Gratitude for Earth Parade, May show and Tree Giveaway Event in VKH

Four years ago, young Charlie won a climate change contest in Vankleek Hill with a simple yet impactful proposal: plant ten trees. Today, at the age of 10, Charlie, with the help of his family, has turned this small initiative into a significant project. What started as ten trees has now grown to 120, and on May 19th, they will be giving away these trees at the Gratitude for Earth parade in Vankleek Hill.

The event will kick off at 10:30 a.m. at the Creating Centre. The corner will be adorned with stunning paper-mache puppets that will march along Main Street in Vankleek Hill. During the event, Charlie will have his own booth offering lemonade, and attendees can visit him and his friends to adopt a tree to take home. 


I had the pleasure of speaking with Susie Fairbrother, Charlie’s grandmother, who shared the inspiration behind this initiative. The project aims to encourage tree planting, combat deforestation, and fight climate change. Among the varieties available for adoption are silver maple, red spruce, red pine, and white pine.

During our conversation, I asked Susie what individuals can do to combat climate change starting at home. She provided some practical suggestions, including planting trees to keep the air clean, participating in community gardens, being mindful of composting and recycling, and opting for second-hand clothes to reduce waste and emissions.

What do we know about deforestation? 


Deforestation is the clearing, destruction, or removal of forests or trees from an area, typically to convert the land for agricultural or commercial use. It can have significant negative impacts on the environment, biodiversity, and climate.






Here are some key points about deforestation:

1. Environmental Impact: Deforestation can lead to loss of habitat for wildlife, disruption of ecosystems, and soil erosion. It can also contribute to climate change by releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.


2. Biodiversity Loss: Forests are home to a wide variety of plant and animal species. When forests are cleared, many species lose their habitat and can become endangered or extinct.


3. Climate Change: Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, helping to mitigate climate change. When trees are cut down or burned, this stored carbon is released back into the atmosphere, contributing to the greenhouse effect.


4. Water Cycle Disruption: Trees play a crucial role in regulating the water cycle by absorbing and releasing water through transpiration. Deforestation can disrupt this cycle, leading to changes in local weather patterns and potentially causing droughts or floods.


5. Indigenous Communities: Deforestation can also negatively impact indigenous communities who rely on forests for their livelihoods and cultural practices. Their land rights and way of life can be threatened by deforestation.


Efforts to combat deforestation include conservation initiatives, sustainable forestry practices, reforestation projects, and policies to protect forests and promote sustainable land use. It is important for individuals, governments, and businesses to work together to address the root causes of deforestation and protect our planet’s forests for future generations.

The Gratitude for Earth parade in Vankleek Hill will form part of the May show (10 am to 4 pm, Main Street VKH, Sunday, May 19th). Everyone is invited to dress up in fun nature-themed costumes, so join us for a fun family day with music, dance, delicious food, and arts and crafts from local artists. 






Support Susie, Charlie, and Mother Earth by taking a tree home and positively impacting our environment. Let’s come together to protect and preserve our planet for a greener and healthier future!


Follow Charlie and his environmental project here:


Creative Sparks: An art show by the students of Art and Dream Studio

The American painter Georgia O’Keefe once beautifully expressed the power of art, stating, “I found I could say things with colour and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way since I have no words for.”

Art, with its vibrant tints and detailed forms, holds a profound significance in our lives. As winter’s icy grip begins to loosen and we eagerly anticipate the arrival of spring, the art school, Art and Dream Studio, located in Vankleek Hill, invites you to immerse yourself in a world of creativity and inspiration.

Stephanie Pete is a dedicated artist and valued community member. She balances her roles as a teacher at the art school and her work at The creating center, along with other commitments. Stephanie organizes an engaging exhibition that highlights the skills of her students of varying ages. Titled “Creative Sparks,” this exhibition exemplifies the transformative influence of art and serves as proof of the transformative power of art. But what exactly does art spark in us? What light does art bring to society? The act of creation serves as a switch that illuminates our spirits and sheds light on the world around us.

