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Sarah Harmer, the GreenHero from our ‘In My Backyard’ campaign and one of our favourite Canadian Green musicians has been busy.

This year, Sarah’s album Oh Little Fire is nominated for 3 Juno Awards; Adult Alternative Album of the Year, Producer of the Year and Recording Engineer of the Year.

In one of our previous webisodes, we profiled Sarah’s tireless work to raise awareness about the problems facing the Niagara Escarpment.

This UNESCO Heritage Site is home to numerous species and trees that are as old as 1000 years. As we highlighted, Sarah is co-founder of PERL (Protecting Escarpment Rural Land) and lends her energy to this cause which is close to her heart.


The Niagara Escarpment

Her film on the same subject has received great acclaim and she continues to speak for this beautiful natural resource.

This film, entitled “Escarpment Blues” is being played at TIFF Thursday March 24th as part of the 40th Anniversary celebrations of the JUNO Awards in Toronto. For more info regarding this screening click here. Go check it out and get involved!

Listen to her song of the same name below:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52vXPZAkDug[/youtube]

Singer, songwriter, environmental activist and GreenHero Sarah Harmer just cannot be stopped.

Co-founder of Protecting Escarpment and Rural Lands (PERL), she’s just begun a musical tour to promote her newest album, Late Bloomer.

It comes on the heels of her toe-tapping Escarpment Blues tour, which exposed her feelings towards her childhood backyard in the Niagara Escarpment through song, and uncovered the devastating destruction of its biodiversity by developers and industry digging for aggregates.

This October, we will watch PERL stand before the Ontario Municipal Board to defend the escarpment from further invasion. Sarah Harmer took a moment from her busy tour schedule to lend her voice to the GreenHeroes campaign, and to remind us to be the voices for the environment in our own backyards.


It’s been over 5 years, and the work to save the Niagara Escarpment’s Mount Nemo in Burlington, Ontario from a massive LaFarge/Nelson Aggregate open pit quarry continues at a busy pace.

In mid-September the Niagara Escarpment Commission voted in what they called a “precedent setting” vote in favour of processing community organization Protecting Escarpment Rural Land’s (PERL) amendment application to properly designate the land at risk on Mount Nemo based on current science.

This would include recognizing the Grindstone Creek Headwaters Provincially Significant Wetland Complex, and Species at Risk habitats, which were confirmed by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources in 2006 and 2007.

To have this up-to-date science reflected in the land-use designations of the Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act (NEPDA) would update much of the subject land from “Escarpment Rural” to “Escarpment Natural” and “Escarpment Protected”.

Aggregate extraction is contemplated in “Escarpment Rural” designated land, but not in “Escarpment Natural” and “Escarpment Protected” land. Getting the proper designations in place would prevent the contemplation of aggregate extraction on most of the LaFarge owned property.

PERL, Halton Region and the City of Burlington have all called for the proper designations to be put in place on this land, in other words to get the planning right, before Ontario tax payers are made to spend millions of dollars in a Joint Board hearing, which is slated to begin in October 2010.

With this decision to process our amendment application the Niagara Escarpment Commission has recognized that it is crucial to have the most current Provincial science reflected in NEPDA land designations.

We are ever more hopeful that good planning will prevail, and the future of Mount Nemo as part of a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, home to Endangered and Threatened Species and vital source water supply, will be saved for future generations.


The Ontario Municipal Board hearings are currently underway, but it is not too late to sign on to the petition and take action. For more actions you can take to protect Mount Nemo and your community, visit our In My Backyard campaign page.

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, you can make a difference in your backyard. What actions are you taking to make a difference in your community? How are you acting locally to affect global change? Do you know someone who is a change agent in your community? Share your story here for your chance to win a prize in our contest

GreenHeroes.tv is all about saving the planet, one story at a time. Do you have a great story to tell about how you’re helping to make the world a greener place? Enter the contest to nominate a friend or yourself – you could be one of Canada’s next GreenHeroes!

Watch and learn about our celebrity GreenHeroes

Read our blog to keep up-to-date on GreenHeroes Campaigns

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Sarah Harmer is a JUNO award winning singer/songwriter who flexes her musical muscle to protect a world biosphere site.

Sarah grew up with the Niagara Escarpment in her backyard. Today, she is dedicated to its preservation, and to achieve this goal, she co-founded PERL (Protecting Escarpment Rural Land) and mounts a concert each summer featuring renowned musicians like Bruce Cockburn and Feist.

“There’s so many places to help the environment wherever you are and whatever your neighbourhood or community is, I think it’s all there to find and it can be right in your neighbourhood, in your own backyard as it was in mine.”

Tell us about the projects or causes you’re involved with that are helping the environment in your community.

We want to hear about your moment of inspiration: enter our contest, or nominate a friend, for a chance to win a GreenHeroes prize and be featured on our contest website. You may even end up having your story told on TVO!

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, you can make a difference in your backyard. What actions are you taking to make a difference in your community? How are you acting locally to affect global change? Do you know someone who is a change agent in your community? Share your story here for your chance to win a prize in our contest

GreenHeroes.tv is all about saving the planet, one story at a time. Do you have a great story to tell about how you’re helping to make the world a greener place? Enter the contest to nominate a friend or yourself – you could be one of Canada’s next GreenHeroes!

Watch and learn about our celebrity GreenHeroes

Read our blog to keep up-to-date on GreenHeroes Campaigns

Sign up for our newsletter

Follow us on Twitter

Become our fan on Facebook

It’s the most conscious film festival on the planet, and we’re thrilled to be a part of it!

