June 2014 Update


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.

Stories from the CSN Blog

In my new blog "Sustaining Ourselves" you can read what I have for breakfast each morning and how this has a big impact on sustainability. I invite you to try the included recipe!

Have you made any changes to your daily routine that promote sustainability? Let me know!

Sustainable greetings,
Martina Groeger, CSN Blogger

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Youth Employment Opportunity in Bridgewater - July / August

Clean Nova Scotia, a provincial organization dedicated to sustainability and the environment, is hiring a youth (ages 15-30) for a summer internship based in Bridgewater. The intern will work with the Town of Bridgewater and other local partners on their summer sustainability programs, including the Bridgewater Community Gardens Network and the Growing Green Sustainability Festival. Applicants must be full-time students and intending to return to school in fall 2014.  For more information, please see the job description here.

Applications are due by midnight on June 8, 2014. Applications are NOT to be sent to the Town of Bridgewater. Instead, applications or enquiries are to be made to Morgan Book, at Clean Nova Scotia at nsycc@clean.ns.ca.

We Want to Hear From You About Home Renovations!

Our next CSN Members’ Night is July 15th and the topic for discussion is Ten Ideas for Energy Savings through Home Renovations. The Members’ Night format provides time for CSN members to share their experience, insights, and expertise about sustainable living practices based on the six areas outlined in the Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP).

Helga Pizzera has volunteered to be our first speaker to lead the general discussion. She will tell us about what she has learned installing solar panels on her home near Bridgewater. We are looking for a couple more members who are willing to speak for 7-10 minutes about their experience with some other aspects of home renovations before opening the floor to questions and discussion. Topics of interest to develop our Ten Ideas might include other ways of improving home heating, reducing water consumption, or selecting from the many “green” options on the market for roofing, siding, countertops, paint, or general maintenance items associated with home ownership.

Please contact the Events & Engagement Team (at east.morton@eastlink.ca) if you are interested in helping to introduce our July 15th Members Night by adding your thoughts on home renovations (or maintenance). Whether or not you decide to volunteer as one of our featured Network speakers, we encourage you to join us July 15th from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. to flush out Ten Ideas for Energy Savings through Home Renovations. Light refreshments and the CSN meeting will follow from 7:30 to 8:15 p.m.

Youth Leadership Experiences Made Possible by CSN Bursary

In March, two local youth, Ashton Rodenhiser and Erica Thornborrow, attended the PowerShift Atlantic conference in Halifax, which was made possible in part by a bursary offered to them by the CSN.  

To enrich the Network, Ashton gave a presentation of her experiences at the May CSN meeting, at which she used a graphic facilitation technique to tell her story - the work she produced is pictured on the left (click to see a larger version).  Erica, who could not attend the meeting, submitted a written report - from which an except is copied below...

"There is something to be said for the experience of being in a room with individuals who share the same passion and are itching to create change. The feeling that comes from this experience, that radiated from each panel and workshop at PowerShift will be what makes the environmental and social movement effective in Lunenburg County. This feeling is contagious and will inspire individuals unsure about how to get involved in social and environmental justice, to look for ways to do so. Rather than acting as individual movements, it is imperative that we support one another, our efforts and indeed make a movement of movements. Uniting our voices and developing the cohesion that was demonstrated at PowerShift will allow for the long-standing change that we are all hungry for, to be created."

To read Erica's full 2-page report, you can download it here.  Many thanks to both Erica and Ashton for sharing their experiences with our Network members!

Young NSCC Students have the Last Word on the Climate Change Forum

A new dimension of the Sustainability Expo and Forum this year was the addition of four NSCC Student Rapporteurs. As part of their class assignments to organize, staff, and participate in this community event, Natural Resources Environment Technology students Emily Barrett, Jenna Fralic, Christina Rankin, and Carly Weisner chose to submit their observations about the “Climate Reality” Forum held Saturday afternoon, April 5th, 2014, at the Osprey Ridge Golf Club. The CSN Events Team invited three speakers for this event: Dr. Edith Callaghan (School of Business, Acadia University), Catherine Abreu (Energy Director, Ecology Action Centre), and Leon de Vreede (Sustainability Planner, Town of Bridgewater).

