Celebrating and protecting our natural environment – with Barn Owls!

In Halton Region, we enjoy a beautiful natural environment. Last month, in celebration of Clean Air Day on June 8, the Halton Region Health Department launched a new children’s book, A Farewell to Featherwagons, with a public reading to students by Jeanne Wilson, a teacher at Sedgewick Crescent Child Care Centre in Oakville.   

The book showcases local wildlife, the Escarpment and our lakes and creeks, to educate and entertain young readers and their families. Written by Halton Region Environmental Health Specialist Beckie Jas and illustrated by freelance artist Brandon Koepke, the book tells the story of three barn owls who enjoy spending time at the Great Lake. When traffic, bad air and storms begin to spoil their plans, they begin to think about how their “featherwagon” contributes to air pollution and climate change. The owls discover a better way to get to the Lake—using their wings to fly.  

Jeanne Wilson, a teacher at Sedgewick Crescent Child Care Centre in Oakville reading to children.The picture book is part of Halton’s Air Quality/Climate Change Health Promotion Program meant to educate the public about the health impacts associated with air quality and climate change, and the actions we can take to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gases. The book includes facts on Barn Owls and air quality and climate change, plus tips on how to make a difference. It was developed in consultation with experts on air quality, climate change, and physical activity—in addition to a raptor specialist, literacy consultant, and professional illustrator.

Copies of the publication, along with a complementary Storytelling Kit, have been provided to public libraries External Link. Over the next few months, they will also be distributed to child care centres, schools, and community partners. So far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

I invite you to check out this new resource at www.halton.ca/featherwagons. The first 50 people to complete an online evaluation will receive a free copy of the book.

A Farewell to Featherwagons We all have an important role to play in protecting the environment. This resource provides tips on how to make a difference for readers of all ages.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”