A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO, I blogged about the depressing case of Deborah Dale, a past president of the North American Native Plant Society whose Toronto garden was destroyed by over-zealous officials who did not understand or appreciate her natural landscaping.
So imagine my joy upon checking the NAPS website this morning, to discover that a couple in Ottawa just won a battle to preserve their own half-acre meadow of pollinator-friendly plants! On July 25, 2009, the Ottawa Citizen reported that the city of Ottawa had rescinded a bylaw that would have forbidden Hank and Vera Jones from retaining their environmentally friendly, wildlife-friendly plantings.
Equally encouraging is the amount of public support the Joneses received: They received legal advice and representation from the Ecojustice Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Ottawa; the Ottawa Citizen published an excellent editorial and an equally excellent opinion piece supporting their cause; the Green Party wrote a letter of support; and the Citizen also published several letters to the editor supporting their cause. For a cheer-making experience, I highly recommend reading some of the articles, letters, and editorials the Citizen has published:
Garden bylaw rescinded (news item)
Councillor calls for scrutiny of bylaws (news item)
Wildlife gardens get new life before council (news item)
Lawn row with city has been won before (news item and photo)
Lawns growing wilder than lawn weeds (opinion piece)
We can go with natural lawns (letter)
Farewell to the lawn (opinion piece)
Changing tastes give new meaning to the word "lawn" (news and photo)
Let the garden grow (letter)
The artifice of the "lawn" (editorial)