October 2015 Update

Climate Change is already impacting Nova Scotia. What can we expect to happen and what can we do about it?

A lovely short film produced in the county of Antigonish sets out to find its own answers. The talented young local filmmaker, Corinne Dunphy, was able to film local folks in their homes and on the job, talking about how climate change affects them and what they are doing to reduce its impact. Dunphy’s cinematography, which captures the beauty of the Antigonish landscape, is complemented by an outstanding original soundtrack written and performed by local songwriter Rosemary Curry, with help from some of her musical friends.

Please help share this film so it can inspire other communities to start these brave conversations about climate change.

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 Taking Back the Riverbank!

Exciting work on Bridgewater’s downtown will be getting underway in November of this year!

Starting on November 2nd, the south parkade will be removed from Bridgewater’s riverfront to clear the path for a complete renovation of King Street and the creation of a riverfront open space. With construction set to begin in early 2016, King Street will be reconfigured to provide enhanced facilities for pedestrians and cyclists, and improved accessibility to businesses along King Street between the Old Bridge and Dufferin Street. The Town will also undertake critical upgrades to the drinking water, stormwater and sanitary sewer servicing infrastructure located under King Street.

These changes are intended to promote sustainable economic growth in our downtown by increasing density, improving walkability, and adding an attractive destination to the riverfront. The parkade will be closed on October 26th, and payment for parking meters has been suspended for the duration of the construction, as a pilot project. Downtown patrons can enjoy free, on-street parking anywhere in the downtown, and also in the north parkade.

If you have any questions, please contact Jamy-Ellen Klenavic, Planner for the Town of Bridgewater, at jklenavic@bridgewater.ca or at (902) 541-4386, and visit our webpage.

Natura Permaculture Community Starting Near Bridgewater

Two years ago, while working together at a community garden, Michael Sheppard and Robert Hennessy discovered a mutual passion for something that would change their lives -- permaculture. Since then, Mike and Rob have been diligently working together to form a cooperative permaculture community in which they can both live and work, providing homes, business opportunities and kinship for like-minded people from all over the province. After two years of working with other communities, engineers, designers, and lots of people who are eager to get involved with the project, from living on the property to investing and employing the members, their hard work and perseverance has paid off.

They have called their community Natura, and have begun the process of procuring 35 acres of land on a beautiful hill just outside the town of Bridgewater. Their plans for the property include a community building for workshops and community projects, a store for natural products and treatments, private homes, a food forest, a community garden.

Natura is eager to welcome new members as well as investors and anyone interested in one of their various ventures involved in the project. Feel free to contact us at info@naturaltd.com. Become a friend of Natura and sign up for our newletter at our website.

Home Hardware Stores Join "Buy Local" Movement

Last week was National Forest Week and to celebrate Mary Lake Home Hardware, Annapolis Home Hardware Building Centre, Select Nova Scotia, and Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute (MTRI) teamed up to label products, including lumber, that were made in Nova Scotia.

Customers at the Home Hardware stores in Caledonia and Annapolis Royal can now easily recognize forest products that were made in Nova Scotia aiding consumers in making responsible choices that bolster local economies. Picnic tables, lumber, roof trusses, wood pellets, sawdust, fibre fuel, and firewood are a few examples of products that are now labelled as Select Nova Scotia. Select Nova Scotia is the Government of Nova Scotia’s buy-local initiative. This initiative began with a focus on food and farms, but really works to encourage Nova Scotians to buy local.

Is your business utilizing local forest products? If so, you could be capitalizing on FREE marketing and promotional materials. There is an opportunity for local businesses to list their product or retail location on the selectnovascotia.ca website. Business owners can now update information for themselves. Simply click on the registration button and follow the steps to set up your profile.

If you have any questions or need help with registration, please contact Nicole Burkhard (902-638-2397 or nicole.burkhard@novascotia.ca) or Amy Berry (902-682-2371 or amy.berry@merseytobeatic.ca).

