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In My Backyard

Sarah Harmer: Musician


After growing up in the Niagara Escarpment, JUNO award-winning singer/songwriter Sarah Harmer co-founded PERL (Protecting Escarpment Rural Land).  To bring more awareness to this important area, Sarah puts together a concert each summer featuring renowned musicians like Bruce Cockburn and Feist.

The rural countryside in our backyard is a diverse home to native trees and rare species; the Niagara Escarpment specifically, a pristine 450 million-year-old UNESCO world heritage site, is home to 40% of Ontario’s rare species and houses trees that are over 1000 years old. The land here is irreplaceable once it’s lost, and it’s threatened every day by industry and urban encroachment.

When an aggregate company recently put forth a proposal to remove another 200 acres from Mount Nemo, Sarah, who grew up with this natural landscape in her Burlington, Ontario backyard, refused to sit idly; this is when she co-founded PERL (Protecting Escarpment Rural Land) to stop the destruction of her hometown landscapes.

Her move to act is not a lone battle; campaigns like these are being waged across the globe, many right in our own backyards. Ancient forests, wetlands and valleys are irreplaceable once they are lost, and we must act to keep them alive.

Escarpment Blues by Sarah Harmer courtesy of Casablanca Media Publishing

What You Can Do

• Donate to PERL to help protect threatened species in your backyard or send a letter to your provincial MPP: AlbertaBritish Columbia, ManitobaNew BrunswickNewfoundlandNorthwest TerritoriesNova ScotiaNunavutOntarioPrince Edward IslandQuebecSaskatchewanYukon.
• Become a voice for your community: Use guides from the Conservation Council of Ontario and become a community leader with resources from the David Suzuki Foundation.
• Find a Jane’s Walk near you.
• Lead a community clean up or take part in the Shoreline Cleanup.
• Be a steward where you live, and help restore the natural biodiversity in your backyard.

Spread the Word

Become a fan of PERL on Facebook

Tell 10 friends that there are over 300 species of birds, 55 mammals, 36 reptiles and amphibians, 90 fish, and 100 varieties of flora in the 450 million-year-old Escarpment, which will lose their home if developers continue to destroy their habitats.

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