On September 22, 2010, the GreenHeroes team made a bright appearance at the Planet in Focus International Film Festival press conference at the Royal Ontario Museum, to debut our shiny new GreenHeroes duo and present our 2010 festival entry, GreenHeroes: Sarah Harmer.

The Planet in Focus Film Festival is a one-of-a-kind gathering of film-lovers and environment-lovers, featuring over 100 environmental films from 32 countries.

Planet in Focus also supports youth environmental filmmakers in their Green Sprouts! Showcase at the Bata Shoe Museum, and continues to work towards reducing film productions’ environmental footprints through workshops like the Free Green Screen Toronto Workshops.

At the press conference, we got to speak with Director of Programming, Kathleen Mullen, who unveiled this year’s line-up and tells us some of the films she’s most looking forward to. She explains:

“Our filmmakers prove that important environmental stories are everywhere, and we have worked hard to make available the most engaging stories from all over the planet.”

So what flicks are we stoked to see?

In the Wake of the Flood – Opening night is bound to be huge, with the overwhelming famed Canadian author, Margaret Atwood on hand to present a film based on her new book, The Year of the Flood. The film, created by Ron Mann, features Margaret Atwood traveling the world with her book, and brings attention to the plight of birds. (More details to come tomorrow!)

Climate of Change – Director Brian Hill’s Climate of Change will be showcased on closing night, a documentary profiling the agents behind the movement to combat climate change. From India to Appalachia, the film will leave you inspired to make change. The film is narrated by British poet Simon Armitage and voiced by Oscar winning Actress Tilda Swinton.

Water on the Table – Another amazing documentary, Director Liz Marshall follows Maude Barlow National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians, as she journeys to have water declared as a human right by the United Nations.

So why should you go out to Planet in Focus this year?

“As with all environmental films, what happens after you watch them is as important as what takes place on-screen: these films help us imagine more possibilities, and promote a deeper understanding of our world, inspiring us to think more about how we live.”

– Sarah Margolius, Executive Director of Planet in Focus

For more information on the film festival and show times, visit their website at www.planetinfocus.org?

GreenHeroes: Sarah Harmer will be playing on Friday October 15 at 7:15 PM at Toronto’s Al Green Theater so come out and see our GreenHeroes live in action and say hi! And for ideas on how you can follow in Sarah’s footsteps and act in your backyard, visit our In My Backyard campaign page!

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, you can make a difference in your backyard. What actions are you taking to make a difference in your community? How are you acting locally to affect global change? Do you know someone who is a change agent in your community? Share your story here for your chance to win a prize in our contest

GreenHeroes.tv is all about saving the planet, one story at a time. Do you have a great story to tell about how you’re helping to make the world a greener place? Enter the contest to nominate a friend or yourself – you could be one of Canada’s next GreenHeroes!

Watch and learn about our celebrity GreenHeroes

Read our blog to keep up-to-date on GreenHeroes Campaigns

Sign up for our newsletter

Follow us on Twitter

Become our fan on Facebook

Spanning 725 kilometers from Niagara to Tobermory, the 450 million year old Niagara Escarpment is one of Canada’s most pristine ecological features. But, it’s under continued pressure from developers and urban encroachment, which threaten to rip into the massive geological rock formation and disturb the nature that lives there. For GreenHero singer/songwriter Sarah Harmer, who grew up with the Escarpment as her backyard, sitting idly wasn’t an option.

Sarah Harmer was fueled to co-found PERL (Protecting Escarpment Rural Land) to stop the destruction of her hometown landscapes. Growing up in Burlington, Ontario beside Mount Nemo, Sarah took a lot of these natural features for granted.

But, here in the UNESCO world heritage Niagara Escarpment, exists a diverse ecosystem and habitat for over 300 species of birds, 55 mammals, 36 reptiles and amphibians, 90 fish, and 100 varieties of flora, which are threatened by ecosystem destruction. Already the Escarpment was being gouged, but with a recent proposal to remove 200 more acres from Mount Nemo, Sarah raised her voice to prevent an irreplaceable loss of wildlife and landscapes.

Her move to act is not a lone battle; wars like these are being waged across the globe – in our backyards too. Ancient forests, wetlands and valleys are irreplaceable once they are lost, so we must act to keep them alive. Currently, PERL is scheduled to stand before the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) to stop the proposed quarry from moving forward. Stay tuned for details on the OMB case, and learn how you can take action to protect the environment in your own backyard.

“It’s amazing what starts to open up as soon as you crack the door open a little bit. There’s so many things to do, there’s so many ways to help the environment. It could be right in your backyard, as it was in mine.”

– Sarah Harmer

Watch for both Sarah Harmer’s and PERL’s Elaine LaChappelle’s guest blog coming soon.

You can watch Sarah’s own GreenHero profile video to learn more about her inspiring work in her own backyard. To learn more about PERL and its various campaigns and initiatives, and to take action yourself, visit the In My Backyard campaign page. Don’t forget to leave a comment on Sarah’s profile and on the campaign page!

Remember – in the battle to save the planet, you can make a difference in your backyard. What actions are you taking to make a difference in your community? How are you acting locally to affect global change? Do you know someone who is a change agent in your community? Share your story here for your chance to win a prize in our contest

GreenHeroes.tv is all about saving the planet, one story at a time. Do you have a great story to tell about how you’re helping to make the world a greener place? Enter the contest to nominate a friend or yourself – you could be one of Canada’s next GreenHeroes!

Watch and learn about our celebrity GreenHeroes

Read our blog to keep up-to-date on GreenHeroes Campaigns

Sign up for our newsletter

Follow us on Twitter

Become our fan on Facebook

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