About Us

Welcome to the Dirt Gang!

Why The Dirt Gang?

 Why “The Dirt Gang” ya ask?  Well, to put it simply, we want to help restore Nova Scotia’s dirt back to  healthy living “Soils”. Why? Because a nation that destroys its soils, destroys itself. We’re talking about our farmlands depleted of nutrients; forest floors no longer alive with life-giving nutrients and critters; wetlands, rivers and lakes that carry toxins to our wells and water reservoirs because dirt cannot cut pollutants off at the pass. But soils can.   Our health and the health of our province depend on healthy soils!


Depleting our Earth’s soils of nutrients is contributing to climate change. Scientists are telling us that the global warming  train has already left the station.  But we can turn this train around!  Fueled with cooperation, a commitment to flourishing local economies and a true transition away from destructive industries, we can help Earth recover. 


Nova Scotia is the perfect size to change our story and show the world that we can do this. So, join us and jump on-board. Let’s roll up our sleeves and get dirty!

The Dirt Gang of Nova Scotia

The Dirt Gang Team

Lil MacPherson, President and founder of The Dirt Gang is the founder/co-owner of The Wooden Monkey Restaurants in Halifax and Dartmouth Nova Scotia. Lil has been involved in advocacy work for the environment for many years, travelling to international food conferences and attending 3 United Nations Climate Conferences in Copenhagen, Paris and Mexico. She is also trained by Al Gore as a presentor for the Climate Reality Project. Her passion is Nova Scotia food security, based on local farming. The very reason The Wooden Monkey was born.

Sandy Martin is Vice-President of The Dirt Gang. Sandy is a retired educator, involved for many years in environmental, experiential education. Those years have turned into advocacy work for the environment. Sandy is involved in many communities and groups throughout Nova Scotia and in Europe, working towards global ecojustice and diminishing the corporate capture of politicians, government officials and government agencies.

Jenny White is the Secretary and Treasurer of The Dirt Gang.

Jenny is a recently retired payroll professional. As a mother and grandmother she has great concern about the world we live in.
Jenny has been on several boards as treasurer and looks forward to working with the Dirt Gang.

Our Vision

Our Vision

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world, indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”


Our Vision is to help empower Nova Scotians to come together to help build one of the greenest, cleanest places in this country. A place where the local economy is booming, the rivers are clean and the fish are plentiful. Where there are opportunities for new, exciting innovation and true green technologies. A place where we are not known for our failing grade on reducing poverty, but a success story for growing our way out of crisis and earning one of the top scores in the country. A province where the support for farming communities is outstanding and where this vision completely changes rural communities. A province where toxins aren’t used to manage tree plantations and our forests are nurtured back to life-giving eco-systems. Now, wouldn’t that feel nice?. 


“Now and in the near future the world will be looking for the cleanest, healthiest and most pristine places to live. That means good water, good food, good health, good jobs, good times. Nova Scotia can be that place.” Lil MacPherson

Our Mission

The Dirt Gang’s mission is to encourage discussion and learning so that we, as a province, can form a loud, informed, collective voice that is strong and determined to build a healthy future for all Nova Scotian communities. 

So, where do we start?

Well, as R. Buckman Fuller put it: 

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete”


So what are some “new” models we can work towards?


1. Rebuild food security in Nova Scotia (and remove food poverty). At the moment, we have only 3 days of food supply if we were to be cut off for whatever reason. So, what can we do?

    • educate ourselves and policymakers about regenerative agriculture as a climate solution and a poverty solution. 
    • educate communities and policy-makers on  the economic power of  local food production with its matching infrastructure.
    • hire a farmer for every school  to teach, plant, and grow an abundance of veggies for all, but especially for those in need.

2. Rid Nova Scotia of the corporations that have become invasive species. That is, the corporations that rely on government subsidies and kick-backs. Corporations that promise jobs and economic growth, yet push the province and our communities deeper into economic problems and environmental disasters, while friends and insiders profit. Corporations like Cooks Aquaculture, Canadian Salmon, Northern Pulp, Paper Excellence, Atlantic Gold, Westfor, Maritime Space Services, EverWind Fules to name but a few.

3. Stop the polluting, environmentally destructive open-pen fin fish farms along our shores. Instead, welcome land based closed-loop salmon farms. In doing so, our wild salmon would be able to grow strong and thrive again in pristine waters, so that someday we can again bring Wild Atlantic Salmon to our dinner tables … and we will party hard on that day!

4. Make NS free of Glyphosate once and for all, so healthy forests and our farmlands can heal. The rivers will be cleaner and safe for all -you, me, and all living things. Did you know that glyphosate is more than a herbicide? It’s also an industrial descaling agent and a patented broad-spectrum Antibiotic …. All true and that’s what we are spraying in our forests and on our fields.…. But…We can change it! 

5. Forests are more than pulpwood and wood chips. This important Nova Scotian resource needs to be managed with care and respect for the services our forests provide us. That means a good economic plan for all communities, not just for the industrial forestry industry.

Nova Scotia’s hardwood floor industry has all but been erased because of  glyphosate spraying and the forestry industry’s thirst for softwood. That’s right, glyphosate kills all hardwood trees, berry bushes and anything with leaves. 

6. Support true innovation and green energy initiatives that support Nova Scotian communities’ energy needs.  

7. Protect our coastline from development that will increase the vulnerability of coastal communities as the sea level rises.

We  Hope  you will join us to form a collective voice that will help turn this train around. We invite you to discuss, learn and investigate with us as we take a hard look at present-day Nova Scotia while we dream and plan for a healthy and flourishing Mi’kma’ki.

About the "Issues Map"

When we set up this website, we felt that we first needed a list of all the issues communities are facing in our province – and there are so many.  But a list just didn’t cut the mustard. To really understand what is happening in the province, we needed a map to give everyone a “birds eye view” of all the communities, projects, development and “pain” points. We called this the “issues map”. It shows all the information we have gathered so far. It’s a work in progress and is being updated regularly. Have a look here. If your community or group is not represented, let us know!


Although this is all serious stuff, we also want to play in the dirt, dig up some dirt and have some fun while building healthy soil and healthy communities. Come join us!

Land Acknowledgement

The Dirt Gang is spread throughout Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaw People. The Society is registered in Kjipuktuk or Great Harbour . The English name is Halifax.  The Mi’kmaq were party, along with the Wolastoqey, Peskotomuhkati and The British Crown to the Peace and Friendship Treaties of 1725-1761. These Treaties and the ensuing Proclamations ensured perpetual rights to traditional land use without ever surrendering their lands to the British Crown. Instead, these Treaties established a Nation-to-Nation relationship. We are committed to helping restore this relationship in true Peace and Friendship. We are all Treaty People.