Building Sustainable Communities

Ecoquest

Contact person (The person making this entry has the ability to edit this entry in the future. See above for details as to how): 
Jana Miller
Email address of primary contact person: 
millerj@spsd.sk.ca
Describe the project (This description appears in your map point. Insert a photo if you choose by selecting the "tree" icon): 

The Ecoquest program is a subject-integrated program for grade eight students in the Saskatoon Public School Division. Students from schools across the division participate in a year of community and experiential oriented learning. The program, which celebrates a flexible timetable, carves out opportunities for sustained periods of field research. The diverse activities and in wilderness and urban environments also provide opportunities for students collaborate on tasks and projects together and create a strong sense of community. Although the program has its base camp in Buena Vista School, one of the program mantras is Students Without Desks. Saskatchewan's diverse landscape is the classroom as students make numerous connections with the Saskatoon community and local ecosystems. As such, the timing of each of the experiences is weighed heavily by the teachers. Following both the seasons and the provincial curriculum guidelines, Ecoquest’s two teachers work to integrate subjects into unifying themes which explore environmental and social contexts at local, national and international levels. These themes include: Settlement and First Nations Histories, Winter Ecology, Healthy Communities, Water, Globalization and Gender Discrimination. Although the focus shifts throughout the year from one theme to another, each themed study and associated field trip is designed to provide experiences which challenge students intellectually, physically, spiritually and socially.

From the outset, program designers Scott Thompson and Shelly Loeffler maintained the importance of student involvement in the assessment process and providing written feedback rather than numerical marks. This approach recognizes student learning as a continuum, and places the onus for improvement on the student. It also removes some of the marks-based competition many middle years students experience. This is vital to the creation of a supportive and inclusive learning community in which every student can recognize the many strengths they contribute.

Describe the timing of your project (Please describe the date and length of time the project runs): 

Ongoing

Keywords (Please list keywords, separated by commas, that relate to the project): 
Community learning, experiential learning
Describe the educational component of the project (e.g. formal education, training, or public awareness advanced by the project): 

The Ecoquest program is a subject-integrated program for grade eight students in the Saskatoon Public School Division. Students from schools across the division participate in a year of community and experiential oriented learning. The program, which celebrates a flexible timetable, carves out opportunities for sustained periods of field research. The diverse activities and in wilderness and urban environments also provide opportunities for students collaborate on tasks and projects together and create a strong sense of community.

What level of education does this project address?: 
Middle years school
Describe any participation in your project from the grassroots community, youth, the poor/vulnerable, minority groups: 

The Ecoquest program is successful largely because of the contributions and support from Saskatoon community members. Throughout the year local storytellers, historians, photographers, journalists, activists, conservation officers, and elders spend time sharing their perspective and experience with the students.

Project sponsors/funders: 

Local organizations such as CHEP, Wanuskewin, Meewasin Valley Authority, The Open Door Society, etc. also play an important role in welcoming and mentoring our students on their community stewardship placements.

How did you find out about this survey?: 

Data from recognition event 2011

Designated Sacred Spaces Program

Contact person (The person making this entry has the ability to edit this entry in the future. See above for details as to how): 
Glenn Hymers
Email address of primary contact person: 
glennandbrenda@sasktel.net
Describe the project (This description appears in your map point. Insert a photo if you choose by selecting the "tree" icon): 

The “Designated Sacred Space Project” is a joint effort of the Craik Sustainable Living Project and Multi-Faith Saskatchewan.

1) objective – To quote from the “Designated Sacred Space Project” pamphlet, “To achieve sustainability for present and future generations, we need to be mindful of how we take care of our Mother Earth...The project provides a location where visitors...could relax, reflect, pray and meditate in the peaceful and natural environment of the Arm River Valley near Craik, Saskatchewan.”

