Archive for September, 2010

Simcoe/Grey CELEBRATION & PROTECTIVE EARTH WORK PART

October 10 Action Simcoe/Grey CELEBRATION & PROTECTIVE EARTH WORK PARTY has been
updated.

* 10 October 2010 – 10:00am- 12:30pm

We will be at our new community garden on October 10, 2010 helping to prepare it for its first full year in 2011. We’ll have some shovels and hoes but please bring extra ones. Also, we’d like to show how push lawn mowers are great for climate stabilization and we hope to have a few of these ready for our community to try out. Our hope is to hire youth for the spring/summer to cut the lawns of people, going from one house to the next by bicycle with the push mowers at the back to transport them.
As well, we’ll be signing people up for our clotheslines to be installed in the spring of 2011.
Event Website: www.georgianbayearthdays.org
How to Get Involved Planning the Event: Write to celebrateearth@yahoo.ca or phone 519 599 5461
Event Host: www.georgianbayearthdays.org and www.elephantthoughts.com

Location Information
795847 Grey Road 19 (also called Osler Bluff Road) Collingwood, Canada
Directions To Event:Turn south at the corner of Mountain Road and 19. there is a “Tee Please” golf range there and go 1 Km to the Community Garden sign; alternatively, when coming from Collingwood, take 6th Street west of Rona and turn right on 19 for 2 Km

Stellar Youth Take on Eco Action Centre’s Work with Zest

“Those who purport to lead us, and all of us who are concerned about climate change, environmental quality, and equity,{must} treat the public as intelligent adults who are capable of understanding the truth and acting creatively and courageously in the face of necessity…” David W. Orr “Down to the Wire: confronting climate collapse”

As Eco Action Centre’s first month draws to a close ten youth have had new hands-on actions and/or educational experiences almost every day.  Ninety-five percent of these experiences have taken place out of doors. Monday to Friday, from morning to late afternoon, our youth’s community involvement has far exceeded their expectations; this has led to new visions and actions for 2011.

We have strengthened our bodies and mental preparedness by cycling several hundred kilometers and hugely reduced our carbon emissions instead of taking fossil fuel transportation every where. Cycling has given the group the mobility to work on sometimes four projects in a day. Wearing our bright safety vests and carrying hoes and shovels around the community has given the action youth a real presence, and people are curious to know what is happening.

A typical day may start at the community garden by cultivating the earth for next spring’s first full time garden, and continue on our cycling journey by placing tree blankets around the base of very small trees so as to discourage competition from weeds and raise moisture levels, then put up two clotheslines and finally sit under a tree and discuss what we read about biodiversity the evening before.  Another day takes the group in a Free Spirit Tour van up to meet Thomas Homer-Dixon in Kolapore wilderness after having read a few chapters in one of his books. (The informal meeting and conversation with this well known author was inspirational for the group.) Cycling from Kolapore back to Collingwood or cycling from Kimberley to Heathcote after putting on bee suits and learning how to care for honey bees (homemade potato bread and honey a must afterwards) to work on Matt Code’s Free Spirit Tour garden creates great team spirit.

A long day pulling out weeds, picking eighty-eight pounds of beans so they will be ready for community baskets the next day and installing a row cover at Edencrest organic farm is ended quietly with Farmer Jim talking about sustainable agriculture under a tree and why youth must be part of the effort for the relocalization of food.  A hay ride and cool juice supplied by grateful Farmer Maureen is awarded to the group in praise of our “work ethic” and results in a return visit this Friday.

Another day has us sitting in a circle in the community garden with Jen and Grant from the Green Bin Project. (They stopped by as they cycled from Vancouver to Newfoundland to talk about their adventures across Canada in search of sustainable living practices and promote their film that shows them living a zero trash year to help create a post-consumer society.)

Sonja Klinsky, from the University of British Columbia came by to discuss climate justice. How hard is it to put together an international agreement on climate? Our group went through an exercise whereby each of us represented countries with national interests that varied widely with respect to committing to lowering greenhouse gas emissions.  Our youth now realizes that climate consensus is not an easy accomplishment, and at the same time understands that a key component in realizing a climate stabilization solution rests with resolving justice issues among 192 countries.

The Eco Action youth look forward to meeting Mayor Carrier next week. Municipal sustainability questions have been researched at the library and we expect a lively conversation with the mayor.  EcoJustice lawyer, Albert Koehl will discuss with us several topics: alternative transportation and how it might be implemented in our area as well as hearing first hand how a lawyer can fight for migratory birds through litigation or policy change in government. From Kimberley he comes with the group to Heathcote to have a paddle for two hours as our resident biodiversity specialist, Aide Fernandez, points out the wonders of the Beaver River ecosystem.  Fred Dobbs of the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority gives his time for us to learn about rivers and hands-on skills needed to protect them.  We end our month by visiting two committed elders. Malcolm Kirk and Greta McGillivray, to hear words of encouragement from these outstanding and passionate naturalists.. Courage is what youth will need to support their world.

Special thanks to Ontario Trillium Foundation for believing in Georgian Triangle Earth Day Celebration’s and Elephant Thoughts’ vision for youth and positive change, Margaret and Eric Willis who gave us the land for the community garden, Janet and Bill Bartram who joyfully gave the Centre access to their Kolapore paradise and Thornbury Home Hardware for supplying and delivering free of charge all those clothesline parts at wholesale prices and replacing battered shovels.

What’s next?  Eco Action Centre youth will begin their role as ambassadors for climate and biodiversity solutions in their schools and community by writing the next article directed at some of the pressing problems facing life on Earth. This article is the result of each youth giving a twenty minute presentation to the group on a subject they are keenly interested in pursuing.  We thank Scott Woodhouse, editor of our local newspapers, for making this possible.