Footprints Erased: Sudbury’s Story of Environmental Hope


Fifty years ago, the people, governments and mining companies in Sudbury recognized that, no matter how afflicted their environment was, it was not beyond repair. Working together, they launched the Sudbury Re-Greening Project in 1978, with the goal of restoring more than 200,000 acres of land. More than 40 years later, nearly 12 million trees have been planted, and over 3,400 hectares of land have been revitalized. Today, Sudbury has some of the cleanest air in all of Ontario.

Sudbury’s story of environmental hope is not only a blueprint for other communities, it is also the focus of a new virtual art exhibit ( running this month as part of the CONTACT Photography Festival, an annual festival that fosters a deep engagement with photographic imagery and a heightened awareness of critical subjects and creative practices that are central to the times. Photographed by Canadian, award-winning photographers Don Johnston and Mike Grandmaison, the photos bring the viewer on a visual walk through Sudbury’s past, it’s present, and the future of environmental restoration.

As part of the launch of the exhibit, visitors are invited to join Don and Mike on Thursday, May 13th at 6:00pm for a virtual fireside chat and Q&A, where they will share their perspectives on the Sudbury Re-Greening story and their experiences photographing the area. Participants can access the Zoom link through the virtual art gallery, or through CONTACT’s event page.