In their reports, one student started by saying that the Forum was a great opportunity for community building through resident interaction. Another appreciated that Canadian and local facts were included about climate change in addition to more common reporting on the international impact from global warming. One exclaimed that the graphics Leon de Vreede presented were “the biggest shocker because I couldn’t believe how much of an impact flooding would have on the town. The fact that the mall is even being added to absolutely amazes me, especially with its potential fate.”

All four rapporteurs commented on attendance. Even though more than 60 people came to the event, all of them felt that the numbers were low, especially among people their age. One student explained that “understanding climate change and realizing it to be a true reality is the first step . . . . By the looks of the number of people who attended the forum, most of Bridgewater’s occupants are either uneducated or unaware of the circumstances that all communities are facing today, or they just don’t care.” To increase attendance, another student suggested offering a door prize (based on a sustainable service or gift).

Only one student noticed that a related issue was missing from the afternoon discussion: “We are NOT the only ones living on planet Earth. There are other species living on the planet. Climate change affects more than humans."

All of them chose aspects of the speaker presentations as well as the question and answer session to reiterate as valuable recommendations:
  • First, vote and vote wisely for stronger leadership, especially for a federal government that supports municipalities that are working to reduce (the impact of) climate change. 
  • Second, reduce fossil fuel dependence and increase alternative, sustainable energy sources (along with Muskrat Falls). 
  • Third, remember to share what you learn about climate change while making personal changes toward sustainable living practices and being careful not to preach.
In general, they believed that education was key, and recommended that all Bridgewater citizens should have the opportunity to see the Forum presentation, including elementary and high school students. Most interesting was a final comment that reflected how much work still has to be done:

“I am judged every single day for being an environmental student or ‘tree hugging hippy’ . . . . If I’m ‘negatively’ labeled as a ‘hippy’ because I like to sort my garbage, or, better yet, because I use a garbage disposal unit of some sort, then I think Bridgewater has some work to do when it comes to educating some of their younger residents on common sense let alone climate change and the town’s sustainability efforts.“

Free Sugar Maple Seedlings!

From Donna Foulkes, CSN Member:

"Bring your own pots, soil, trowel and a little elbow grease and these beauties are yours. Last fall, I noticed the sugar maples growing around my home in Middle LaHave were shedding copious amounts of samaras (winged maple seeds). The trees were planted by my Dad almost 50 years ago when he and my mother moved to the community. Dad retrieved them as young saplings from his father’s sugar bush just outside of Moncton, New Brunswick and had enjoyed their syrup and sugar for years until he passed away last year at the age of 96.

Last fall’s samaras turned into a great crop of seedlings this spring and I could not bear to mow them down. In my mind’s eye I can see the potential these little guys have to bring sweetness, summer shade and fall beauty into someone’s world. Approximately 100 have already found a home, so call me, Donna, at 766-4000 to begin your own maple story. You can expect growth of approximately one foot a year. Their lifespan can be up to a 100 feet in height and 400 years in length."

Summer Environmental Camps in Lunenburg County

Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation is hosting summer earth adventure camps in Lunenburg County! “Building on the momentum we had from our first season, we are excited to offer programs that allow kids to create, explore, and develop an appreciation for the natural world,” co-facilitator Colin McGuire shares.

Camps begin with a half-day Eco Scientists camp for ages 6-9 happening July 7th-11th and a full-day Eco Scientists camp for ages 10-13 happening July 21st -25th. Campers hone science and critical thinking skills in the natural world as they work to care for the earth.

Following, a half-day Pirate’s Cove camp for ages 6-9, is offered July 28th to August 1st. Participants discover earth treasures as they work to become earth-friendly pirates.

TIME, an Environmental Leadership Overnight Camp for high school students is offered August 11th – August 13th. Participants will reflect and implement leadership skills through initiatives in the natural environment.

Cycle Savers, is a full-day camp for ages 10-13, offered August 18th – 22nd. Campers decipher mysterious codes to see how the earth’s cycles work in a hands-on, engaging program.

Camps take place at Acadia University’s Morton Centre on Heckman’s Island. For more information see the CSN events calendar, email education@coastalaction.org or call Colin or Megan at 521-8692. For registration visit http://www.coastalaction.org.

Best wishes!
Leon de Vreede, CSN administrator

Community Sustainability Network - Bridgewater & Area

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