CBC Article: 'Couple's win forces Smiths Falls to revisit approach to 'naturalized' lawns'  CopyCBC Article: 'Couple's win forces Smiths Falls to revisit approach to 'naturalized' lawns'  Copy

Inside Ottawa Valley Article: ‘Town of Smiths Falls to pay legal fees of family who fought to keep naturalized yard’


Another win for biodiversity!

Last Spring, Beth and Craig Sinclair of Smiths Falls Ontario, faced numerous visits from bylaw officers as their yard –  which featured a natural garden of 150 native species – became an item on the council agenda. The couple was met with recommendations that they be required to tame their yard. 

After the Sinclairs appealed to Ontario’s Superior Court, the town backed down and rescinded the original order. Not only did Beth and Craig win the right to keep their natural garden, now the family will see their legal fees covered by the town.

This partial victory aligns with much of the research conducted by Professor Lister and EDL student work, such as the constructed model bylaw for biodiversity, which was used by the City of Toronto, in revising their own rules in governing the landscaping of yards on private property.

The link to the full article, as well as other resources related to the case, including the model bylaw, can all be found below. Additional resources related to the case can be found on our