September 2015 Update

Thanks to those who joined us at our 7th annual Growing Green Festival from August 20th to 23rd! We didn't let a little bit of rain stop us from coming together with friends, neighbors, and visitors to have fun and learn about sustainability!

We listened to some excellent music at the Sound of Home Jam Session; we learned about innovative and traditional building methods on the Sustainable Housing Tour; we sampled delicious foods and drinks at Crave Local: a Taste of Home; we made dream catchers, did yoga, ate from food trucks, and learned from vendors and exhibitors at the Street Fair; and we learned new skills at Bridgewater's first Up!Skilling Expo.

There was a huge team of community members who came together to make the 2015 Growing Green Festival happen! We are so thankful to have had the opportunity to work with all of our Planning Team members, volunteers, sponsors, and event partners to make this Festival such a success! You can see photos of our Festival events on our Facebook page, and more photos will be posted on our website soon.

The summer is not over yet!  Further down in this newsletter, check out the large list of events and workshops happening in September and into the Fall.  Also some good news stories about how our community is becoming more sustainable - read on!


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.

#WalkBridgewater: Take a Walk on the River Side

The Town of Bridgewater has launched a new promotional program to encourage more walking in its downtown core.  Led by the Bridgewater Active Transportation Committee, the #WalkBridgewater campaign is a signage-based program that raises the profile of walking in the community.  If you've come to downtown King St or LaHave St in the last week, you may have seen new signs around including the one on the left, as well as signs that look like sidewalk art complete with playful footsteps and even some hopscotch drawings where you might not expect them!  

The signage initiative is a pilot project funded in large part by the Heart & Stroke Foundation's "Walkability Grant" program.  The purpose is to study the impact of these signs on people's attitudes and behaviour, which is being done by means of surveys with pedestrians.  As the signs are temporary, you can expect to see them up for another month two. If you have opinions on the signs, you can let the Active Transportation Committee know by sending an email to The committee is also seeking new members, so let them know if you're interested.

Local Food Awareness Week September 19 - 27

The Lunenburg-Queens Local Food Team will once again be supporting Local Food Awareness Week: September 19 – 27. Organized by businesses, community groups, institutions, and citizens, the activities are designed to raise awareness of and to celebrate food from our region. Some activities you can participate in:
  • The Margaret Hennigar Public Library (Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre) will have the Local Food Community Map on display for the week. This map was created at the Growing Green Festival’s Crave Local event, and participants are invited to add to it during the week
  • Open Farm Day takes place on September 20th - meet your local food producers!
  • Watch "Just Eat It", a documentary about food waste and creative ways to avoid it, on September 23rd
  • Visit the website for more activities soon!

Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival introduces Water Refill Stations

As part of the “greening” efforts at the 30th anniversary of the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival, two water refill stations were introduced at the Fisheries Museum Wharf and the Main Stage venues.

Town of Lunenburg Councillor John McGee designed and built the stations with some funding from the Town to cover the cost of signage, which was taken from the Bridgewater prototype. In designing the stations, he paid particular attention to potential problems when some people (or their pet dogs) drink directly from the faucet. The only problem that arose was a result of the first recommended hose connecting the stations with the Town water source. Because it was not an appropriate recommendation for hot, sunny conditions, the Festival Site Crew exchanged it for PEX tubing, which gave us water quality as good as the source.

Having these two stations available for the Folk Harbour Festival and future summer festivals will greatly reduce public consumption of plastic bottled water and the waste this entails, while promoting the merit of publicly-funded water systems. Charlene Morton, Greening Chair for the Festival extends her thanks to Leon de Vreede and the Growing Green Festival for helping in the initiation of this successful project.

Tool Library Coming Soon to Lunenburg County

It’s as simple as it sounds: it’s a “library”, or place, that lends tools. The purpose is to remove barriers so that apartment dwellers, students or low-income residents have access to the tools that can help improve their quality of life. An added benefit is a reduction in the need for “stuff”. If there is a Tool Library where folks can borrow tools, there is less need for everyone to have a full set of tools of their own. This is beneficial to the environment at a time when our culture is fuelled by cheap products that often end up in a landfill. Anybody looking for a tool can borrow it from the library provided that it is in stock and available to loan. Organizers expect a yearly membership fee of around $30. 

