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Introducing the EcoBusiness Network

Durham Sustain Ability and Durham Partners in Project Green have rebranded as the EcoBusiness Network.

Durham Sustain Ability and Durham Partners in Project Green have rebranded as the EcoBusiness Network.

Over the past 30 years Durham Sustain Ability has adapted to meet the ever-changing needs local residents. The 2012 introduction of Durham Partners in Project Green, a business program, and  the 2017 launch of  a carbon accounting tool ultimately led to the development of a new organizational mission, vision, and brand.

EcoBusiness Network will support organizations driving the shift to a lower carbon sustainable future, focusing on Durham Region. It will develop a dynamic network of organizations integrating environment sustainability into all aspects of their operations.

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Coordinator hired for Ontario AST project

Celenna Ciuro is Project Coordinator for GCC’s Ontario Active School Travel project.

Celenna Ciuro joins Green Communities Canada as a Project Coordinator for the new Ontario Active School Travel project. With funding from the Ontario Ministry of Education, the three-year project will deliver a provincial framework to expand walking, cycling, and other active transportation on the trip to and from school.

Celenna has a Master of Science from McMaster University, where she assessed factors influencing the use of Hamilton, Ontario’s bike share program. Her work with the Hamilton Active Living Project explored whether neighbourhood perceptions impact walking behaviours. Celenna can be reached at cciuro@greencommunitiescanada.org.

GCC will launch an application-based active school travel funding program for Ontario communities in January 2018. Sign-up here to receive updates.

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Youth for Water hosts conference

Indigenous youth from across Ontario received hands-on experience at a Youth for Water conference.

Indigenous youth from across Ontario received hands-on experience at a Youth for Water conference.

Indigenous youth from across Ontario received hands-on experience in Indigenous water knowledge, water science, solutions, grant writing, and project management at a conference hosted by Youth for Water, 6-10 November in Peterborough, ON.

“It’s great to see so many youth are interested in being water leaders,” says Alix Taylor, Green Communities Canada Manager, Water Programs.

A highlight of the event was a water ceremony led by Liz Osawamick at Kinomaage-Waapkong “The Rocks That Teach” (Petroglyphs Provincial Park). Guest speakers included:

  • Dan Longboat, Trent University Indigenous Environmental Program

  • Autumn Peltier, nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize

  • Edward E. George, Water Protector

  • Stephanie Allen, Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation

  • Mike Jacobs,  Cambium Aboriginal

  • Deborah McGregor, Associate Professor & CRC Indigenous Environmental Justice

  • Reno King, Toronto Green Community RAINscapeTO landscaper

Youth for Water is a program of Green Communities Canada. Organizations supporting the conference included Sacred Water Circle, GCC member organization GreenUP, Camp Kawartha Environment Centre, and Turtle Island Conservation. Youth for Water is also extremely grateful for the support of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne.

The conference was funded by the Ontario Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.

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Reducing Ontario’s urban flood risk

GCC is working with stakeholders to create a collective action plan to address urban flood risk in Ontario.

GCC is working with stakeholders to create a collective action plan to address urban flood risk in Ontario.

Green Communities Canada is bringing together stakeholders to create a collective action plan to address urban flood risk in Ontario. We are currently conducting interviews to identify priorities issues and actions. If you’re interested in getting involved, contact Clara Blakelock at cblakelock@greencommunitiescanada.org. 

See our website for more information, including a paper outlining the urban flooding issue, impacts, contributing factors, and responses to date. Thanks to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for supporting this initiative.

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Stormwater scorecard added to toolkit

The Soak It Up! Toolkit has been updated and redesigned.

The Soak It Up! Toolkit has been updated and redesigned.

The updated and redesigned Soak It Up! Toolkit includes a new feature: a Stormwater Scorecard to help communities assess progress to date and identify priorities for further action. GCC developed the scorecard in partnership with the Canadian Freshwater Alliance and the Our Living Waters Network, supported by a grant from Tides Canada and Mountain Equipment Coop.

The toolkit outlines 16 actions municipalities can take to reduce runoff and runoff pollution, provides examples of what communities are doing, and offers insights from practitioners about what works and what doesn’t.

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GC Award winners announced

GC of the Year 2017At our June AGM, Green Communities Canada recognized the many champions who work and volunteer with us and our member organizations.

Green Community of the Year: GreenUP, Peterborough, ON. GreenUP was recognized for its “immersive and impactful programming,” and support for long-term environmental sustainability.

Lifetime Achievement: Mary Jane Patterson. Mary Jane is Executive Director, REEP Green Solutions, Kitchener, ON. She was recognized for her leadership in residential energy evaluations and low-income retrofits, resulting in annual reductions of over 30,000 tonnes of CO2 in the Waterloo region.

Innovation: REEP Green Solutions’ Coach Service. REEP’s coaches help homeowners reduce their environmental impact and adopt sustainable practices by providing one-on-one guidance and support to people interested in adopting more sustainable practices.

Outstanding Staff Person Award: Beth McKechnie. Beth is a sustainable transportation champion who assists workplaces improve their commuting options. She works with Green Action Centre, Winnipeg, MB

Youth Engagement: Alix Taylor. GCC’s Manager of Water Programs developed and implemented the Youth for Water Program. Alix trained and mentored Indigenous youth, helping them develop the skills to become environmental leaders in their communities.

Outstanding Board Person went to three recipients:

  • Lee-Anne Bigwood, Ecosource, Mississauga, ON has been involved in a wide-range of activities, from strategic planning to stakeholder relations, event planning, and financial management.
  • Tania Del Matto, REEP Green Solutions, Kitchener, ON was recognized for her commitment to the health and good management of the organization and the sustainability of her community.
  • Helen Doyle, Windfall Ecology Centre, Aurora, ON has played a leading role in guiding the strategic direction of the organization.

Award winners receive a certificate and bragging rights. Congratulations all. 

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