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Let’s go! Who we are: Welcome to the Grey Bruce Sustainability Network Home Page or as we call ourselves, GBSusNet. Our aim is to foster sustainability by “building connections and relationships”throughout the Grey Bruce region between groups, municipalities and individuals who are interested in DOING SOMETHNG to leave our communities and the planet in better shape than we found it.

The two main functions of GBSusNet are to help you connect with potential partners via our Sustainability Asset Map (SAM) and to learn about current PROJECTS that contribute to our mandate and also create positive viable work for youth and other job seekers in the community. Our region: The Grey Bruce region covers the following areas:Regional_Map_4

2017 Preview!!! Lots of great things going on!!!

 “Letters Home” Youth Theatre Project – Thanks to ON150!

Congrats to Authentic Voices Productions (AVP) for a fabulous project proposal. “The Letters Home Project is a unique theatrical enterprise that will creatively celebrate both Ontario and Canada’s 150th anniversary by highlighting the accomplishments of key personalities within Bruce and Grey Counties.” GBSusNet is excited to be the host of this project and to provide a “leg up” to AVProductions en route to a sustainable cultural enterprise. Visit the Letters Home Website for JOB Descriptions and more info. Click Here!

CareerWORKS explores MUSIC and THEATRE!

Partnerships with the Launch Pad in Hanover as well as Authentic Voices Productions have facilitated the expansion of the successful CareerWORKS program into the arts sector. 2 Events are planned: MusicWORKS Feb 22 at the Launch Pad and TheatreWORKS Feb 28th at Victoria Jubilee Hall in Walkerton. Visit the CareerWORKS Page for more info.

Owen Sound Area Transition Town (OSATT)

SC Meeting #1

For several months now, GBSusNet has been working with a new group in Owen Sound Area who have founded OSATT! The group is in the early stages of establishing a vision and mission, awareness raising events and reviewing the new release of the Transition Network Handbook. Climate Change and Community Resilience are the key “transition” themes. Visit the OSATT Page for more info.

Sustainable Living Workshops (SLW #)Playhouse at Riverstone

We are currently in the planning stages for Spring 2017 Workshops on topics such as “Geodesic Greenhouse Design and Build”; “Clay and Straw Construction Techniques”; “Riverbank Restoration” and more!!! Stay tuned for details.

Sustainability Conversations (SusCon #)IMG_0008

2 SusCon events are planned for 2017 including an “awareness raising” meeting in partnership with the Owen Sound Are Transition Town group as well as an event in collaboration with local “food security” organizations.

Coffeehouse Collective Series (CCS)IMG_2733[1]

This program will continue in the spring and fall of 2017. Past coffeehouse events have been held in Owen Sound, Port Elgin, Kincardine, Walkerton, Flesherton, and Durham. These are great events that raise awareness of local issues and groups and support local musicians with a place to play and some great food to eat! Let us know if you want to assist with hosting and event in your community!

Energy Conservation and Demand Management (ECDM) Projects

The success of the Brockton ECDM project, completed in early 2017, suggests possible similar projects in other parts of Grey Bruce. Reduction of Greenhouse Gases, Ontario’s Cap and Trade system as well as provincial requirements to complete annual updates creates opportunities for support through similar projects. If you have an interest in this kind of work, give us a call!!!

Binder Deconstruction ProjectCommunity Living workers break down binders to be recycled in Brockton.

3245 binders, both used and hardly used were “de-constructed” in this program by our parters at Walkerton Community Living. 1013 were donated to local groups, schools, senior’s homes  and daycares throughout Grey Bruce. The program is ongoing!

Brockton Film Plastics Recycling ProjectThe first film plastic bale generated as part of the Brockton Pilot Project

20,000 lbs of film plastic was diverted from the Hanover/Walkerton landfill in 2016 through this program. Presenations are being made around the region to encourage other municipalities to move forward with similar programs. Most recently, the Owen Sound Area Transition Town group hosted a meeting with Owen Sound’s Environmental Manager to discuss possibilities. Bruce Davidson from GBSusNet advised on this meeting.

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Thanks to those who attended the 8th Annual General Meeting in Owen Sound. Have a look at the Annual Report that was presented at that meeting.

GBSusNet Annual Report 2015-16

Our plans and projects for 2016-17 fiscal year are well under way and include continuation of some projects, the addition of new ones and lots of ideas about potential future projects. Thanks to all Board Members for their efforts over that past years and special thanks to Bernie Range, who is leaving the board after 5 years service. A big welcome to Herb Kleahn (Walkerton) and Jaden Calvert (Meaford) who have agreed to join the Board.

