The Sustain Your Community Initiative was a 3-year trillium funded project that began in 2014. Sustain worked with three different communities across Ottawa, each representing the urban, suburban and rural communities, to engage residents in environmental action. Over the course of three years, Sustain helped residents make their communities more sustainable and reduce GHG emissions.
Over the course of the 3 years we hosted 60 workshops, engaged over 280 volunteers and participated in 56 community events, read the project summary for more details about what we’ve accomplished.
Below are a few success stories from each community!
A dedicated group of volunteers and community partners teamed up with Sustain Kanata North to organize Pedal Play, a cycling education event. Pedal Play taught bike safety to adults, teens and kids through interactive learning activities – all while on their bike. Participants cycled through their neighborhoods using bike lanes, paths and roundabouts, stopping at several activity stations along the way to learn safe cycling practices. Two events were held, one in October 2016 and the other in June 2017, each with over 100 participants. Watch the video to learn more.
Over the course of three years, Sustain Kanata North hosted several workshops, adopted a park, created an energy map off the community, started a farm stand, and began a good food box pick up location.
The community in Lowertown focused on increasing the number of gardens and ability of residents to grow their own food in the neighborhood. Over the course of the project, Sustain Lowertown supported the development of five gardens, which continue to this day. The community gardens are open to community members who want a plot. A sharing garden was established in the Beausoleil community, allowing anyone in the Ottawa Community Housing block to access the produce. A learning garden established at Ste Anne’s school is an education tool for the students. The garden at the community house continues to supply fresh produce food to the weekly food bank. If you are a Lowertown resident and want to get involved in one of the gardens, contact Alain Lutala firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sustain Lowertown also provided free bicycle tunes ups and safety gear for kids, participated in community picnics, brought the Market Mobile to Lowertown, hosted workshops and much more.
In West Carleton the Deep Roots Food Hub, a team of staff, volunteers and partner organizations won the Ottawa Community Foundations’ New Leaf Challenge grant to build a community root cellar. Much of 2016 and 2017 were spent establishing the group as a social enterprise and securing a location to build the cellar. The root cellar will provide local West Carleton farmers with cold storage space for their root crops allowing them to grow and sell more food. This increases their economic potential while also increasing the access to local food in the area and addressing food security issues in the community. The root cellar will be on NCC land, sharing a space with the BeetBox Farm Co-op. Construction will begin in October 2017. To learn more about the root cellar, visit their website.
Sustain West Carleton has also hosted several workshops, supported local community gardens, organized discounted energy audits in the neighbourhood and much more.