Are you sick of winter? Then mark your calendars for upcoming events (seed-saving workshops and Seedy Saturday) to help you THINK SPRING!

HELLO, Clean North followers! It's been a long winter, and thoughts are turning to spring. It will be here before we know it! There are two events coming up that you might be interested in: a set of seed-saving workshops on March 6-7 and the Seedy Saturday event at Sault College on March 7, 2015. Read the below flyers for more details. Anyone and everyone who is even thinking about gardening in 2015 should especially consider attending Seedy Saturday. You do NOT have to have seeds to offer up to attend! All are welcome.

Clean North will be at Seedy Saturday with both a display table (showing off rain barrels, bat houses and coir blocks) and the usual hands-on worm composting activity. Hope to see you there!

Please share this post on social media and via email with all your gardening friends and relatives…and anyone else who just wants to think spring!

Northern Ontario Seedy Poster-12015SeedySatPoster







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Clean North followers: This year’s RAIN symposium on February 7 will focus on pollinators!

photo of bumblebee on flowerThe 4th annual RAIN Agriculture & Food Symposium will be held in Bruce Mines on February 7, 2015 and will focus on pollinators.

This event will interest to farmers, gardeners and beekeepers and will provide an opportunity to connect the agriculture community while bringing in speakers such as Susan Chan, a pollination biologist with Farms at Work.

Local speakers include David Kreutzweiser of Natural Resources Canada and Mary Eaton of the Algoma Beekeepers’ Association. David will discuss risks of using systemic insecticides, neonicotinoids and fipronil to pollinators and potential alternatives.  Mary will share a history of beekeeping in Algoma and with local student Jordan Winter will discuss strategies for overwintering honey bees in the North.

The workshop is open to the public. Tickets are $20 and available at the door (cash only). A light breakfast and lunch are included.

Registration is also available online through Eventbrite, or by contacting Katie at, (705)942-7927, ext. 3024.

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Learn about worm composting with Clean North on Wednesday, January 28, 2015


On Wednesday, January 28, Clean North volunteer Don McGorman will be leading a hands-on workshop on worm composting at Mill Market in Sault Ste. Marie. Drop-in any time between 4 and 6 pm to check out the live worms and learn how easy it is to compost indoors year round.

Don will give an informal talk at 5 pm and is available for questions all afternoon. This event is FREE and is suitable for all ages. Kids loves worms, so grab them and head over to Mill Market on the 28th!

So what is worm composting? With this form of composting, you use worms to recycle your food scraps and other organic material into a valuable soil amendment. This nutrient-rich material is like black gold for your garden!

Composting food scraps and other organic material also helps reduce the amount of trash going into our local landfill.



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Santa wants YOU to recycle your Christmas tree into garden mulch! Haul it to Cambrian Mall by January 10, 2015

Christmas trees ready for chipping at Cambrian Mall3That jolly old elf known as Santa Claus is not only the world's most generous man; he's also committed to making Christmas a greener operation.

Word from the North Pole is he wants all residents of Sault Ste. Marie to recycle their Christmas trees into garden mulch. Fortunately for all of us, Clean North’s annual Christmas tree recycling event is now underway in the parking lot of the Cambrian Mall in Sault Ste Marie!

Over the past 20+ years, Clean North's Christmas tree recycling program has helped keep thousands of trees out of the Sault Ste. Marie landfill.

This year we are also collecting styrofoam and corrugated cardboard for recycling as well as clean towels and blankets for the Humane Society and used books for the Friends of the Library.

The depot is receiving material though Saturday January 10, 2015.  Clean North volunteers are on-site daily in the afternoon, but material can be dropped off any time of the day.

Tree Chipping takes place Sunday at 8 a.m. and mulch will be available at 10:30 a.m.

Please note that the City does NOT pick up Christmas trees at the curb.


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Screening of film De-Railed: the National Dream at Sault College on Thursday, November 20, 2014

De-railed thumbnailYou are invited to attend a screening of the documentary De-Railed: the National Dream at 7 p.m on Thursday, November 20 in Room 1030 in the new building (Essar Hall) of Sault College on Northern Ave (scroll down to watch the trailer!). Admission is free.

