Calling all gardeners: It’s much ado about mulch!

It's Move That Mulch time once again! 

Last holiday season, Clean North chipped thousands of Christmas trees into mulch, helping to extend the life of our local landfill and creating a marvelous mountain of mulch! 

Now we're ready to share that mulch with the community during our annual Move That Mulch event on Saturday, June 4, 2016 from 9 am to noon in the Algoma University parking lot at 1520 Queen Street East, in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario. There's no cost but we do accept donations to help fund our worthy array of community programs. 

We will also be selling rain barrels, bat houses, coir blocks and a limited supply of conifer tree seedlings. 

For more information, please call Clean North at 705­945­1573 or email us at

About mulch….

Mulch gives your garden a tidy appearance and provide many benefits to your soil and plants, including suppressing weeds, keeping moisture in the soil, keeping soil cooler in summer, insulating plant roots from temperature fluctuations in winter, and adding oganic matter to your soil as it breaks down. Mulching tips:

  • Consider applying a nitrogen-based fertilizer such as bloodmeal before applying wood-based mulch as it can take up nitrogen as it begins to decompose. 
  • Leave space between plant stems and mulch, as mulch close to stems can foster diseases and provide cover for plant-eating insects and other pests.
  • Apply a mulch layer no more than 1 to 3 inches thick. Too little mulch is not effective and too much can cause problems (mulch may rot too fast or prevent water from getting to the soil).  
  • Water fresh mulch thoroughly after applying. 
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Seedy Saturday 2016 is this weekend! Package up any seeds you’ve collected and head on over

It may look like January out there, but spring is just around the corner! There's no better way to think spring than attending Seedy Saturday on March 5 at Sault College. 

Clean North will be there! We will have lots of great information about our programs and products. You can check out and purchase our rain barrels, bat houses, coir blocks and worm composter kits. 

And just for the lil' peeps in your life…we will have an interactive hands-on worm composting activity! Kids can help separate worms from dirt so we can harvest the compost and have worms available for worm composting boxes.  As a Seedy Saturday event special, any worm composting kit sold will include a free half pound of worms.

You don't have to have your own seeds to come to Seedy Saturday…any seeds leftover after 12:15 when the exchange is done will be available for sale to the general public. This event will also feature yummy food, many great gardening and related vendors, and several fantastic presentations, includings ones on starting your first veggie garden and starting plants from seed. It's a fun event for the whole family to enjoy. 

Got questions? Check out the flyer below for more details or email us at 

Seedy Saturday information

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Get a REAL tree this Christmas! And remember — recycle!

IMG_2665SMGet a real tree (local fresh cut) this Christmas and then drop it off for recycling at the Clean North collection depot before January 9.

Sources of freshly cut local Christmas trees in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario include:

  • Floods Christmas Trees – Moose Lodge (Trunk Road)
  • Maki Farm – 195 Maki Road - 705-254-1689
  • Marshall's – Follow the signs from 2nd Line and Carpin Beach Road - 705-779-2423
  • Mockingbird Hill Farm – 943 Landslide Road - 705-253-4712

Click here for 10 Easy Care Tips for Your Christmas Tree

Clean North’s Christmas tree collection depot will open December 26 in the northwest corner of the Cambrian Mall parking lot. We will be collecting ONLY the following items for reuse and/or recycling:

  • Real Christmas trees and branches
  • Clean white packing styrofoam
  • Books in good condition for resale by the Friends of the Library
  • Blankets and towels for the Humane Society.

Clean North volunteers will be at the depot on a daily basis, mainly in the afternoon and early evening.  The depot is open 24/7 for drop offs. If no volunteers are around when you visit, please put your tree near the pile of trees and any styrofoam, books, and blankets/towels in the on-site covered container.

Interested in volunteering to help at the collection depot? Cntact Clean North at 705-945-1573 (please leave a message) or

The depot will receive material though Saturday, January 9, 2016.

Tree chipping will take place Sunday January 10, at 8 a.m. and mulch will be available at about 10 a.m.

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Add your voice — and your feet — to a march for climate change in Sault Ste. Marie on November 29, 2015

Clean North, local schools, and others committed to a greener future for you and our community are encouraging all Sault area residents to participate in a March for climate change at 1 p.m. on November 29, 2015.

Climate change will be one of the defining issues of this century and is already affecting people, ecosystems, and the economy. On November 30, world leaders will meet in Paris to start negotiating the next global climate deal. You can add your voice to the thousands speaking out about climate change around the globe by participating in this march. It will be one of many held around the world to push leaders at every level of government to commit to 100% clean energy. Come out and help make history! The more of us who work together to speak out about climate change, the more likely we will be to get a climate deal that gets us off dirty energy and unleashes clean energy for all.