Currently the library is just a big idea. But it is a big idea with legs. With financial support from the United Way of Lunenburg County, free use of the United Way’s Bikes for Kids storage space at the Bridgewater Mall, access to a specialized tool management software program and more, the Bridgewater Tool Library is well on its way for an expected fall opening.  

If you have new or gently used tools that you would like to donate to the Lunenburg County Tool Library you can drop them off at the Centre Court of the Bridgewater Mall during the month of September.  If you are looking for more information, or would like to volunteer with the project (we'll need lots of help!), like us on Facebook, e-mail us at or leave a voice mail with the United Way at 902-530-3072.

Can We Meet Farmers Half Way?

The 50% Local Food Club, a made-in-Nova Scotia initiative aiming to increase the purchasing and consumption of locally produced food, is once again asking Nova Scotians to literally step up to the plate. The tasty challenge? For people to source 50% of their diet from local producers for the entire month of September. By committing to eat 50% locally, Nova Scotians will put money directly into the pockets of local food producers while consuming food grown close to home. You can sign up as an individual, a family, or a group.

The website has helpful information on local food journals, meal plans, recipes and more! If you are looking for support or have any questions you can contact the Regional Coordinator for Lunenburg County, Meghan Doucette at Please also stay tuned for 50% Local Food Club events on the South Shore throughout the month! Sign up, spread the word, get engaged on social media using #localfoodclub.

Free Energy Audits and Increased Rebates for Small Businesses

Reno Roi, one of our newest CSN members, wanted to share this message with you:

"My firm is a delivery agent for energy efficiency programs offered by Efficiency Nova Scotia.  They have recently modified their Small Business program to include additional opportunities for rebates including a new free facility energy audit opportunity. Many of the available rebates previously available through the Small Business Rebate Program have been increased for a limited time. Apply today by filling in your business profile using the link above to see if you qualify.  

Note that on page 2 of the application you are asked to enter the name of a certified energy auditor, and you can reference me (RJ Roy Energy Management Services) if you want to have your audit completed by a local firm (the next nearest recognized energy auditor delivering this program to the South Shore is based in Halifax)."

Help the Monarch Butterflies

The Endangered Monarch butterflies are back in Nova Scotia! They have made it after a long journey from Mexico and they need our help. Gardeners, butterfly lovers and those with a keen interest in volunteering are asked to join in the Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute’s (MTRI) efforts to increase awareness of the Monarch’s and their diminishing populations.

A fantastic way to get involved is by becoming a Butterfly Club member. For $10.00 you receive a membership and are given a kit with information on Monarchs, tips and tricks on how to create chemical-free habitat, how to spot and report Monarch sightings and two swamp-milkweed plants (or a packet of seeds)! Milkweed is essential for the Monarchs’ survival, it acts as both a host plant for its eggs and larva as well as a main food source.

At MTRI, swamp milkweed is provided as a resource because it is a non-noxious weed but still a great source of habitat for Monarchs. It produces small purple flowers and is beautiful to mix in your flowerbeds with other nectaring species to make a butterfly-friendly garden. If you are interested in becoming a member or learning more contact Leah at 902-682-2371 or by email at


For our summer newsletters, we are introducing our summer sustainability staff to the rest of the community!

Meghan Doucette has been working for the Town for the second year as the Sustainability Program Summer Coordinator. Most of her work involves planning our annual Growing Green Festival, which took place from August 20-23!

As a recent graduate of Dalhousie University’s Bachelor of Management program with a major in Environment, Sustainability and Society, Meghan is excited to return to the South Shore and enjoy the rural lifestyle offered by this beautiful area. Meghan likes to incorporate sustainable practices into her life whenever possible and has a keen interest in local food, active transportation, and community building. Some of her sustainability practices include:
  • Growing a small veggie garden in four raised beds
  • Cycling as a mode of transportation whenever possible
  • Eliminating meat and fish from her diet
  • Minimizing the amount of “stuff” that comes into her life to reduce waste
  • Buying second hand clothes rather than new
  • Continuously seeking out learning opportunities for how to live sustainably
  • Joining community groups like the Hubbards Barn Association (who run the Hubbards Farmer’s Market), the Nourish Community Garden Cooperative (Chester’s community garden group), and more!

Best wishes!
Leon de Vreede, CSN administrator

Community Sustainability Network - Bridgewater & Area

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Town of Bridgewater

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