Below is a picture from the AGM which is a cheque presentation from one of our key corporate supporters, Bruce Power, who have supported a range of GBSusNet projects for several years. Thanks Bruce Power!BP Cheque presi

Visit our Project Tab for our Summer 2015 Update!

or just click the following link!

GBSusNet NEWS Summer 2015

Got at Project Idea ? Give us a call.

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December 2014 Update (below)

It’s been a busy year for the Grey Bruce Sustainability Network (GBSusNet) with lots of projects on the go and plenty to look forward to as we roll into 2015. First off, it is important to acknowledge the incredibly dedicated Board of Directors that oversees Network activities, led by Chairman Bruce Davidson, Secretary Beth Anne Currie, Treasurer Bernie Range and Members at Large Jo-Anne Harbinson and John Harrison. The volunteer work of its directors is what makes any not-for-profit organization sustainable; without them, we’re done. Thankyou.

CareerWORKS

Day long, out of classroom workshops and tours on the key themes of water, energy and food, expose students to the skills, local opportunities and career paths that could lead to jobs in Grey Bruce. Thanks to funding through Trillium Foundation GBSusNet hosted several WaterWORKS events in Walkerton, Kincardine and Hanover and have partnered with Bruce Power in the offering of both EnergyWORKS and FoodWORKS in Brockton. CareerWORKS expansion is a key project for the future.

careerworks 1

SVCA Staff assists with stream water testing as part of WaterWORKS Kincardine 2014

 

Binder De-Construction Project

For a few years now Brockton has been the host site for the de-construction of surplus Bruce Power binders. Local Community Living participants are paid to separate the metal rings, plastic covers and cardboard backing for recycling and reuse. To date, thousands of binders have been recycled, or reused and the cardboard has been distributed to schools and libraries in the region for reuse. The program is ongoing.

Community Living workers break down binders to be recycled in Brockton.

Community Living workers break down binders to be recycled in Brockton.

Coffeehouse Collective Series (CCS)

In 2014 we hosted coffee houses in the communities of Big Bay, Owen Sound, Paisley and Flesherton. “Elevator Speeches” that lasted less than three minutes were given by members of the community on issues, groups and other themes dear to their hearts and provided a special contrast to the music that was performed by local artists: the formula worked. The information gathered and people who were part of these events form a critical part of our asset mapping project

Big Bay General Store Back Deck was the site of CCS #2 in the summer of 2014

Big Bay General Store Back Deck was the site of CCS #2 in the summer of 2014

Sustainable Living Workshops (SLW)

SLW’s were held at EDALE in Big Bay and at Kimbercote Farm near Kimberley in the Beaver Valley. During each of these day long workshop events 20 people took part in hands-on learning about earth plaster and straw bale construction; organic vegetable gardening; cooking with what you have; friction fire! ; edible landscaping; coffee roasting and more. Local contractors provided the expertise, designed and hosted the workshops throughout the day. Comments all round were positive and, once again, the folks we met in the different communities established a great set of connections and improved our knowledge of the “assets” in our communities.

Kimbercote Farm in the Beaver Valley was the site of Sustainable Living Workshop #2

Kimbercote Farm in the Beaver Valley was the site of Sustainable Living Workshop #2

GBSusNet is a “social enterprise” business and a provincial not-for-profit corporation

Film Plastic Recycling Pilot Project

For several years GBSusNet has partnered with the Environmental Advisory Committee of Brockton in an effort to remove “film plastic” from the waste stream. By adding a Film Plastic Depot to their collection system Brockton gives residents the opportunity to recycling a material that is currently not acceptable in the “blue box” program. In January, the first bale of plastic will be shipped for recycling containing some 6000 pounds of compressed film plastics.

 

The first film plastic bale generated as part of the Brockton Pilot Project

The first film plastic bale generated as part of the Brockton Pilot Project

Sustainability Asset Map (SAM)

 

Regional_Map_4Understanding who’s out there in our region and local community doing “sustainable projects” helps us identify and build collaborations that could lead to future projects is the key motivation behind SAM. Getting a sense of the geography of Grey Bruce and where things are happening is facilitated by the use of a mapping tool called UMAP. Anyone can visit the GBSusNet site and find out more about groups in their community and where they are located. The Resources Tab on the GBSusNet website provides a listing of groups; their key projects are and their contact info.  (Map Launch in 2015)

Bruce Power Beach Party Recycling

Volunteers monitor recycling depot under the food tent on the beach.