This full-length film focuses on the urgent need to bring Canadian rail service back to life in Algoma as well as the rest of the country. It was directed by independent filmmaker Dan Nysted, who will introduce the film and field questions following the screening.

This film is an excellent tool for educating the public about the crumbling state of the Canadian railway system and the need for action to be taken to prevent the loss of more rail.  Canada has lost more than 10,000 kilometres of track since 1990. Via this film, the filmmaker asks why has Canada allowed its “ribbon of rail” to become so tattered?  He also presents the deregulation, struggles, successes, economic and environmental implications, and human stories of short-line passenger rail services across Canada.

Nystedt travelled by train throughout Canada (including  Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Vancouver Island) where municipalities, First Nations and community organizations are trying to preserve and restore endangered short line rail services. He explores the factors behind the deregulation of our nation’s greatest infrastructure—rail—through reflection on the history of short-line passenger rail, the environmental implications of the impending energy crisis and the potential role of rail in Canada’s steps towards environmental sustainability.

In the 1800s, tracks were laid across this massive continent. Little more than one hundred years after the completion of the trans-Canada rail-line we are tearing up our tracks for the cost of the steel, and increasingly investing in automobile culture as the entire world is discussing climate change, the energy crisis, and how to implement a‘green revolution. This is an urgent concern since communities without passenger rail will find themselves economically, socially, and culturally isolated as flying and long-distance automobile transportation become too costly in dollars and carbon emissions.

Nystedt filmed a wide range of people, including: Robert Bateman (artist and environmentalist), Dr. Judith Sayers and Mary Ashley (co-chairs, Island Corridor Foundation), Graham Bruce (E & N Railway), Harry Gow (co-founder, Transport Action Canada); Nicholas Heap (climate change policy snalyst, David Suzuki Foundation); Gerald Gauthier (director, industry liaison, Railway Association of Canada); Joseph Boardman (president/CEO Amtrak); Chief Isadore Day (chief, Serpent River First Nation);  Dr. Barry Wellar (professor emeritus, University of Ottawa),as well as people in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario who are working passionately to save their local rail lines from being abandoned. These interviews convey the environmental, economic, geographic and social reasons that Canada’s rail system must be returned to being the envy of the world.

De-Railed raises many questions and challenges us to find answers. It also shows us amazing work being done in local communities by dedicated citizens to maintain the rail infrastructure that will keep us connected into the future

This screening is brought to you by several partners. Clean North sees reinstating greater use of trains as a way to promote transportation with a lower carbon footprint by reducing the number of cars and transports on roads and highways. The Peace and Conflict Studies Program at Sault College is participating in the screening because of their interest in social justice issues such as availability of accessible public transportation. Viewing De-Railed will be a good opportunity for Digital Film Production students at Sault College  ho are interested in seeing how social issues can be covered through the medium of film. And the Coalition for Algoma Passenger Trains affiliated with Algoma U’s NORDIK Institute sees this film as an excellent way to increase public awareness of the importance of preserving and enhancing passenger train service in Algoma with connectivity to Toronto, Ottawa and the rest of the country

 For more information, contact  Linda Savory Gordon at or 705 949 2301 ext 4320, or David Trowbridge at

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One last chance to dispose of hazardous waste before winter!

The City of Sault Ste. Marie's Public Works and Transportation Department has announced that the Household Hazardous Waste Depot located at 115 Industrial Park Crescent will close for the season after tomorrow.

Items can be dropped off at the Depot today, Friday, October 24 until 6 p.m. and on Saturday, October 25 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The facility will re-open in the spring of 2015.

For more information, contact the Public Works and Transportation Department office at (705)759-5201 or visit – search Household Hazardous Waste.

Click here for a list of what you may and may not bring to this depot.


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Clean North gives a great, big, green shout out to Cathy and Phil Lemieux of Lemieux’s Composting and Haul-away!