2) beneficiaries –

a. the site provides level access affording a high degree of visitibility for mobility challenged, elderly and other special needs visitors

b. the project represents an outlet for the human need to reconnect with nature

c. the site provides an alternative to those who for various reasons are disconnected with organized religion or have limited access to church buildings and/or communities

3) what makes it unique –

a. the first and currently the only project of its kind in Saskatchewan

b. promotes the common environmental vision of various faith-based groups

c. represents a maturing of the CSLP in terms of extending into the realm of “social sustainability”

d. enhances the nearby xeric botanic garden

e. given that this is a multi-faith based project, it appeal to a wide demographic within the local and larger communities. It is attractive to those with strong ties to conventional religious groups but attractive as well to those who have adopted a less-structured spiritual component of their lifestyle. Certainly there are no gender or age limitations associated with this project. The attention to accessibility (level, smooth access, adjacent parking, close proximity to washrooms, etc,) eliminates no visitors from enjoying the site. It is significant to note that the Arm River Valley, the lip of which features the Sacred Site, has a rich First Nations history and elders participated in the ceremonies that marked the completion of both phases 1 and 2 of the overall project.

4) The legacy associated with this project is the existence of a permanent site, accessible to all which:

1) provides an outlet for the need for spiritual connection with nature

2) promotes the concept of commonality within a large group of conventional faith groups

3) enhances the status of the Craik community and the Craik Sustainable Living Project

4) clearly illustrates the benefits of collaboration among partners

5) takes full advantage of the existing elements of the immediate environment

6) represents an extension of the Craik Sustainable Living Project into the social pillar of sustainable development

Describe the timing of your project (Please describe the date and length of time the project runs): 

Began in 2007

Keywords (Please list keywords, separated by commas, that relate to the project): 
Spirituality, reconnecting to nature
What level of education does this project address?: 
Public awareness, for example, through the media (informal education)
Describe any participation in your project from the grassroots community, youth, the poor/vulnerable, minority groups: 

The initial idea for the Designated Sacred Space Project was conceived by community members representing several organizations including the Craik Sustainable Living Project (CSLP), the Three Rivers Trail Association (TRTA), the Mid-Lakes Community Coalition and Multi-Faith Saskatchewan. Development of the specific project phases was spearheaded by the CSLP steering committee and Multi-Faith Saskatchewan volunteers. As well, a large number of community members participated in the official celebrations which marked the completion of phases 1 and 2 of the overall project. Phase 3 will be the responsibility of local members of the joint planning committee, members of the CSLP steering committee and other local community volunteers. It should be noted that support for the project has also come from individual donors and organizations such as the Craik United Church in the form of monetary donations.

Partners:

1) Multi-Faith Saskatchewan and the Craik Sustainable Living Project – concept development, project promotion, materials research and procurement, labor

2) RM of Craik #222 – authorization to develop the project on land at the proposed site

3) Town of Craik – endorsement of this grant proposal, project administration, authorization for use of the Craik Eco-Centre (restaurant, washrooms, project promotion space)

In terms of integration with other community initiatives, consider the following:

1) use of the Site by faith-based groups such as the Craik United Church and St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church congregations for special events

2) visitations to the Site by individuals and groups using the existing nearby

pedestrian trail system

3) collaborative development of events such as community homecoming celebrations and community tours

Upon completion of the Designated Sacred Space Project, Phase 3, the following features will ensure long-term use by a wide range of visitors from within the Craik community, the region and beyond:

1) emphasis on accessibility and safety for visitors

2) the setting provides opportunities to connect with and appreciate nature

3) wide appeal for various faith-based groups as well as those who profess a spiritualism beyond conventional spiritual groups

4) strategic location near Louis Riel Trail (#11 highway) and the town of Craik midway between Saskatchewan’s two largest cities

Project sponsors/funders: 

It should be noted that support for the project has also come from individual donors and organizations such as the Craik United Church in the form of monetary donations.

Partners:

1) Multi-Faith Saskatchewan and the Craik Sustainable Living Project – concept development, project promotion, materials research and procurement, labor

2) RM of Craik #222 – authorization to develop the project on land at the proposed site

3) Town of Craik – endorsement of this grant proposal, project administration, authorization for use of the Craik Eco-Centre (restaurant, washrooms, project promotion space)

How did you find out about this survey?: 

Data from recognition event 2011

Regina 2050 Project

Contact person (The person making this entry has the ability to edit this entry in the future. See above for details as to how): 
Rod Stutt
Email address of primary contact person: 
stutt@siast.sk.ca
Describe the project (This description appears in your map point. Insert a photo if you choose by selecting the "tree" icon): 

 

Purpose of Project

1) To introduce students to environmentally sensitive principles of urban design, including transportation, housing density, energy and water consumption.

2) To involve the community in an urban design process, including representatives from 3 local community associations (Whitmore Park, Core/Heritage, Warehouse) and the City of Regina Planning Department.

