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Every child should be able to see at least 3 trees a day, to hear birds, experience insects and smell plants and grass. That is the goal of Joyce Hostyn, Kingston’s leading proponent of the “Little Forests” movement and Kingston Rotary’s latest guest speaker.
In Southern Ontario, our forests are now reduced to between 17 to 25% of what they once were. Species are disappearing. Large areas are covered with asphalt. Health issues, such as depression, autoimmune disorders, stress symptoms, are being related to our being out of touch with nature. Joyce wants us to reverse this trend.
It is Hostyn’s view that today we are dominated by an 'egotistical world view' where people are at the top of the pyramid and all other forms of nature serve us.
She and others like her want to achieve an 'ecotistical world view', not a triangle but rather an inclusive circle where all forms of nature interact, supporting each other. Biodiversity is an important premise in this interaction.
Canada is losing ground on this front but, by 2030, “Little Forests” hopes to stall this loss and by 2050 hopes to reverse the trend. 
There are many initiatives trying to achieve this goal, however, Hostyn wants children and the rest of us to build an ecotistical city by planting 'Little Forests'.
Locations throughout the city are being identified where not only trees but shrubs and plants can grow.
Joyce pointed to major initiatives in cities like Vancouver and Paris, and countries such as Pakistan, India, China.
Boulevards, parks, parking lots, rooftops, front yards, back yards, and micro-nurseries, are all places where ‘little forests’ can be created.
"Green infrastructure" is a new word for this type of urban building.  
As the frequency, duration and intensity of heat waves increase, shade will become even more important. And of course, we all know that plants absorb carbon dioxide - another plus. 
Let's join the Forest Stewardship Network (FSN) with our other Rotary clubs and help our city become a "City in a Forest". Visit  littleforests.org to learn more and become a volunteer!


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