban wetlands.

The Climate Change Award was presented to the Community Climate Council for helping organize a Brampton Climate strike and for their work creating climate literacy through programs such as, Camp Climate, the People Planet Pages Book Club and the Climate Hub.

Members of Community Climate Council receive Climate Award

Shailly Prajapati was recognized with the Youth Award for her work with the Peel Environmental Youth Alliance including hosting events and workshops as well as receiving the Brampton 2040 Vision Youth Visionary Medal. Shailly is also the President of the Human Impact Eco-Club and a member of the Brampton Environmental Advisory Committee. Unfortunately, Shailly was not present to receive her award in person.

Indigenous leader Dr. Hopi Martin led a drum singing and smudging ceremony with a sacred fire burning outside near the storm water pond. The electric bus returned with their bike rack and this was our first view of the new all electric fire truck.

TRCA and CVA, CCET, and many other groups hosted information tables and delighted us with their information. BikeBrampton provided bike valet and Sierra Club Peel sorted the waste from the free, tasty lunch. All the while, People Against Littering volunteers were seen cleaning up the park, their job made all the more difficult because of the wind.

After the award ceremonies were over, the attendees arriving by bike started their journey home against the wind. They’d just started when one of the group got a flat tire. Fortunately they were close enough to return to the Community Centre where the flat was repaired in more comfortable conditions inside.

Maybe 2025 will be the year the Earth Day celebration will enjoy a spring-like day!

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