This march will begin at City Hall and proceed down the waterfront boardwalk to the Mill Market to send a message that the time for action on climate change is now. 

So bundle up Sault Ste. Marie and bring your enthusiasm, posters, voices, musical instruments, and a genuine desire for change! YOU can help make history!

To get more information or RSVP, check out the march webpage.

You can also check out the march page on Facebook as well as a Sault Star article about the march.


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Clean North salutes the winners of the 2015 Green Glove Awards

Clean North offers congratulations to the winners of this year's Green Glove Awards. First place went to the Allard Street Community Garden at 105 Allard Street, in second place is the Rattle residence at 118 Killarney Road, and placing third is Pine Allard Properties at 769 Pine Street. 

These winners will be honoured (along with winners from other City Beautification award categories) by the Sault Ste. Marie City Council at their next meeting on Monday, September 28, 2015 at the Sault Ste Marie Civic Centre.

The Green Glove Award winners will each receive an award plaque plus a gift certificate from Clean North. 

The City Beautification Award Program (now in its 36th year) was created to recognize and encourage the gardening efforts of local residents and businesses. It reflects our strong community pride and recognizes the great effort many people put into their gardens. 

For the Green Glove Garden Award, sponsored and judged by Clean North, nominated gardens are judged on design, overall health and use of organic gardening methods,  including natural disease and pest control, composting, mulching, recycling and water conservation.  This award aims to increase public awareness of the need to create environmentally friendly gardens. 

Clean North has a detailed and stringent judging form listing criteria that should be present to receive high marks. Examples include presence of water conservation practices (rain gardens, soaker hoses, rain barrels, rain chains, etc.), use of native plants, use of mulch, use of recycled items, diversity of plants, wildlife friendly practices (bird feeders/ birdhouses/bat houses/mason bee houses), etc.  Nominees are also judged on garden hygiene, design principles and contribution to the neighborhood.

All  are welcome to attend the council meeting or to watch it on Channel 10 beginning at 4:30 pm. 

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Clean North presents the 9th annual Green Side Up event on Saturday, August 22, 2015

Need mulch, tree seedlings, coir blocks, or a rain barrel, bat house, or worm composter kit?

Then plan to attend Clean North's 9th annual Green Side Up event at Lemieux Composting at 764 Black Road in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario from 9 am to noon on Saturday, August 22, 2015.  

If you will be coming for mulch, please bring your own bins. 

Want to know more? Call (705)945-1573 or email 

Did you know…?

  • Rain barrels are AWESOME for gardens! Collected rainwater is better for plants (no treatment chemicals and ambient temperature) and cuts your water bill. 
  • Coir blocks are a by-product of coconut harvesting and a sustainable alternative to peat moss. This fibre is excellent at holding water…very helpful during dry spells!

  • Bat houses give bats an alternative to your attic, garage, shed, or other building, thus reducing the chance of human to bat contact while encouraging creatures that eat thousands of mosquitoes. 

Please share this information with your family and friends in the Sault and area! 




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Take your household hazardous waste to the depot — and protect you, your family, and our community

recycle2Have you been cleaning out your garage, shed, basement or even under the kitchen sink? The City of Sault Ste. Marie's household hazardous waste depot is now open for the season and ready to accept your household hazardous waste. 

Making sure you properly dispose of all household hazardous waste brings benefits to many. It will help ensure that toxic/hazardous substances do not harm you, your family, city trash collectors, and your neighbours and community…AND it will help extend the life of our landfill. The more waste we divert, the longer the landfill will last, postponing the time when we have to develop a new one. 

The Household Hazardous Waste Depot is at 115 Industrial Park Crescent (turn off Great Northern Road across from Giovanni's Restaurant).

This service is free of charge to city residents. Hours of operation are: 

April 16 – October 31, 2015 (except for holidays)
Thursday and Friday – 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturdays – 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

What types of items and substances may you bring to the depot? You'll find a long list here. 

Please share this information with your friends, relatives, and neighbours! 



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Plants, mulch, and free stuff curbside! 3 green events every Clean North member (and Sault-area resident) should know about!

Hello, Clean North members and supporters of green living! Three awesome events are coming up in the second half of this month that we think you all should know about. Please share this information with your friends, relatives, neighbours, and networks, including your Facebook page.

2015 Hort Society Plant Sale (NEW LOCATION!)

Plant Sale Poster 2015-2It's that time of year again….Time to get great deals on plants at the Sault Ste. Marie Horticultural Society's annual plant sale!

IMPORTANT: This year the sale is being held at the Allard Street Community Garden (ASCG; 105 Allard St. next to the Red Cross) — NOT the Baptist Church on Malabar Dr. The sale will take place on Saturday, May 23 from 8 am until noon.

