December 2015 Update

"COP21 - Do We Have the Wisdom to Survive?"  I know I'm mixing up references here but it seems like an apt summary of this past week.  On the one hand, a critical climate change negotiation is taking place half a world away.  On the other, nearly 3 dozen community members gathered to watch The Wisdom to Survive earlier this week at the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre.  And in between the two, hundreds of people marched in the streets of Maritime cities and towns including Halifax and Chester to ask for climate justice.

Whether you're following events close by or far away, there is a definite sense that we're in a pivotal moment in time, and that the choices we make today will irrevocably help or injure our collective future.  For those who watched the film, there was some surprise at the degree to which it dealt with ideas such as beliefs and values, and our own feelings as we contemplate the threat of climate change and assess whether we feel optimistic or overwhelmed about something so large and complex.  Don't we need to just focus on practical solutions?

Of course we do, and we need them more than ever.  But we also need to find the open-mindedness to consider them, the resolve to pursue them, the courage to try again when things don't work, and the compassion to do these things because we care about more than just ourselves. The Transition Network, which promotes grassroots climate change solutions, has actual terms for this: they call it "inner transition" or "personal resilience".  And we're going to need a lot of it in the coming years and decades as we work to fix the mess we're in.

Let's hope the negotiators in Paris can find it in themselves too.

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.

Small Change Fund Campaign for Bridgewater Rain Garden

We're pleased to promote a great new initiative that's just been launched in Bridgewater by the Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation.

The new Generations Active Park in Bridgewater is located right next to another community hub, the HB Studios Sports Centre. During heavy rainfall events, stormwater flows through the park and floods the parking lot then drains into the LaHave River. The water picks up pollutants and sediment and degrades aquatic habitats downstream.

The proposed project is a new rain garden and/or bioswale that will include native plants and milkweed for monarch butterflies. It will act to filter stormwater from upland residential properties and reduce runoff over the HB Studios Sports Centre parking lot, improving habitat for fish such as Atlantic salmon and other wildlife in the LaHave River.

Local community members will learn how to build their own rain garden during workshops and interpretive panels will educate the public about stormwater management. A rain barrel program will support nearby residents in becoming stormwater stewards at home.

Your donation to this project will be matched 2:1 by Small Change Fund and Aveda Atlantic! Click here to learn more about the campaign or make a donation. Remember, making donations to good causes in someone's name is also a terrific Christmas gift idea!

Shop Local This Christmas With "The Local Wishlist"

Still looking for the perfect gift?  Why not shop local?  Promoted by Select Nova Scotia, the Local Wishlist is a great site that lists hundreds of local producers in a large variety of categories. It’s organized by categories, locations and price.

This holiday season, commit to local in your community. Start with one gift or one business at a time. You’ll be surprised by how many local choices you can make once you start looking. when you spend locally, you help support local businesses, local jobs and the local economy.

Join Us at Our Annual New Years Levee!

Using the traditional framework of a New Year's Levee, the Community Sustainability Network (CSN) Engagement and Events Committee is hosting the third annual CSN Open House at the home of Charlene Morton and Daniel Vokey.

CSN members, family, and friends are welcome to drop by for light refreshments and conversation any time between 1:00pm and 4:00pm, on Friday, January 1st. As 2015 dissolves into 2016, we invite you to join others in our community as we continue to build strength and resilience through the sharing of ideas, information, and of course, good cheer! Seasonal refreshments and non-alcoholic drinks are provided by the CSN.

There is no registration to attend this event. If you have trouble locating Charlene and Daniel in Middle LaHave or if you have any questions please call them at (902) 764-2209.

Bridgewater A Step Closer to Launching Large Energy Initiative in 2016

On November 23rd, Bridgewater Town Council voted unanimously to fund an ambitious 2-year Community Energy Initiative.  Designed to generate rapid action through community engagement and long-term partnership building, the project will accelerate the transition of our town (and surrounding area) into a sustainable energy future and put the community on a path toward deep energy reductions and infrastructure transformation.  

It will do so by re-imagining the community’s relationship to “energy” in all its forms, and address critical concerns such as energy conservation, renewable energy generation, energy poverty and affordability, and the community’s long-term energy security.  Key to its approach will be demonstrating the economic development opportunities that will come from a transition to a sustainable energy future.  Read a 3-page project description here.

The Town has applied for substantial co-funding for the initiative through the Green Municipal Fund, a national granting program hosted by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities that rewards innovative community environmental initiatives.  We'll keep you updated on the project as it evolves, and will make sure that CSN members have opportunities to get involved once the project kicks into high gear.

"Our Water, Our Life" Call for Photo Submissions

The third annual Water Week Photo Exhibit is being organized by a group of community partners including this Network. The purpose of the photo exhibit is to raise awareness and create dialogue across a broad range of environmental, economic, social, and political interests to help enhance the appreciation, conservation, and protection of our water commons.

Photographs will be on display in March of 2016 during World Water Week.  Submission guidelines will be released soon. For more info please contact Charlene at

Best wishes!
Leon de Vreede, CSN administrator

Community Sustainability Network - Bridgewater & Area

© Community Sustainability Network - Bridgewater & Area

Town of Bridgewater

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software