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If you saw 100 women dressed in yellow shirts singing the praises of Lake Simcoe, you would probably think your eyes were deceiving you. Not so, the Ladies of the Lake is an association of over 100 such women who are seeking new and innovative ways to get people active in returning their lake to the good health it once enjoyed.

Annabel Slaight is best known as an editor and publisher of children’s books and magazines,  and kids TV producer. But these days, this retired media maven is most involved in the Ladies of the Lake Conservation Association of which she is co-founder.

This GreenHero’s association is spearheading  a new cross-discipline approach to conservation and renewal. Through the use of art, media and other forms of education, this group is promoting interest and participation in bringing lake Simcoe back to health after 30 years of neglect. Annabel and her friend Jane Meredith, co-founded The Ladies after realizing what dire straights the area was in. Cold-water fish were no longer breeding, some beaches were no longer suitable places for families to play and the bio-diversity had shifted in favour of invasive plant and insect life.

Instead of mandating a simple clean-up regime, Annabel and the Ladies have managed to engage people in new and inventive ways. An example of this was the 2009 W.A.S.T.E. film project, this stands for We Are Saving The Environment and it saw 64 youth attend film courses and create short films to prompt action to save Lake Simcoe. This culminated with a film festival and a conference that was well attended and you can view all films on-line!

The Ladies’ newest project is The Ontario Water Centre. Which seeks to educate the public about water and why it is so integral to our health and how Canada can set an example as defenders of the world’s water. This vision of combining all types of professionals and creativities to appreciate and protect our most precious natural resource is truly inspiring. It kicks off this August with the SPLASH Floating Water Festival in Jackson’s Point.


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