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Carolinian Canada
Wildlife, Wildflowers and Wilderness

Thousands gather at Green Expo: "Go Wild Grow Wild"

London, ON, April 8, 2017 - Thousands of outdoor enthusiasts converged from across Southern Ontario at the Western Fair, Metroland Media Agriplex and encountered fascinating and rare Ontario wildlife and discovered adventure filled outdoor activities in Canada's deep south.

Go Wild Grow Wild, the region's wildest green expo, offered attendees access to over 100 exhibitors, workshops, and interactive activities for adventurers, gardeners, wildlife lovers, and "green" enthusiasts. Some attendees got an up close look at bald eagles and great horned owls, held different species of Ontario snakes, learned how to build "bee- and butterfly-friendly" backyards, while others discovered the best locations to climb, bike, paddle, camp or hike.

Carolinian Canada, the organization behind Go Wild Grow Wild, is making a collective effort to reverse a 500-year trend of habitat loss in the region from Windsor to Toronto. Their goal: to prevent more species from disappearing.

"Our region is special," said Michelle Kanter, executive director of expo organizing group Carolinian Canada. "We have more than 500 rare wild species that live near London, more than any other place in Canada. 60% of Canada's plant species and 40% of Canada's wildlife species live in the Carolinian Zone stretching from Windsor to Toronto. We want to share what's special about Canada's deep south."

Now in its third year, the expo celebrated Canada's upcoming 150 in style by providing 150 Wildlife Encounters, private up close sessions with birds of prey, to support Canada's rare wildlife, and registered 150 gardeners who plan to grow Canadian plants for healthy habitats and climate-smart yards.

Thousands observed wildlife shows with native reptiles and birds of prey, heard from expert paddlers like David Lee aka the Passionate Paddler, Jody Allair, biologist with Bird Studies Canada and world birder, and Lorraine Johnson, native plant gardening author; found out how to become a citizen scientist, or brushed up on preparing for great adventurers this summer with MEC's Learn to Camp or Geocaching.

"Today was about showcasing the champions – people, businesses and groups - who celebrate and support protecting and enhancing the region in extraordinary ways. Go Wild Grow Wild provided the unique opportunity to connect with them all in one place," said Selby.

Kids, who were free and adults only $5, all found their inner Wild Child and joined meeting local wildlife, sampling local food and beer that support healthy habitat, took home native wildflowers and trees, discovered new ways to be more green around their home and community, and climbed an indoor climbing wall.

Many thanks to the volunteers, sponsors and partners that made an affordable and accessible event for everyone including the Ontario Trillium Foundation, TD Friends of the Environment, City of London, RBC Blue Water Project, Green Lane Community Trust, World Wildlife Fund–Canada, St. Williams Nursery and Ecology Center, Ontario NativeScape and many others. The Beryl Ivey Endowment for the Environment within the London Community Foundation supports the climate-smart garden initiative.

Go Wild Grow Wild 2017
Saturday, April 8, 2017
9:30 am – 4:30 pm
Western Fair District – Metroland Media Agriplex
Premium Tickets with wildlife encounter: $20
Regular admission: $5
Children under 12: Free

About Carolinian Canada Coalition

Immerse yourself in nature on your doorstep and discover Canada's biodiversity hotspot. Carolinian Canada's diverse network advances a strategic ‘Big Picture' vision for healthy landscapes from Toronto to Windsor. Join us this year to grow some Canada by supporting local trees, wildflowers and wildlife in Canada's deep south. Explore (Canadian Registered Charity 83559 4722 RR0001). Together we green the future.

Last Updated: Saturday, 08 April 2017 10:01:54 AM EST

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