Sustain Your Community


The purpose of this project is to support a 3-year project of the EnviroCentre, to engage communities in actions to address climate change. The communities are: Lowertown (urban), Beaverbrook, Kanata (suburban), West Carleton (rural). They will address four Themes of BEC: Transportation, Energy, Food and Water (Natural Capital). Arthur, Bob, Jim and Leanne have attended urban and suburban community meetings. OBEC has offered to hold public meetings on individual Themes, bringing together action communities for the 3 communities to discuss their proposals later in the year.

Project Leader

Name: Elyse McCann, Envirocentre
E-mail: elyse.mccann@envirocentre.ca 

OBEC Coordinator

Name: Bob Hillary
E-mail: sustain_your_community@obec-evbo.ca

Project Update, October 27, 2015

Sustain Your Community is an EnviroCentre (envirocentre.ca) project designed to address climate change by stimulating community action for sustainability. Through access to project information, the Ottawa Biosphere Eco-City Initiative (OBEC) was pleased to find that the focus of community action reflected four Biosphere Eco-City Themes of Sustainability: Transportation, Energy, Food and Natural Capital (Water). Rather than initiate its own demonstration project in 2014, OBEC opted to jump on board with the previously established EnviroCentre initiative. An OBEC project leader coordinates the involvement of four OBEC volunteers in the initiative.

There are three communities targeted for action:

  • Lowertown (urban)
  • Beaverbrook (suburban)
  • West Carleton (rural)

OBEC volunteers have attended community meetings in all three locations, but have chosen to join the Sustain Beaverbrook Action Committee in particular.

In Beaverbrook, the action committee is working with a group to create a cycling map of North Kanata. This will be a benefit in particular for people who bicycle to work through Beaverbrook and the adjacent industrial parks. The map will also serve to provide safe cycling routes for children going to school and for families looking to enjoy leisure rides.

A second Beaverbrook sub-group is focusing on sustainable food. This summer it initiated a community supported agriculture (CSA) project for 20 families in Beaverbrook. With CSA, residents invest in a farm and receive fresh produce weekly throughout the growing season. As well, through Community Life Church, arrangements are underway to establish the Good Food Box project (ottawagoodfoodbox.ca). With this, residents can purchase a box of healthy food on a monthly basis at a very affordable price. A third food initiative under study is the development of community gardens for Beaverbrook. On October 20th, 2015, a Harvest Celebration treated residents to a free supper of delicious, locally produced food and a discussion of ideas for sustainable food distribution.

A third sub-group is addressing energy use. Free energy assessments of four different house types in Beaverbrook were provided by EnviroCentre and results were posted on its website. Residents with similar houses can get retrofit ideas from these assessments. Also, Sustain Beaverbrook organized community workshops on Upgrading Energy Efficiency (Oct 14th), Improving Home Energy Use (Oct 28th), and will conduct a workshop on Understanding Your Energy Bill on November 18th.

This past May, children of Beaverbrook created a large mural demonstrating their ideas for the future of their community. It may be viewed in the Children's section of the Beaverbrook Library.

Viewers may contact sustainbeaverbrook@envirocentre.ca for information on any of the Beaverbrook activities.

Activities in other communities include:

  • Community garden in Lowertown (sustainlowertown@envirocentre.ca)
  • Planning for a communal cold storage facility for food producers in West Carleton (sustainwestcarleton@envirocentre.ca).