What do you love about your city?

July 22, 2016
by Lindsay
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Love letters to Toronto’s swimming holes

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When I’m not writing love letters, I’m swimming, especially during Toronto’s summer months. And when I’m not in the water, I’m co-writing a swim blog, Swimming Holes We Have Known with two brilliant swimmers, Rhya Tamasauskas and Laura Wills.

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I had the great pleasure of chatting with CBC Radio’s Metro Morning host, Matt Galloway from the docks outside of Sunnyside this morning (my ultimate favourite spot in the city – between the lake and the pool!)

And I’m not the only one who loves swimming! Check out these amazing swim love letters that have been written over the years:

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Check out more swim-y love letters here!

 

June 21, 2016
by Lindsay
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So much love at The Paper Place’s Crafternoon

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Is there anything dreamier than being surrounded by the city’s most beautiful paper for an entire afternoon, writing letters with the loveliest folks? Nope! I had the best time The Paper Place‘s Crafternoon this June (and yes, I did come home with a lighter wallet and a lot of washi tape…!)

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June 7, 2016
by Lindsay
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Saturday, June 11: Crafternoon at The Paper Place

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SO excited to be hosting a Love Lettering Project Crafternoon event this Saturday at The Paper Place! Glorious, beautiful paper and love letter writing ALL AFTERNOON?! Yes please!

Join us!

Saturday, June 11, 1-4pm at 887 Queen St. W

13LoveLetteringProjectRhya3Photo by Rhya Tamasauskas

Be warned: I might buy the entire wall of washi tape

June 6, 2016
by Lindsay
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30 days of nature: The David Suzuki Foundation’s 30×30 Challenge wrap-up

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I spent all of May spending outside. Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but I spent A LOT of time outside in May for the David Suzuki Foundation’s 30×30 Challenge. I partnered with them, and asked people to write love letters to nature and was floored daily by the responses. I’d scroll through Instagram and Twitter (using: #30x30challenge and #lovenature) and revel in the beauty of the natural world and in how and where people spent their 30 minutes/day in nature. It was so wonderful.

I had the most lovely wrap-up meeting with Aryne Sheppard, David Suzuki Foundation’s Senior Public Engagement Specialist, and an absolute gem of a human being, and she shared the stats with me:

  • 68 countries took part
  • Nearly 13,000 individuals registered
  • 821 schools registered (think of how many students that is!!)
  • 463 workplaces registered.

My heart is full to bursting. Truly. That is a whole lot of people spending time in the natural world, thinking and reflecting on what it means to them, and how it changes and shapes who they are.

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I generally spend a lot of time outside with my 15-month-old, but there was something about the CHALLENGE part of it that transformed our time outside. There was intention. I biked to parks I’ve never been to. We spent a lot of time exploring. My son discovered ants. And tree bark and pinecones (both of which he infatuated with!). We planted a garden (including milkweed!). We spent so much time by the river, by the lake, in Toronto’s High Park. There were near-daily picnics. And on the one day I didn’t spend at least 30 minutes outside, I felt cagey and cooped up and it furthered my resolve to be outside, really be outside. It is truly an extraordinary practice and I feel so grateful for the DSF Challenge for the big huge reminder.

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Over the month of May, we watched the tulips, the daffodils and the allium bloom, then the lilacs and the forget-me-nots. My son ate his weight in dandelion seeds (we’re still working on blowing the seeds, not eating them like a lollipop).

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BARK! Jack’s newest discovery.


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PS: Check out these incredible letters students wrote to nature (and these are such a small fraction of the letters DSF received!)

June 5, 2016
by Lindsay
1 Comment

Love Letters to Nature: The School Edition

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How incredible is this? When I think about love, I think about lilies. When I think about hope, I think about a tree growing. 

The only thing better than reading letters from kids is reading their love letters to nature. Case in point:

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The biggest thank you to all the 812 (!!) schools who took part in the David Suzuki Foundation’s 30×30 Challenge in May. And an extra special thank you to all of the school who mailed in their letters. DSF’s Senior Public Engagement Specialist, Aryne Sheppard and I were brought to tears by the thoughtful, heartfelt letters.

