Sustainability centre proposed for Brockville

Categories: News
Published on: March 25, 2017

Transition Brockville / 25 March 2017

Transition Brockville’s Feb. 26 presentation featured Dr. Ellie Bennett, speaking on the International Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities, whose aims are to inspire creative, innovative, and effective ways for people and nature to thrive together in rural communities.

In future, that could mean Brockville and area residents will benefit from ICSRC initiatives ranging from hosting a freshwater institute, restoring wetlands and offering sustainability training for farmers, to sponsoring citizen science (such as a 24-hour bioblitz to do a species count in the area) and promoting setting up bee boxes in backyards.

Still in the formative stages, this not-for-profit centre (with charitable status) will be located in Downtown Brockville. It will be North America and Europe’s virtual and physical hub for achieving the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere program’s strategic objectives, focusing on building sustainable rural communities. Project proponents for the ICSRC are the Canadian Biosphere Reserves, Queen’s University, and the Aquatarium.

Bennett, who has a doctorate in ecology and has taught math and science to high school students, is now the ICSRC project manager (as well as program manager for the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve).

ICSRC will apply for charitable status in April and will then be seeking people to serve on its board of directors. Next fall the board will begin seeking capital funding for the centre’s building, and it’s hoped that in 2018 spades will be in the ground. Although a site has not yet been chosen, it will be in Brockville along the waterfront, and not far from the Aquatarium.

Bennett received enthusiastic applause at the end of her lively and detailed presentation. Asked what Transition Brockville can do, Bennett replied, “Talk up the Centre!”

For more information about ICSRC, visit or write to