Clean North will be there and will have a limited selection of potted young trees (both evergreen and deciduous) at various prices. 

Clean North will also have a booth with a rain barrel and a bat house on display and coir blocks for sale ($20 each or two or more at $15 each).

For more information, call the Clean North office at (705)945-1573 or email

Move That Mulch!

Move That Mulch 2015 poster2 On Saturday, May 30 is Clean North's annual Move That Mulch event, which will be held in the northwest corner of the main parking lot at Algoma University (1520 Queen Street East, Sault Ste. Marie) from 9 am until noon.  

Same format as previous years — a pile of Christmas tree mulch will be available free (by donation). We will have volunteers on hand to help you fill and load your containers.

We will also have some 3-year-old potted conifer trees available at $4 each; species include cedar, spruce and pine. And we will have coir blocks for sale ($20 each or two or more at $15 each) and a bat house and rain barrel on display.

For more information, call the Clean North office at (705)945-1573 or email

Sault Freecycle Day

Also on Saturday, May 30, it's Sault Freecycle Day!

  • Please leave items you want to offer up at the curb and mark each clearly with a FREE sign or sticker.
  • Ensure giveaway items are placed well away from any of your yard items you are NOT giving away.
  • Remove unclaimed items by 9 pm.
  • Go to the Sault Freecycle page on Facebook for a list of charities you can donate unclaimed items to.
  • Use the hashtab #saultfreecycle to advertise your items and post them on the Facebook page and Twitter.

For more information, email


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Clean North to celebrate Earth Day 2015 by presenting hot doc Symphony of the Soil at the library

thumbnail for Symphony of the Soil DVDEarth Week is almost here, and Clean North and the Sault Ste. Marie Public Library have just the event to get you into the swing of things! They are presenting the documentary Symphony of the Soil on Earth Day (Wednesday April 22, 2015) at 6:30 pm (doors open at 6:15) at the Centennial Library, 50 East Street, Sault Ste Marie, ON. Admission is free.

About this flim...Drawing from ancient knowledge and cutting edge science, Symphony of the Soil is an artistic exploration of the miraculous substance known as soil.

By understanding the elaborate relationships and mutuality between soil, water, the atmosphere, plants and animals, we may come to appreciate the complex and dynamic nature of this precious resource.

The film also examines our human relationship with soil, the use and misuse of soil in agriculture, deforestation and development, and the latest research on soil's key role in ameliorating the most challenging environmental issues of our time.

Filmed on four continents, featuring esteemed scientists and working farmers and ranchers, Symphony of the Soil is an intriguing presentation that highlights possibilities of healthy soil creating healthy plants creating healthy humans living on a healthy planet.

FYI: Clean North has donated a home-use DVD copy of the film to the library, which should be available as a library loan on the day following the event.

Want to know more? Email Clean North. We encourage you to pass this information on to others who might find it of interest.

Did you know….? The United Nations has been declared 2015 to be International Year of Soils.



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B.C. Author/Reporter Carrie Saxifrage hopes her storytelling will get us all talking climate change—and she’s coming to the Sault on April 8!

The Big Swim thumbnailClean North presents…a Book Tour by Bus Event featuring Carrie Saxifrage, a B.C.-based reporter and author of the acclaimed book entitled The Big Swim: Coming Ashore in a World Adrift. The Sault stop on this tour will take place on Wednesday, April 8, beginning at 7 pm at Sault College (Room M1030; Essar Hall – M Wing). Doors will open at 6:30 pm.

Ms. Saxifrage is traveling across Canada by bus to promote her book, which tells stories related to climate change and how it how it may affect our lives. The title story chronicles her swim around nine lakes on her B.C. island. She notes that many people are feeling uneasy about the evidence that it’s time to act on climate change and want to connect with positive solutions. In her book she reconnects personal life with climate change through her stories, which are funny and touching. She wanted to write a book that people who aren’t interested in the issue would enjoy, so some of her stories have less to do with climate change and more to do with life: the death of a parent, adventures in nature and a building project gone awry. Others face climate change head on: how it affects identity, the benefits and losses of reducing your carbon footprint and perspectives that support resilience in the face of difficult knowledge. Each tale she tells helps us become more aware of our place in the natural world.

Psychology research gives us many reasons why our brains are wired to ignore climate change, including that facts and figures don’t engage our emotional minds, the parts of our brains where we choose to act. But research also tells us there's a solution to this conundrum: tell stories, which engage that emotional part of our brains. Ms. Saxifrage attempts to do just that in her book.

Come hear and meet Ms. Saxifrage, and join the conversation. She will have copies of her book for sale and for signing.

For more information, email Clean North. Please share this information with others in our community who might find it of interest.





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