Thank you very much.
It's a good question. There is a lot of green space in urban areas that is really underutilized.
I've been talking to some school teachers and principals here in Ottawa because when you go by a school you see a lot of grass. There isn't a heck of a lot else going on. I thought that one way they could incorporate nature into their curriculum—and this would be something you could put in within the purpose of the plan, the first point—is to have the schools link up with nurseries or whomever and come up with a plan of putting in vegetation that's going to be friendly to bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. The students do the planting. Hire a couple of them to keep their eyes on it over the summer time, but track the progress of the vegetation and what comes to it over the course of the year.
You could also develop what you could call a biological transect through the vegetation so that you're starting with some low bush stuff where you may get grasshoppers, the odd toad showing up, to trees where you'll be identifying what birds are nesting in them and how they're being utilized.
I think it's a tremendous resource that's not being utilized.
We have Ontario's past legislation where we can't use pesticides on our lawns, but most cities have noxious weed bylaws. So if I want to turn my front lawn into an area with butterfly bushes and all kinds of stuff, chances are the city is going to come along and tell me I can't do it. I would love to have nature on my front lawn. I have it in my backyard because there are fences and people can't see it, but I think we have a huge amount of green space that people have access to but we're not utilizing.
For those folks who are living in apartments, townhouses, whatever, we could utilize the roofs of those buildings. It has been done. You could not only grow food on them but you could also have a significant impact in educating people about nature, for instance, to keep the lights off at night so the migratory birds don't crash into the buildings.
Again, there are circles within circles and connections that can be followed.