3) To prepare suggestions and proposals for use by the community associations and for consideration in the anticipated changes to the Regina city plan.

4) To develop a step-by-step report, booklet, and web site that may be used by other schools, students and community associations in Regina and other cities as a guide to undertake similar studies elsewhere.

The only way to make positive and green change for cities is to get everyone involved. This activity involved young people, community leaders, academics, professional planners, politicians, citizens and activists.

The main themes addressed, in addition to educational, promotional and organization strategies, were

1) Transportation, including pedestrian, cycles, cabs, buses and trams.

2) Housing density, including the form, arrangement and location of housing.

3) Energy and water conservation issues, as integrated with the city form.

The ultimate target is broad citizen participation in urban planning. Most immediately, this activity involved young people, community leaders, academics, professional planners, politicians, citizens and activists.

 

Where and When did it take place?

-March 24 8-hour Urban Design Forum at SIAST Wascana Campus

-March 29 12-hour Design Charrette and Project Presentation at SIAST Palliser Campus

-Future website, dvd and booklet will spread the word

How did it come about? We formed a project team, engaged the students, found the speakers and came together. Then we spoke, listened and worked at it.

To date, the students attended the workshop and delivered their project proposals. We divided the students into three groups and each considered the city as a whole and then focused on a particular community: Whitmore Park, Core/Heritage, and the Warehouse District.

The DVD of the student presentation is being distributed to the community groups.

A writer is preparing a written report that will be completed at the end of June

In the future, this report will be shared with other community groups in order to inspire similar activities in many other communities.

 

 

Describe the timing of your project (Please describe the date and length of time the project runs): 

 

-March 24 8-hour Urban Design Forum at SIAST Wascana Campus

-March 29 12-hour Design Charrette and Project Presentation at SIAST Palliser Campus

 

Keywords (Please list keywords, separated by commas, that relate to the project): 
Urban design
Describe the educational component of the project (e.g. formal education, training, or public awareness advanced by the project): 

This was a pilot project that demonstrated how three groups, “experts”, students, and community representatives could come together to learn, to discuss, to design and to become engaged in the social and political process of transforming our cities over the next 40 years.

What level of education does this project address?: 
Post-secondary institution
Public awareness, for example, through the media (informal education)
Describe any participation in your project from the grassroots community, youth, the poor/vulnerable, minority groups: 

This project involved both youth (students) and local residents in the 3 community associations. It has the potential to have greater impact when community association participants go back and speak with their neighbours.

 

Publications (Has there been any documentation of this project/research?): 

 

The DVD of the student presentation is being distributed to the community groups.

A writer is preparing a written report that will be completed at the end of June

In the future, this report will be shared with other community groups in order to inspire similar activities in many other communities.

 

How did you find out about this survey?: 

Data from recognition event 2011

Craik Community Composting and Waste Minimization Project (Award Recipient)

Contact person (The person making this entry has the ability to edit this entry in the future. See above for details as to how): 
Crystal Stinson
Email address of primary contact person: 
stinson@canwan.com
Describe the project (This description appears in your map point. Insert a photo if you choose by selecting the "tree" icon): 

 

The purpose of this project is to decrease the amount of waste that the town of Craik sends away to the landfill. The primary way that this has happened is by establishing a community composting plan, but it also included 2 collection days – one for household hazardous waste and one for e-waste and paint. This project is important because it reduces waste that get sent away from Craik and into the landfill; it creates an end-product that will benefit the community (compost!); it creates partnerships with local business and government; and it creates awareness and action from the local population. The RCE theme that this project address the most is Bulding Sustainable Communities. The project is targeted at the citizens of Craik and surrounding area. This project began in October 2009, and continues to this day. How this project came about was with an idea that evolved over time and eventually was realized with the application and acceptance of a federal Eco-Action grant which provided funds to get the project started. To date, the things that have been accomplished with this project are as follows:

-Every household in Craik had a visit from the project co-ordinator (Crystal Stinson) and her helper (Naomi Hunter) who explained how the project would work and the importance of composting. Of the 66% of households where someone was home, 80% of people agreed to give the program a try. A 3 gallon plastic pail was distributed to willing households.

-A central drop-off bin was arranged. This is a place where people can drop off their organics for composting.

-A partnership with Waste Management evolved from their donating the bins, to the transportation of the waste from the central location to the Titan Clean Energy Projects every 2 weeks.

