Love Your Greats Day second Saturday of August

Saturday, August 13, 2022
Love Your Greats Day on second Saturday of August
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Whether you live in a town or village, a farm, or a rural non-farm property, you can help keep your Great Lake great.


Love Your Great Lakes all year long

Love Your Greats Day on Saturday, August 13, 2022 promotes local action to protect our Great Lakes

A day to celebrate and protect our Great Lakes, called Love Your Greats, is held the second Saturday of every August.

This special day next takes place on Saturday, August 13, 2022. 

Love Your Greats Day organizers say local citizens and local communities can take positive actions to protect Lake Huron and the other Great Lakes. They encourage you to think about the individual actions you can take to protect and improve Lake Huron and the other Great Lakes. 

They invite you to reduce your plastic use, find out about Lake Huron, and to choose products that don’t pollute. They also encourage you to consider projects that slow down or capture runoff. These projects include wetlands, tree planting, rain barrels, and rain gardens.
 
As Love Your Greats Day approaches, consider positive actions such as planting rain gardens. Do you have a location for a rain garden in your yard? Remember that: #LakeHuronStartsHere

There is a rain garden in front of The Andersons, Inc. in Hensall, Ontario. This rain garden helps to protect water by capturing water that might otherwise run off the parking lot onto the street. Local students and community members helped to plant this rain garden, with the support of Ausable Bayfield Conservation staff, in June of 2018. Now, in the fourth year for the garden, Healthy Watersheds Technician Hope Brock said in 2021, “the plants have really taken off.”

Roots have been established and are helping to filter stormwater runoff before it reaches Black Creek, Ausable River and Lake Huron, she said. That’s not all rain gardens do. “Rain gardens do double duty as they not only hold back and filter water but they also provide habitat and food for bees, butterflies and other insects,” she said.

This valuable pollination is evident in the photos which show bees doing essential pollinating of the rain garden plants which include Sweet Oxeye (the yellow plant in the photo); Joe Pyeweed (the pink plant); and Wild Bergamot (the purple plant).

Rain garden in Hensall.

Bayfield-area farmer loves his soil and Lake Huron 

Keeping soil, nutrients on land is one of messages for rural, urban residents as Love Your Greats Day is celebrated on August 13, 2022 

“The goal is to keep dirt on the land.” This was the response from Bayfield-area farmer Rick Kaptein Jr., when asked about why he farms the way he does. 

Rick uses no-till, cover crops and permanent pasture on his rolling farm, Tulip Lane, to help keep the soil on his land. The math is simple, he says. The more soil that stays on his farm, the less he has to spend on nutrient inputs. These practices help maintain a profitable agricultural operation but, at the same time, they keep valuable soil and nutrients out of the nearby Bayfield River and, ultimately, Lake Huron. 

Rick started to use cover crops to feed his cattle but he soon saw the benefits of having something growing in the ground for the long term, both in terms of weed control and erosion control. He noticed that even a bad catch of Rye was able to slow down the weeds. And, when it comes to storm events with heavy rains, he is relieved to see his soil is not washing away. 

“You have got to have a root in the ground in the winter,” he said. “The no-till really helps keep the soil in place with those unexpected rains that might come in July and August.” 

Rick admits he is continually learning when it comes to his farming practices and he is keen to see how a new pollinator cover crop mix benefits his soil. Pollinators will most certainly benefit from the Buckwheat and Crimson Clover he planted but Rick is hoping the mix also adds some nitrogen and loosens the soil using the roots. 

One thing he has learned is that if he spends a little money (on cover crop seed) he can save a lot of money and this helps both his pocketbook and the lake.  

Whether you are an agricultural producer, a rural non-farm resident, or an urban resident there are actions you can take to keep your Great Lake great. 

Saturday, August 13, 2022 is Love Your Greats Day, held the second Saturday of every August to celebrate and protect our Great Lakes. Organizers invite people to reduce plastic use, choose products that don’t pollute, and reduce litter and pick up litter. They also encourage you to consider projects and practices that slow down or capture runoff and keep soil and nutrients on the ground where they’re needed and out of creeks, rivers, and the lake.