Each painting displayed at the show is a symbolic flame, radiating warmth and brilliance. Through collaborative efforts and shared passion, the students at the art school come together to build a collective beacon of creativity. The studio offers a diverse range of classes for both adults and children, including painting, drawing, and immersive camp days for young artists.

In each class, participants are guided to explore new techniques and mediums, fostering a nurturing environment for self-discovery and artistic growth. The art school’s exhibition at the Arbor Gallery invites you to witness the magic of art firsthand. Embrace the beauty of art, let it torch your imagination, and discover the endless possibilities it holds for your spirit and society as a whole.

The showcase will be open to the public from February 29th to March 31 at the Arbor Gallery:

36 Home Ave, Vankleek Hill

Art and Dream studio, address and contact:

27 High St, Vankleek Hill, ON K0B 1R0

+1 (613) 854-5226

[email protected]

The Growth of Parachute Farm: Embracing Organic Farming and Community connections


Welcome to the world of Parachute Farm, where the seeds of a sustainable dream are nurtured with passion and dedication. In the landscapes of Vankleek Hill, Maggie Winchester and her husband, Mattson Griffiths, have embarked on a journey of growth and transformation, embracing the world of organic farming and the vibrant community spirit that defines their mission.

Armed with a background in Environmental Studies, a deep-rooted passion for farming, and more than fifteen years of experience in agriculture, Maggie, along with her partner Mattson (who has a degree in Farm management and technology), established Parachute Farm with a vision to cultivate the land ethically and produce high-quality vegetables. The couple shares fifteen years of experience, which helped them prepare to strat their own operation.


Organic farming is more than a method of cultivation; it is a philosophy that honours nature’s delicate balance. Organic growers like Maggie and Mattson at Parachute Farm nurture the land, protect the environment, and provide consumers with wholesome, nutrient-rich produce by prioritizing soil health, biodiversity, and sustainability.

The benefits of organic farming extend far beyond the dinner table. By supporting organic agriculture, consumers contribute to cleaner air, water, and soil by reducing their exposure to harmful toxins and promoting animal welfare. Organic farming also plays a crucial role in combating climate change by sequestering carbon in the soil and promoting agroecological practices.

In addition to the environmental benefits, buying local produce from farms like Parachute Farm has numerous advantages for consumers and communities. Locally sourced food is fresher, tastier, and more nutritious, as it is harvested at peak ripeness and travels shorter distances to reach your plate. 

Individuals invest in the local economy by supporting local farmers, creating jobs, preserving agricultural heritage, and building stronger connections.

Parachute Farm is a non-certified organic farm, but its commitment to organic principles and local sourcing is imprinted in every operation. From cultivating a diverse array of vegetables using sustainable practices to forging partnerships with neighbouring businesses and farmers, Maggie and Mattson are dedicated to providing their customers with an enriching farm-to-table experience.


If you’re enthusiastic about experiencing the delights of Parachute Farm’s offerings, you can find Maggie, Mattson, and their collection of products at the Vankleek Hill farmers market in June. Soon, you will also be able to find them at The Marsh’s flea market in Saint Eugene (biweekly, starting in June).

For those who prefer the comfort of online communication, reaching out to them via email is a simple way to stay updated on their latest offerings.

Contact Information and interesting websites:

Email: Parachute Farm: [email protected]


Instagram: @parachute_farm


Marsh’s Flea Market (1081 Labrosse Street – Saint Eugene, starting 25th May)

Vankleek Hill Farmers Market:

Mindful writing workshop

Join us this Wednesday for some writing tips and sharing!
The writing workshop will take place at the Creating Centre de créativité on Wednesdays starting May 1st at 6:30 pm.
Correct Address: (11 ON-34 – Vankleek Hill)
Benefits of attending the Writing Workshop:
1. Enhance your writing skills and creativity.
2. Receive guidance and feedback from other attendants.
3. Learn new techniques and approaches to writing.
4. Connect with like-minded individuals and build a supportive writing community.
5. Explore different genres and styles of writing.
6. Boost your confidence in expressing yourself through writing.
Please confirm your attendance by private message or email. There is no age limit, and no previous knowledge is required.
I look forward to seeing you there!
Florencia Lazcano