For the past 13 years, Cathy and Phil Lemieux, owners/operators of Lemieux's Composting and Haul-away, have graciously allowed us to store our mulch from the Christmas Tree chipping in their yard on Black Road.

photo of the LemiuexsEach August, they also host our annual Move That Mulch! and tree sale event, and they actively promote this event for us.

Furthermore, they allow us to keep a supply of bat houses and rain barrels at their office for sale to the public. This is the only place that these items are available to the general public during business hours 6 days a week throughout the growing season.

Their efforts help lift our public profile and aid our balance sheet significantly!

THANK YOU, CATHY AND PHIL! Yes…you are truly outstanding in your field!

The Lemieux Composting website is here:

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What’s a gardener’s best friend? Clean North mulch, that’s what! (available on August 23, 2014, along with tree seedlings, rain barrels, and more!)

photo of mulch made from Christmas treesClean North's mulch, which is made up of chipped Christmas trees, is a fantastic aid to any gardener. When applied to your garden beds, it helps control weeds and conserves soil moisture, and it gives your garden a neater appearance.

So how can you get your hands on some Clean North mulch? Head to the 8th Annual Green Side Up event on Saturday, August 23, 2014 from 9 a.m. until noon at Lemieux Composting, 764 Black Road, Sault Ste Marie, Ontario.

At this event, Clean North will have available:

  • Free Christmas tree mulch (by donation; please bring your own containers)
  • Tree seedlings
  • Coir blocks
  • Rain barrels
  • Bat houses
  • Worm composter kits

For more information, call (705)945-1573 or email

Want to know more about mulching? Click here for a Canadian Gardening article on the subject.



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The worms are coming… To Desbarats!

wormsClean North will be bringing our indoor worm composting demonstration to the 2014 Green Expo being held this coming Saturday July 26, 2014 from 9 am until 3 pm at the Johnson Township Community Centre in Desbarats.

There will be a hands-on worm sorting activity open to children of all ages. Clean North volunteers will be available to answer your questions about the basics of worm composting, and anyone wishing to start their own worm composter will have an opportunity to acquire worms.

The theme of Green Expo 2014 is Steps to Sustainability; attendees and vendors will be invited to share the steps they are taking to become more environmentally sustainable. The Expo will feature a pancake breakfast, interactive exhibitors, artists such as Doug Hook, activities for adults and children including archery, and the Johnson Farmer's Market. Childrens` activities will include Gerald’s Reptiles, Perfectly Painted Faces. and a scavenger hunt courtesy of the Junior Explorers, a new environmental education and outdoor appreciation program.

For more information, check out the news release found here or contact the Kensington Conservancy at (705)782-2200 or

You can also visit the Green Expo 2014 on Facebook.

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Nomination deadline for City Beautification Awards—including Clean North-sponsored Green Glove Award—is Thursday, July 17, 2014

photo of gardenIt’s that time of year again: Time to acknowledge local gardeners and businesses who beautify our fair city!

Categories include the Green Glove Garden Award, sponspored by Clean North.  For this award, nominated gardens are judged on design, overall health and the use of organic gardening methods, which include natural disease and pest control, composting, mulching, recycling, and water conservation.

Other categories are:

Front Yard, Backyard (sponsor – Godfrey Realty Group Inc.)
Commercial/Institutional (sponsor – KPMG)
Feature in a Garden Award (sponsor – Lemieux Composting)
Most Improved Residential Property
Best Water Feature (sponsor – New North Greenhouses)
Green Glove Garden (sponsor – Clean North)
Teeny Weeny Garden (sponsor – One of a Kind)
Best Vegetable Garden (sponsor – Sault Ste. Marie Horticultural Society)
Best of the Best (sponsor – Downing’s Landscaping and Greenhouses)

View/Print Nomination Form.

Forms are also available at:

  • Civic Centre – reception desk
  • Canadian Tire – Garden Centre
  • Downing’s Greenhouses
  • Lemieux Composting, New North Greenhouses
  • Rome’s Independent Grocer – Garden Centre

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