Volunteers monitor recycling depot under the food tent on the beach.

GBSusNet contractors and volunteers assisted Bruce Power in achieving maximum waste diversion rates at this year’s Beach Party in Port Elgin; 7000 people attended. A report is in the works with recommendations about how to improve things for next year. Thanks to all those who helped out!

Got a Project Idea? Call Us.

Youth Internship Project

Amanda Stanger, in the light sweater on the left, assists with SLW# at Kimbercote Farm

Amanda Stanger was on board most of 2014 and assisted with a range of activities including the Asset

Mapping project as well as the development of our social media program including facebook and twitter! Amanda assisted with many of the events over the past year, wrote some great articles and carried a consistent message of enthusiasm and awareness of issues. Thanks Amanda!

Youth Portal Project

Participants at SLW#2 help with veggie peeling, clearly a life skill worth having.

Participants at SLW#2 help with veggie peeling, clearly a life skill worth having.

Keeping young people and families in Grey Bruce means there have to be jobs and things to do in your community. How do we engage youth in this process of change. What is a “youth portal”? University of Guelph International Development student Braden Weltz (and Mildmay native) is assisting GBSusNet in the development of this needed vehicle for youth engagement and project development. Contact Braden through our website.

2015 – What’s Coming Up?

Sustainability Asset Map

Coffeehouse Collective Series

Sustainable Living Workshop

Composting Pilot Project

Binder De-construction Project

Film Plastic Recycling Project

CareerWORKS Expansion

EnergyWORKS, FoodWORKS and WaterWORKS

Spring Sustainability Summit

 

Students enjoy the fruits of their labour as part of any earlier FoodWORKS event.

Students enjoy the fruits of their labour at an earlier FoodWORKS event.

 Thanks to Monty Bennett at WDCS for all his work.

 

 

Thanks to all those who participated in the recent Coffee Houses and the Sustainable Living Workshop (SLW) #1 and #2  at Edale in Big Bay and Kimbercote in the Beaver Valley.  See Projects Tab for full follow up reports.

Earth Plastering at Sustainable Living Workshop at EDALE in Big Bay

Earth Plastering at Sustainable Living Workshop at EDALE in Big Bay

Walkerton Clean Water Centre Tour during Hanover WaterWORKS 2013

Walkerton Clean Water Centre Tour during Hanover WaterWORKS 2013

Who we are: Welcome to the Grey Bruce Sustainability Network Home Page or as we call ourselves, GBSusNet. As a sustainable organization, our aim is to foster sustainability by “building connections and relationships”throughout the Grey Bruce region between groups, municipalities and individuals who are interested in DOING SOMETHNG to leave our communities and the planet in better shape than we found it. The main function of GBSusNet is to support on the ground PROJECTS that contribute to our mandate and also create positive viable work for youth and other job seekers in the community. Our region: The Grey Bruce regioncovers the following areas: Regional_Map_4Grey Bruce is a biologically diverse region that houses a large number of provincially rare species and landscapes. With magnificent cliff escarpments, stunning shorelines with radiant beaches, lavish forests, clear dark skies and majestic alvars, parts of the Grey Bruce region is proudly a part of Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve and therefore is a key area for both plants and animal wildlife. What we do: As a not for profit “social enterprise,” GBSusNet is in the business of getting things done and building a “new economy” that addresses and responds to the pressures of climate change, peak oil, fossil fuel pricing, ecosystem degradation and our current economic instability that threaten the sustainable viability of this beautiful place we call home and thrive in. And why: Grey Bruce has the largest remaining area of forest and natural habitat in Southern Ontario and is home to ancient, hundred-year-old cedar trees. The Bruce Peninsula, the northern most point of Grey Bruce, is an important flyway for migrating birds, so many species such as, the bald eagle, kingfishers, the barred owl, the pileated woodpecker and many others call this region home. The habitat is also home to rare terrestrial species including black bear, massasauga rattlesnakes, yellow-spotted salamander, flying squirrel, chipmunk, fisher, long-eared bats, red squirrel, fox, bald eagle, red-shouldered hawk, barred owl, hermit thrush, black-throated blue warbler and scarlet tanager to name a few. History and partners: Up until the mid-19th century, the northern region of Grey Bruce was territory controlled by the Saugeen Ojibway Nations. treatymaplegendtradsaugeenterritoryThe nations included the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation and Saugeen First Nation.