February 2014 Update

Building on its existing sustainability efforts, the Municipal Climate Change Action Plan (MCCAP) was completed and approved by Bridgewater Town Council on January 13, 2014. The Plan enables Gas Tax expenditures to be made toward climate change related projects in the coming years. This is the same source the Town uses to fund most of its other sustainability efforts.

Through consultations with experts and partner organizations, the plan identifies nine significant climate change concerns facing the community of Bridgewater in the coming decades, including risks to municipal infrastructure, community health, and the local economy. Based on those concerns, the plan establishes a set of strategies and actions that can be taken by the Town starting with a 5-7 year timeframe to address both adaptation (responding to a changing climate), as well as mitigation (reducing greenhouse gas emissions). 

The Town has just accepted a request to present the MCCAP during the 3rd annual South Shore Sustainability Expo at NSCC on April 5th - we hope you'll be able to make it!


A hearty welcome to those who joined in the past month:
You can find out more about these groups and individuals, including what sustainability products, services, interests and ideas they have, by viewing their profiles on the Network website.

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.

Bridgewater Community Gardens Network - Call for Volunteers!

The Bridgewater Community Gardens Network (BCGN) is a program of the Town of Bridgewater that promotes gardening and sustainable food growing and education within the community.  The BCGN volunteers manage and maintain the successful Hodge Podge Community Garden on Aberdeen Rd.  Exciting projects include:
  • Community gardens
  • Incredible Edible Bridgewater
  • Edible TREES Bridgewater
  • Pollinator Gardens
Due to a few members moving on to other things, the BCGN volunteer team is looking for new members to join their fun and informative projects!  Are you:
  • Looking for a fun volunteer opportunity?
  • Eager to learn more about gardening or have skills to share?
  • Passionate about healthy local food?
  • Able to volunteer at least a few hours per month?
If so, please send an email to bridgewatergarden@gmail.com and let them know that you're interested!  The gardening season is just around the corner!

Sustainability Surveys Completed

In January the Town of Bridgewater circulated a Sustainability Survey to you, the CSN membership, to get your perspective on where the Town should go next with its sustainability efforts.  Many thanks to the 27 respondents who completed the survey - your input is valuable and appreciated!  There were many thoughtful comments and suggestions made.  Survey results are currently being analysed and will be circulated later this month in a report to Council, which will also appear in the next edition of this newsletter.

Ecology Action Centre Letter Writing Campaign

At the January 21 CSN meeting, members learned about a letter-writing campaign to support Efficiency Nova Scotia that is being spearheaded by the Ecology Action Centre in Halifax.  Proposed changes to funding rules may affect the organization.  Click on the image on the left to see the EAC's position.  Please note that this document does not necessarily reflect the views of the CSN and the Town of Bridgewater - members should always do their own research and consider all the facts before taking part in advocacy campaigns.

CSN Members' Night Generates High Network Energy

Tuesday night, January 21, an audience of over thirty people were treated to two presentations by four CSN members about building energy efficient homes. In the first presentation, Emily Liot explained the design factors and construction methods of their two-story Italy Cross home, with Doug Liot adding further details including numbers tracked from their energy use over the year. Ecological risks were also addressed in their presentation. One key reason they chose a land-sourced versus water-sourced geothermal heating system was their concern about the negative environmental impact of accidental damage to a lake-based circulation system.

The second presentation, by Gerald Cosgrove and Collene Dahlby, described some similar energy-saving features of their one story-slab home, which is designed for their business as well as for retirement years. Gerald also included things he and Collene had overlooked in the planning, such as space for a cold room, the lack of which the Liots also regretted in their home. The issue of energy consumption and cost was also picked up in the second presentation and continued into the Q&A session, as well as during the CSN meeting later in the evening.

Both presentations emphasized supporting local contractors and trades people. They both recommended careful planning informed by thorough research using books, online websites, and forums such as those provided by the CSN. They also suggested taking advantage of free advice from Efficiency NS and Sustainable Housing. Gerald’s final observation was that, because most home owners do not get a second chance to do it right, it is important to seek good information and advice in a timely fashion to help decision-making and communication with builders.

We were also planning to hear Joanne Muron and Patricia Sullivan as part of the Members’ Night event, but a sudden illness kept them away. However, for anyone interested in learning about their off-the-grid home, we will help publicize their open house planned for May 2014.

Many thanks to everyone who came out to this event and shared their questions and suggestions.

Notice to Organizational CSN Members - Please Spread the Word!

Are you the representative of a CSN member organization or community group?  Help us spread this information by forwarding these monthly emails to your Board or Executive Committee.  Are you a business owner?  Consider sending these emails to your staff or colleagues.  It's a simple action that can go a long way to keeping your organization in touch with what is happening on the community sustainability front, and helps get the word out about these great events and initiatives!  

Best wishes!
Leon de Vreede, CSN administrator

Community Sustainability Network - Bridgewater & Area

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