Originally posted on the Door Number One website.
Maitland, Ont. – On August 20, 2021, DoorNumberOne.org, a new local not-for-profit, is kicking off the Dirty Paws Ecological Restoration project at the Maitland Tower site on the beautiful St. Lawrence River between Brockville and Prescott. The project will be a collaboration between many community partners including the St. Lawrence River Institute, the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, South Nation Conservation Authority, Watersheds Canada, Canadian Wildlife Federation, Lashley & Associates Landscape Architects, Augusta Township, CABN Affordable Sustainable Housing, Frontenac Arch Biosphere, Thousand Islands Watershed Land Trust, Water Rangers, Bee City Canada, farming and permaculture consultants, and others. The goal is to demonstrate and inspire leading environmental restoration practices through an Indigenous, scientific and community collaboration. The project will create a natural and resilient shoreline, protect and improve habitat and water quality, increase biodiversity and address invasive species on land and in water, naturally filter roadside pollution, grow food, build pollinator pathways, and through these actions support relationship building, healing and health for all.
The project will involve opportunities for anyone interested to learn more and to help out. “Our intention is to engage people in the restoration activities to inspire and equip them with practical strategies they can replicate in their own homes, schools, workplaces and community spaces,” says Michèle Andrews, Co-Founder and Executive Director of DoorNumberOne.org. “There are so many difficult stories in the news about our health and the health of the environment. Improving our natural spaces is a great way to address both. We know time in nature makes us healthier, mentally and physically, and playing an active role in making nature healthier is a way each of us can make a real difference in our future.”
The Dirty Paws Steering Team includes scientists from the St. Lawrence River Institute, the Environmental Program Manager at the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, the Project Manager & Owner of the Maitland Tower site, and Andrews. The team is designing this project with a ‘two-eyed seeing’ approach. Two-eyed seeing was envisaged by Elder Dr. Albert Marshall of Unama’ki Cape Breton as ‘learning to see from one eye with the strengths of Indigenous knowledges and ways of knowing, and from the other eye with the strengths of mainstream knowledges and ways of knowing, and to use both these eyes together, for the benefit of all.’
Philip Ling, owner of the site says: “After purchasing the property in 2016, I began two projects that needed immediate attention: structural repair of the historic Tower and restoration of the Chart House next to it. I am glad to report that both are well on their way. This ecosystem restoration project is the next major step towards achieving my dream of bringing nature and history back to life here in Maitland in a way that heals all involved. A place where people near and far come together to help make this happen.”
About Maitland Tower
Maitland Tower is a 13 acre property on the St. Lawrence River of both historic and environmental significance, on County Road 2 just east of Brockville with about 675 metres of shoreline on the St. Lawrence River. The site, registered in 2018 as a Living Community Challenge project, will play an active role in the revitalization of the Maitland area as a biological research field station, a location for social and environmental entrepreneurs, and a place for the community and visitors to reconnect with history, nature, and the St. Lawrence River. It will be a demonstration of leading deep green and ecological restoration practices needed to make the transition to a socially just, culturally rich and ecologically regenerative future.
Founded by the Maitland Tower team, DoorNumberOne.org is a not-for-profit focused on providing practical inspiration for the transition to a just, beautiful and regenerated world.