Farmers like Rick Kaptein Jr. are using cover crops and no-till to help. If you are in an urban area you can consider rain barrels, rain gardens, and other positive actions.  “Each positive action you take adds up,” organizers say. 

To find out more actions you can take to protect your Great Lake, visit the Healthy Lake Huron – Clean Water, Clean Beaches Partnership at healthylakehuron.ca (and follow Healthy Lake Huron on social media) and follow Love Your Greats Day on Facebook at facebook.com/loveyourgreats/ and on their website at loveyourgreats.com

Protect Lake Huron and help us adapt to climate change

The Municipality of South Huron, as part of its Rising to the Challenge climate change video series, has prepared videos that share ways to help us to adapt to weather extremes. One of those videos, featuring Ausable Bayfield Conservation’s Hope Brock and Tommy Kokas, provides a number of ‘green infrastructure’ innovations (such as permeable pavement, rain barrels, rain gardens, and native species planting) you can consider to reduce impacts. 

Watch the Valuing Green Infrastructure video now:

To watch this and other videos visit this web page: 

There are many other ways you can help Lake Huron. You could take litterless lunches to the beach, or properly dispose of waste, or help clean up litter along Lake Huron if you find it.  You can use reusable water bottles and fill them up at local water refill stations.  “Each positive action you take adds up,” organizers say.

Why 'Lake Huron Starts Here'

Last year, for Love Your Greats Day, Ausable Bayfield Conservationshared photos that remind us how ‘Lake Huron Starts Here.'

Where is here? Where does Lake Huron start? The lake starts on high ground, or headwaters, wherever raindrops fall and begin to travel towards a creek, a river, and the lake.  ‘Here’ may actually be kilometres from the lake, but it is important to realize that what we do on the landscape can have an impact on the lake.

There were daily social media #LakeHuronStartsHere posts, which started on Love Your Greats Day (August 8, 2020). The posts highlightwd positive actions such as rain gardens; rain barrels; cover crops; erosion control; and water and sediment control basins.

To find out more about how #LakeHuronStartsHere, visit abca.ca and healthylakehuron.ca.

Lake Huron starts in all of our backyards.  To help protect Lake Huron, people can use rain barrels and rain gardens to keep water clean by capturing rainwater so it doesn’t travel, during storms, over lawns, fields, parking lots, and roads before it reaches the lake. Landowners can plant cover crops and install erosion control projects like Water and Sediment Control Basins (WASCoBs) to build soil health, reduce erosion, and protect water.

Hope Brock is Healthy Watersheds Technician at Ausable Bayfield Conservation. Lake Huron is large, she said, but before water ever reaches the lake it has traveled and it can carry pollutants with it. People can take small, positive actions to manage that water so it is less polluted when it reaches the lake. Some water may fall into the lake directly as rain but additional water comes from creeks and rivers. Before water runs through streams and rivers much of that water was water running off of land – or runoff. That’s why it’s important, she said, for people to think about how Lake Huron starts on our own properties.

When we use rain barrels, cover crops, rain gardens, or other beneficial practices we can help to slow down the water, hold back the water, and let the water soak in.

“In many ways, the health of our lake depends on what happens in your yard, on your lawn or field, on your property, and in your home,” she said.

The second Saturday of every August, people are invited to celebrate and protect their Great Lake on ‘Love Your Greats Day.’ Love Your Greats Day is Saturday, August 14, 2021.

In honour of this special day, small actions are highlighted to show residents how ‘Lake Huron Starts Here.’

Love Your Greats started in 2015. Love Your Greats Day encourages making changes to reduce plastic use (to reduce plastic, microplastic, and nanoplastic pollution); to find out about sustainable practices to protect Lake Huron and the other Great Lakes; and water protection projects such as rain gardens, wetlands, tree planting, and responsible purchase of products that don’t pollute.

To learn more visit Love Your Greats on Facebook or visit loveyourgreats.com