September 2013 Update

Did anyone else manage to catch their breath during the summer?  It sped by like a hurricane, full of summery goodness, sunshine, and no lack of things to keep busy with!  We had another very successful Growing Green Festival and Close to Home Dinner this year - our warm appreciation goes out to all our partners and the many volunteers and participants who made these events shine! 

On a personal note, my wife and I celebrated the birth of our son Dylan and have been busy introducing him to the pleasures of local food and the beautiful landscape we find ourselves in here in Lunenburg County.  I'm always amazed by the wonderful locally-grown things one can enjoy around here - treats like these delicious salads served up with love at the Close to Home dinner!

I'd also like to extend a warm thank-you to Elisabeth Bailey for her diligent work on the Festival and maintaining this Network for the 3 months I was on leave.  Elisabeth is moving on to other activities and will be missed!  This month, though, we seem to have an especially large selection of things she is passionate about: food!  Enjoy this month's offerings and we hope to see you during Local Food Awareness Week: September 15-21.


A hearty welcome to those who joined in the past month:
Remember, Network membership is 100% FREE and open to families & individuals, businesses, non-profit organizations and community groups, and institutions & government departments.  As a general rule of thumb, members are welcome to join from Bridgewater AND area – that means anywhere in Lunenburg County.

Upcoming Events
Know of any relevant events to add to this FREE calendar? This is your chance to inform people about all the great things going on around here!  Posting an event is easy: go to the Events section of the website, click on "submit an event", and fill in the form. One of our moderators will review the information and post the event if it meets our general criteria.  If you have any questions about what kinds of events you can post, please contact us.

Local Food Awareness Week, Sept 15-21

The Lunenburg-Queens Local Food Team is excited to announce the first annual Local Food Awareness Week, September 15 – 21, 2013!  This upcoming celebration will feature activities that raise awareness of local food in our region, organized by businesses, community groups, institutions, and citizens.  Activities fall under six themes – sharing, growing, harvesting, processing/canning, purchasing, and preparing – and will take place across Lunenburg and Queens Counties.  For general information on the activities taking place, please visit

The CSN's Events & Engagement team in partnership with South Shore Public Libraries is pleased to offer two programs during the week.

Special Film Screening: Feast or Famine
Feast or Famine by local film-maker Tim Tracey, will be screened at the Bridgewater Library, 547 King Street on Tuesday, September 17 at 6:30pm.  Feast or Famine explores the challenges facing small-scale farmers in Nova Scotia, revealing a lack of security and sustainability in our food system.  Down-to-earth wisdom from farmers, many from our own community!  The screening will be followed by a discussion, led by farmers featured in the film.

The Edible Read-a-thon at Bridgewater Mall
Read – A – Thon on books related to local food!  September 18, 2013 from 11:30 am - 1:30 pm. Location: Bridgewater Mall (in front of Shoppers Drug Mart). Sign up for a 10-minute slot by registering on the CSN website using this link.  Bring your own favourite book OR choose one from the selection provided by South Shore Public Libraries. Coles Books will also feature a selection of their books related to local-food themes.

What Did We Learn at the Growing Green Festival?

Once again, the Events and Engagement Action Team of the Community Sustainability Network hosted a booth at the Growing Green Festival, encouraging Festival goers to join the CSN and to participate in one of our two activities related to the Festival theme “Taking the Next Step: Building a Strong Local Economy.” One activity was a matching game and the other was a Speaker’s Corner. Some Festival goers preferred to think through the conceptual activity, matching “Localism 101” values and possible definitions espoused by the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, while others chose to voice their personal opinions using the Speaker’s Corner activity. The Speaker’s Corner was developed and constructed by CSN members Marion Moore, Charlene Morton, Jennifer MacDonald, and Amanda Bostlund. The “Corner” was designed using a large, cardboard-box  where one could sit, look out through a cut-out TV-shaped screen, and present a one-minute opinion/rant about the merits of fostering strong and resilient local economies.

A small sampling of the many interesting opinions from our collection of 25 spontaneous speeches are:

"We need to change the definition of 'prosperity and growth'. Can we make it more about people and less about material items?"

"It is really important to switch towards renewable energy. Imagine if every single house had one solar panel."

"We need to work on revitalizing downtown; make it a destination, bring it back to life."

"I want to tell everyone about the need for public transportation. Every household having one or more cars is a tremendous waste of energy."

"There is so much going on here, but we can't work in a vacuum. My suggestion is get involved!  Join various groups that suit your interests. Get involved."

"We need a sustainable health care system…if we have better health care we'll have a healthier economy."

"It is really important to support farmers through Farm Works."

Opportunities to get Involved with CSN

The CSN's Events & Engagement team is searching for one or two volunteer Network members to replace Cathy Wagner, who recently moved with her family to the Halifax area. We will miss her many contributions, her organizational skills, her perspective as a parent of school-age children, and her willingness to “go out on a limb.” Her departure leaves a big gap. . . . So, is there anyone out there who would like to join the E&E team? We meet (somewhat) regularly to (a) plan the forum at the quarterly CSN meetings; (b) organize workshops and public events including the CSN activities at the spring EXPO; and (c) work closely with the Education Committee for the Growing Green festival. There is also the chance to add content to the CSN website, ensure community events are posted on the calendar, etc. You are welcome as a member of the E&E team if you can contribute to just one of these initiatives or would like to take on more.

Second, we gathered about 25 videos from the Speakers Corner at the Growing Green Festival. They need to be edited  Here is an invitation to CSN members for an IT savvy person(s) who would like to volunteer to help compile, edit (getting rid of external sound interference) and post the Speaker’s Corner videos on the GGF and CSN websites.

If you are interested in either of the above opportunities, please contact Marion at

Get Involved with Scouting!

It Starts With Scouts!  3rd Bridgewater Scout Group welcomes new and returning youth (and parents) to consider the programs we offer locally.  Beavers (aged 5-7), Cubs (8-10), Scouts (11-14), Venturers (14-17) and Rovers (18-26) are based here in Bridgewater.  Aside from weekly meetings, youth learn survival skills and gain an appreciation for the natural world as they engage in community service, relevant outings, local events, camps, and much more. Registration night is September 11th at 6:30 - 8:00pm at the United Church on Hillcrest Street.  Click here for details.  New Germany, Caledonia, Chester Basin and Maitland Scout groups are also looking for new members - contact Corey Wile at for more info.

October is Walk to School Month

International Walk to School Month (and Walk at School Month) is coming up in October. Join us and walk for the environment, physical activity, safety and fun! Click here to register online. There are great prizes to be won by participating schools/groups:
  • A bike donated by Cyclesmith to give away to a lucky bike-minded student
  • Three classroom kits of 30 pedometers
  • Reflective arm/leg bands for all students (up to 500)
Registered schools/groups will receive an Organizer Kit with lots of event ideas. Bussed students can get involved too! Walk at school, in the local community or on a nearby trail. International Walk to School Month is a partnership of the Ecology Action Centre and the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness as part of the Active Kids Healthy Kids initiative. Learn more here:

Best wishes!
Leon de Vreede, CSN administrator

Community Sustainability Network - Bridgewater & Area

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