Be sure to like Select Nova Scotia and the Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute on Facebook and follow @SelectNS on Twitter. If you have great stories and pictures to share and you would like your business to be featured in their social media feeds, let them know!

Blue W expands in the Town of Lunenburg

It has become a whole lot easier to get your personal water bottle refilled for free in the Town of Lunenburg. Now all you have to do is remember to bring your bottle when you leave your home!

The Blue W program (not to be confused with the Blue Communities campaign organized by the Council of Canadians) invites businesses, shops, and municipal facilities to register as part of a national chain of locations where thirsty people can refill their personal water bottles for free. It provides an alternative to buying plastic bottle water while promoting the quality and importance of municipal water systems. All locations are marked with a Blue W decal in their shop windows as well as on Google Maps. To find the locations in the Town of Lunenburg as well as across Canada, try the map search engine at www.bluew.org

The revitalization of the program began in earnest this summer as part of ongoing greening efforts for the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival. Registered Blue W locations in Lunenburg now number over twenty-five: Bluenose II Company Store, Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation, Caico Mae, Coastal Winds Reality, Dockside Restaurant, Ellis Gallery, emOcean, Fiore Botanica, Elephant Trading Post, Gallery at the Linc, Ironworks Distillery, Jenny Jib, Lexicon Book Store, Lunenburg Art Gallery, Lunenburg Community Consignment, Lunenburg Folk Harbour Society, Lunenburg Library, Luvly in Lunenburg, Mom’s Buy & Sell, Peer Gallery, Salt Shaker Deli, Second Story Women’s Centre, Shop on the Corner, Subway, Sweet Indulgence Café, and the Visitor Information Centre in Town.

Local contacts for initiating the Blue W program in the Town of Lunenburg are Emma Kinley, Project Coordinator, Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation; Julie Lobb, Director, Lunenburg Board of Trade; Charlene Morton, Greening Chair, Lunenburg Folk Harbour Society; and Leslie Wright, Principal, Novita Interpares.

Bright Business Conference 2015

Join Nova Scotia's business leaders, professionals and practitioners in the energy efficiency industry at the Bright Business Conference on October 20th, 2015 at the Cunard Centre, located at Pier 23 on the iconic Halifax port.
  • Learn how to make energy efficiency work in your business: improve your bottom line and your reputation while positively contributing to our province's economy and environment. 
  • Be inspired by engaging speakers and experts who will share their knowledge, best practices and lessons learned. 
  • Benefit from networking opportunities and exchange ideas with like-minded business leaders. 
For more information or to register, see the Bright Business Conference website.


In this series, we introduce one of our CSN members to the rest of the community. This month, Frank Bemben from Bridgewater shares a bit about himself.

Frank says that he likes music jams, potlucks and being warm. Here are a few of Frank’s sustainability practices that he offered to share with the CSN:
  1. He has a long time interest in off-grid living. He has solar and wind power experience by having built and designed, with his wife Chris Andrews, an off-grid motorsailer, "Melodeon of Halifax" (photo). See seakindly.com
  2. He is presently designing an off-grid home that will be heated by an attached greenhouse with a swimming pool inside. 
  3. His background as a millwright/mechanical engineering technician/welder/machinist, allows him to pursue these projects with some confidence. The fact that natural energy technology is advancing and that the cost of solar and wind hardware is decreasing makes many things possible. 
  4. He likes to live within walking —or floating— distance of stores and services 
  5. He practices recycling, re-using, and re-home-ing serviceable items He encourages others to minimize use of fossil fuels 
  6. He encourages others to grow food, and not waste it. 
  7. He wishes everyone seeking a smaller footprint the best of luck.
Thanks for sharing, Frank! Any CSN members who would like to tell us their story and share some of their sustainable practices through this series can contact us at any time.

Best wishes!
Leon de Vreede, CSN administrator

Community Sustainability Network - Bridgewater & Area

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Town of Bridgewater

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