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The letters above were sent in from: Ms. Knight’s Grade 7 class at Munns Public School in Oakville, ON the Kindergarten and Grade 2 classes from Holy Family School in Grinshaw, AB, and the top photo is from the most incredible package from a school in Toronto, complete with photos they took of their caterpillars and butterfly release project. 

June 5, 2016
by Lindsay
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May’s 30×30 winning love letters

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For the entire month of May, I partnered with the David Suzuki Foundation and asked people to write love letter to nature. Each winning love letter received amazing prize packages from Genuine Health! Congratulations to May’s 30×30 Challenge winning love letters to nature!!

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Week One’s letter by Minna KW!

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Andy P’s daughter’s love letter to the amaryllis in the garden!

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So beautiful, Krista.

Love you, nature!!
xoxo

June 5, 2016
by Lindsay
1 Comment

The most wonderful love letter to nature

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As the David Suzuki Foundation’s#‎30x30Challenge wrapped up, close to 60 elders from different parts of the world joined together in Vancouver to write love letters to nature. Elder Li Chen shared her love letter:

大自然,
你那温暖的陽光, 清新的空氣和潔淨的水就如母親的乳汁一樣,
哺育着我們一代一代健康成長.
大自然用你那翠綠的樹林, 五彩繽紛的花草, 裝扮着四周的環境, 讓我們天天精神百倍, 活力十足地生活着.
大自然, 我們深深熱愛着您, 親近您, 保護您.
感謝您給予我們這一切.
陳力, Li Chen.
五月廿六曰, 二零一六年

Nature,
Your warm sunshine, clean air and water nurture us like a mother’s milk. You help us grow, generation after generation, to become healthy and strong.
Your jade-green forests and five-coloured flowers and grass dress up our environment in four corners.
You energize us everyday and give us strength to live life to the ten-full (fullest)
Nature, we deeply love you, we want to get close to you and protect you.
Thank you for giving us everything.
Li Chen. May 26, 2016

How amazing is this??!!

May 26, 2016
by Lindsay
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All the learning. All of it.


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In all my years of teaching, I’ve always wanted to get structured feedback on the workshops I do. I always get some, but it’s usually in passing – before recess, or while students line up for lunch – and/or anecdotal.

I’m so excited about and so proud of this five-day curriculum I’ve created and I really wanted to know what really worked and how I could improve it. I got that in spades. The students were so generous and articulate with their feedback, it was astonishing.

(The overall outcomes: too much brainstorming, not nearly enough time with the good copies. Noted!)

But the biggest, most important piece of feedback I got was that they got it. They GOT IT, this whole crazy thing I’ve been doing for 12 years. They got that “a simple letter can make someone’s day.” That you can “write letters to places as if they were people.” That if you “share love around you, it makes everyone happy.” That our “neighbourhoods are better than they think they are.”

Cue the confetti cannons (and the tears!)

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In the workshop, we wrote love letters to the school, to the students’ neighbourhoods, and then hide them for strangers to find. THEN, we imagined who found our community letters. From these (incredible!) character sketches, we then wrote letters BACK from these characters. I was so excited about it, and it turns out, so were the students:

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I love teaching in schools so much, it often renders me speechless. Case in point:

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May 12, 2016
by Lindsay
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The most extraordinary morning

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This morning I was part of something incredible. The students I’ve been working with at Broadacres through tdsbCREATES took love letters they had written to nature to a nearby long term care home. The students sang for the seniors, read their letters aloud (into a microphone! FUN!), then hand delivered their letters to the elderly audience. It was truly exceptional to see these students share what they love about the natural world, and to see the seniors receive these letters. So powerful.

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The Grade 4s worked with their teacher on brainstorming what people who don’t get to be outside often would miss and these are a few of the letters they came up with.

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What an extraordinary morning.

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