Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I Heart Hank and Vera Jones

If you live in the Ottawa area you may have heard of Hank and Vera Jones. They were in the news last summer. The couple have turned most of their half acre yard around their Constance Bay home into a pollinator garden.

Where Hank and Vera see a beautiful and natural habitat, filled with native flowers and grasses that support biodiversity and encourage important pollinator species, some neighbours see unkempt lawns. A complaint was made to the city and in accordance with the by-laws, city officials threatened to mow the garden down.

Fast forward to this year and Hank and Vera's garden continues to exist and thrive, especially after a generous donation of native plants from the Fletcher Wildlife Garden, and widespread support from environmentalists, councillors and organisations, but the issue has not been fully resolved.

Hank has written an open letter to Ottawa city councillors, asking them about their position on the by-law for property maintenance, and has created a rich resource page to educate people on the importance of pollinator gardens.

They are also dialoguing with neighbours to explain what they are doing and why in the hopes that raising awareness of their garden will help people understand the nature of the important work they are doing and support or at least tolerate it.

I think Hank and Vera really are the bee's knees! I love what they are doing and wholeheartedly support their work.

And if that isn't cool enough, Hank has been busy with another fantastic project. Check out these rad salad tables he built. I mean, are these awesome or what?

I heart Hank and Vera Jones. So much in fact that I contacted them a while back and asked if they would be willing to open up their home for a Transition Ottawa reskilling event in which guests could tour the garden and get a demonstration of the salad tables. They were thrilled by the idea and we set a date!

I can't wait to meet them in person and especially tour their garden and see their salad tables in action.

If you live in the area and are interested in joining us for the event, check out all the details here and feel free to register. It'd be great to have you!

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