At Home in the Holland Marsh


Growing up in what is now the Greenbelt wasn’t always fun. As a teenager, I spent many hours complaining to my parents about why they had to move us out into what I thought was “the middle of nowhere”.  It was seriously the end of the world for my melodramatic teenaged self.

As I grew older, I started to realize all of the things that I unknowingly appreciated even then... and to this day miss and crave.

From being able to hike in a forest that was just beyond the boundaries of my backyard to sneaking away into the cornfield where I had my very first kiss. Exploring with friends…and getting into trouble in area-infamous bush parties. The smell of fall, spring, winter and summer – it’s much different out there. Picking berries that grew wild in the back of the yard. Looking out my kitchen window to green as far as the eye can see. Waking up early to a family of deer only five feet away from my house – but most of all – I remember the great fresh food on farms in every direction – I remember mistakenly eating cow corn with my siblings and the vibrant colours at on-farm markets where my family shopped.

It was and is a part of me that made me who I am today. As I grow older and have children, I can take them to where I grew up and it will still be there – exactly as it was – and that is something unexplainably fantastic and unique.  

Every time I approach the exit onto Highway 9, something changes inside of me. A kinder, more relaxed, more peaceful Carla emerges. I am home. For me, the Greenbelt means home, it means family, it means love. Tell us what it means to you and win some cash and prizes, visit: 

--Carla Balabanowicz

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