- A partnership with Titan Clean Energy Projects was established where they process the waste using a high-pressure screw press. They then donate the finished compost back to the community for use in community green spaces and individual use.

-This project is expected to continue past the date that the funding is complete (June 2011).

 

Describe the timing of your project (Please describe the date and length of time the project runs): 

This project began in October 2009, and continues to this day.

Keywords (Please list keywords, separated by commas, that relate to the project): 
Composting, Waste Minimization
Describe the educational component of the project (e.g. formal education, training, or public awareness advanced by the project): 

 

The majority of the towns citizens were approached during the initial phase of the project. This engaged each person to contemplate what their role may be in making this project work; and how it could be advantageous to themselves to participate in such a project. Issues that seemed to connect with people included:

-their garbage had the potential to be less smelly, with all the smelly compostables diverted

-possible reduction in number of times that the garbage needed to be picked up, thereby a possibility of reduction of cost to the town

-the possibility of receiving some compost later on, that they could use on their own property

-the use of finished compost on town green spaces created good will in the community and shows community spirit

-working with a local business seemed to appeal to many people

-the Town council seemed to appreciate someone else setting up a service that is provided to town citizens, in which they did not have to expend time, energy, or funds on.

The educational door-to-door visits at the beginning of the program were instumental in the success of the project, as the talking with people one on one gave the project a face, which increased community participation.

 

What level of education does this project address?: 
Public awareness, for example, through the media (informal education)
Describe any participation in your project from the grassroots community, youth, the poor/vulnerable, minority groups: 

People from all generations were approached, from young couples to working families to seniors. The project offered help (home-pickup) to seniors and folks with mobility issues, so that everyone could paricipate if they wished.

Project sponsors/funders: 

 

A partnership with Waste Management evolved from their donating the bins, to the transportation of the waste from the central location to the Titan Clean Energy Projects every 2 weeks.

A partnership with Titan Clean Energy Projects was established where they process the waste using a high-pressure screw press. They then donate the finished compost back to the community for use in community green spaces and individual use.

 

How did you find out about this survey?: 

Data from recognition event 2011

Yara Community Gardens

Contact person (The person making this entry has the ability to edit this entry in the future. See above for details as to how): 
Lauren Stennett
Email address of primary contact person: 
gardens.hungermj@sasktel.net
Phone number (if applicable): 
(306) 692-1916
Describe the project (This description appears in your map point. Insert a photo if you choose by selecting the "tree" icon): 

The Yara Community Gardens are a pesticide-free garden area that is open to all members of the community. For a minimal plot fee gardeners have full access to their plot in which to grow delicious and nutritious fruits and vegetables. We strive to promote a healthy lifestyle, bridging cultural and generational gaps, as well as providing an area for outdoor education to occur.

Describe the timing of your project (Please describe the date and length of time the project runs): 

The gardens run from the middle of April until the middle of October each year.

Keywords (Please list keywords, separated by commas, that relate to the project): 
gardening, environmentally friendly, community, education, vegetables
Describe the educational component of the project (e.g. formal education, training, or public awareness advanced by the project): 

At the Yara Community Gardens we strive to provide educational components through various workshops relating to gardens such as pesticide-free gardening, composting, vegetable gardening, etc. We also provide school tours for kids of all areas so they can learn about planting vegetables, etc. We also have several volunteer opportunities throughout the year where people of all ages can learn about the importance of giving back to the community.

What level of education does this project address?: 
Elementary school
Middle years school
High school
Public awareness, for example, through the media (informal education)
Describe any participation in your project from the grassroots community, youth, the poor/vulnerable, minority groups: 

Each year we have two farmers markets for charity where the gardeners donate some of their produce and all the proceeds are given to a charity of the gardeners choice. We also have something called a grow-a-row promotion where businesses can sponsor a row of potatoes that is grown in their name and all of the potatoes harvested are then given to a local soup kitchen and the food bank in town.

Publications (Has there been any documentation of this project/research?): 

We have been recognized several times within the Moose Jaw papers as well as interviews on local televesion and radio.

Project sponsors/funders: 

Yara Belle Plaine

Walmart Evergreen Fund

City of Moose Jaw

CIF Capital Grant

How did you find out about this survey?: 

Nominated for recognition this June at SIAST

Syndicate content