Rewilding our Spaces

Learning that the grasslands are one of the most efficient biomes, but Canada has lost ~70% of it to cultivation and cropping, and only 1% of the remaining grasslands are protected; you might begin to realize how underrated the grasslands have been made out to be. With realizing how at-risk the grasslands are, and how glorified monoculture yards are, my CWSP project began to evolve. The native grassland species are astonishingly adapted to their biome, immensely productive, economical and beneficial. Thus, advocating to bring the grasslands back into the space around us is of utmost importance for our future. By drawing new light on how incredible the grasslands really are and reimagining the definition of a beautiful yard, the goal is to show people how to bring native diversity back to their yards.

Collaboration with Crescent Heights High School to design and create a pollinator garden using native plants and flowers will act as an example of what can be done to improve biodiversity and how to include native plants in the yard. This will also provide the grade 10 class covering an ecology unit to learn about naturalization and ways to bring these practices home and into their future.

For a broader outreach, M-J started an Instagram page, Rewilding Our Spaces. Content includes resources and knowledge about the native plants in Alberta and how to rewild our own yards so that more people feel they have resources and support to do it themselves. The page also includes a “Grassland Native Plants Series”, which introduces grassland plants along with their benefit to nature, people, interesting facts and how they can be used and incorporated in the yard. The mission is to inspire as many people as possible to rewild their space and to create a community to help people achieve that.

Learn more about the project on Instagram @RewildingOurSpaces!

Marie-Jeanne Reid

Thundering Atlantic storms set the stage for M-J’s love of nature. She grew up partly in Nova-Scotia and partly in the urban desert of Dubai. Now she has experienced living in the mountains of British Columbia and most recently, the prairies of Alberta. It was more than just recycling and shopping local that encouraged M-J to take a real interest and concern in the environment. She is always seeking the quieter trails, the lesser trodden paths and searches for the beauty existing in the most unassuming of places. Always having the drive to “do more” regarding the trajectory of earth’s health, composting and using a water bottle just wasn’t cutting it anymore. CWSP has provided M-J the perfect opportunity to learn how to “do more” and become the environmental advocate she always felt she can become. Her project is inspired from her observations of the world around us and the potential she sees when people work with nature rather than against it.