You Say You Want an Evolution
In fact, going back is never an option.
A little more than two years after it began, the ferocity of the pandemic seems at last to be subsiding. But the idea that spring may bring a return to normal remains elusive in a world now heaving with an unpredictable war, surging inflation and worsening climate change.
In fact, going back is never an option. Something happens and, for better or worse, things change. In this issue we look at some of the evolutions going on in our own small patch.
In “Adapting to Survive,” nature writer Don Scallen reminds us that humans are not the only creatures to have evolved clever strategies for protecting themselves from existential threats. He takes a walk through meadows and woods to reveal some of the astonishing survival tactics of local wildlife.
In “Why Highway 413 is a Bad Idea,” environmentalist Debbe Crandall reviews the provincial government’s plan to dial back time and resurrect the “zombie highway.” She argues the highway not only imperils the essential character of Caledon, but represents an outdated approach to planning that has emphatically failed to evolve along with the principles of smart growth and the challenges of climate change.
In a case of more positive evolutionary change, Erin Fitzgibbon provides an annotated guide to two local municipal land acknowledgments. Now commonly read at the start of council meetings and other public gatherings, the acknowledgments recognize the ancestral lands and rights of the Indigenous peoples who inhabited pre-colonial Caledon and Dufferin. Although the words cannot undo history, they are a first step in building the awareness required to move forward with truth and reconciliation.
On a lighter note, in a sea change accelerated by the pandemic, there has been a surge of interest in backyard vegetable gardens. What’s not to like about this food-securing, inflation-battling, nature-nurturing and soul-satisfying way of putting fresh produce on your table? If you’re still trailing the trend, Alison McGill has interviewed several garden experts to help set you on your way.
With this first issue of the year, we’re also pleased to introduce some changes of our own – three new recurring departments. Take a Hike, by longtime In The Hills contributor and hiking expert Nicola Ross, is a graphic guide to help you discover a specific local trail. Country Living 101, a primer on the insider secrets of country living, is aimed mostly at the region’s many newcomers to rural life, but we hope longtime residents will find it useful, too! And finally, A Day in the Life is inspired by the fascinating – but often little understood – careers of our neighbours. In each issue, we go behind the scenes to learn what a typical workday looks like for one of them.