Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup and award-winning sea life exhibit coming July 30!

image of bird holding a sign that says Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup and the award-winning Aquavan will make a splash in the Sault on Sunday, July 30, and Clean North will be there to help! The cleanup will take place from 10 am to noon at North St. Mary’s Island, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Please meet in the parking lot of the Parks Canada visitors centre, where the AquaVan will be located.

So what’s the clean up all about? Every year, tens of thousands of Canadians take action against shoreline litter by participating in shoreline cleanup events. This initiative is led by the Vancouver Aquarium and WWF-Canada. Since 2003, more than 400,000 participants from coast to coast have removed nearly one million kilos of garbage from Canada’s shorelines.

And what about the AquaVan? This award-winning mobile exhibit from the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre’s will offer the opportunity to touch a sea star, examine a hermit crab, and discover the connections among our aquatic life, the environment, and ourselves.

Come on out on Sunday to help protect our local aquatic ecosystem and learn more about our ocean life! And bring the kids! Please share the link to this post on social media and via email.

Questions? Email Clean North.

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Are you a “green” gardener who has invasive plants on your hit list? You might be eligible for a major award!

It’s City Beautification time again, and once again Clean North will be sponsoring the Green Glove Award category. Nominations for this award (and other City Beautification awards) will be accepted until July 17.

Each year the Green Glove Award recognizes a local gardener who is practicing sustainable gardening through use of native species; planting species friendly to wildlife (especially birds, bees, and butterflies); composting garden waste; using rain barrels and other water conservation tools and techniques; and using natural pest and disease control methods.

For 2017, Clean North is working with the Invasive Species Centre to add a new focus to the Green Glove Award criteria — avoiding invasive garden plants such as periwinkle, goutweed, creeping bellflower, non-native honeysuckle shrubs, buckthorn, and Himalayan balsam.

“Gardeners can play an important role in preventing spread of invasive plants,” said Don McGorman of Clean North. “Sometimes we think there’s no risk to an invasive plant being in our garden if we don’t live in the middle of the forest. The truth is invasive species can easily escape into natural areas within and around the city, crowding out native plants and harming ecosystems.”

photo of Himalayan balsam seedlingsDon notes that Himalayan balsam (photo of seedlings at right) is a perfect example. Many people love having this annual in their yard because it gets very tall and produces many beautiful pink flowers. But each plant produces thousands of seeds, and each seedhead explodes on touch, rocketing seeds up to six metres away. Himalayan balsam can now be found in many natural areas across the city.

“The Invasive Species Centre is pleased to be partnering with Clean North on this initiative to shine a spotlight on the threat that invasive garden plants pose to our local ecosystems,” said Tracey Cooke, the centre’s executive director. “This new facet of the award dovetails nicely with our other invasive species outreach programs, such as the Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) Network Ontario, which is established in Sault Ste. Marie and expanding to the Algoma-Manitoulin catchment.”

You do not have to have zero invasive species in your garden to be eligible for the Green Glove Award, but the more native plants and less invasives, the better. You may nominate yourself or someone else; nomination forms are posted on the City of Sault Ste. Marie’s City Beautification page.

InvasiveSpeciesCentreLogo CleanNorthLogo


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You can never have too mulch of a good thing

Clean North is once again offering up its beautiful Christmas tree mulch to Sault area gardeners. 

Come to this year's Move That Mulch event at Algoma University (1520 Queen St E) on Saturday, May 27 from 9 am to noon. The mulch pile will be located on the north side of the George Leach Centre. Our mulch is good for acid-loving gardens and pathways…bring your own containers, and we'll help you shovel! 

We will also have available for sale coir coconut fibre (a sustainable alternative to peat moss, which is not a renewable resource), worm composter kits, bat houses, and rain barrels. In addition, you can purchase a variety of locally adapted three-year-old conifer tree seedlings and get advice on planting trees. 

Have a question? Call the Clean North office at 705-945-1573 or email us at

Thank you very mulch for your support of Clean North! 



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Clean North and Sault library hosting award-winning film about Green Rights on Thursday, April 20, 2017

GreenRightsImageClean North and the Sault Ste. Marie Public Library are bringing you another excellent documentary in honour of Earth Week 2017. 

This year's featured film is Green Rights: The Human Right to a Healthy World, which will be shown at 6:30 pm on Thursday, April 20 at the main library on East St. Admission is by donation. 

This award-winning film has been called the most ambitious and important environmental documentary ever, focusing on green rights — the rights of human beings to a healthy environment and nature's right to be respected and protected. It shows how these rights are being protected in Ecuador, Argentina, the Philippines and the Netherlands – and presents dramatic stories of the fight for these rights in Canada and the United States. You will see how determined citizens and lawyers have taken on national governments and global corporations – and won. And it puts a spotlight on this question: Why is the legal right to fresh air, clean water, and healthy food not recognized in Canada and the United States? 

Please join us for a unique film journey that will shock, surprise, and inspire you.

If you have any questions about this screening, email us

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Clean North members: Check out Forests Without Borders Documentary Film Night on Friday!

On Friday, December 9, the Forests Without Borders Club at Sault College is hosting a documentary film night from 7 to 9 pm. 

This screening will feature the first two episodes from the Emmy award-winning TV series Years of Living Dangerously. In this series, Harrison Ford, Don Cheadle and Arnold Schwarzenegger take us on an investigative journey to discover the facts about climate change, deforestation, neglectful industries, and political corruption. 

You can find this event at the Sault College Multi-Media Centre by the cafeteria (B1170). The screening is free but a $2 donation is suggested. 

Check out the Forests Without Borders Club at Sault College here




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Hot, dry conditions got your garden down? Check out Clean North’s Green Side Up event for awesome solutions!


Mark Saturday, August 27, 2015 on your calendar! That's the date of this year's Clean North Green Side Up event at Lemieux Composting at 764 Black Road in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. This event will run from 9 am to noon. 

It's hot and dry out there, so it's a great time to pick up some mulch, a rain barrel, or coir blocks…all three are handy for hot, dry conditions. Mulch helps keep moisture in your soil. A rain barrel will help keep your water bill down, plus rain water is better for plants (no treatment chemicals and ambient temperature). Coir fibre is a by-product of coconut harvesting and a sustainable alternative to peat moss. It's excellent at holding water…very helpful during dry spells! 

Bat houses are another terrific Clean North product. They give bats an alternative to your attic, garage, shed, or other building, reducing the chance of human to bat contact while encouraging creatures that eat thousands of mosquitoes. The little brown bat, for example, can eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes per hour! 

We will also have tree seedlings available for sale. Trees create shade, lowering cooling costs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

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

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

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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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