Transition Brockville celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2017

Categories: News
Published on: October 25, 2020

Transition Brockville / 26 March 2017

In March 2007, Brockville residents called a meeting of anyone interested in fighting climate change at the local level.

The Brockville Climate Action Group (BCAG), as it was called then, arose from that first well-attended meeting. The next month MP Gord Brown unveiled the group’s new website, and Mayor David Henderson congratulated the group’s initiative and hoped the City could use the group “as a resource in our efforts to do what we can for our environment.”

BCAG’s mission was to help identify personal and community-wide steps to both reduce carbon emissions and adapt to the climate changes and resource depletion that were already unavoidable.

Within a few months of its formation, the group began offering free public monthly presentations, in partnership with the Brockville Public Library, where they are held to this day. Expert speakers have enlightened the public on everything from renewable energy to green building, from degrowth to cooperative enterprises, from living closer to nature to nurturing our personal inner transitions to be more in tune with the needs of our changing world. Sometimes we screened timely documentaries. Other times we gathered for a potluck supper and open discussion.

BCAG changed its name to Transition Brockville in 2011. The Transition movement, which started in Totnes, England, about 2007 now boasts Transition towns and neighbourhoods all over the globe. Their focus, like ours in Brockville, is on local responses that provide relatively quick, tangible, self-reinforcing ways to reduce global warming and become more resilient – and to do it with a sense of fun.

Over the years, Transition Brockville has distributed CFL light bulbs, built and sold rain barrels, planted trees at local schools, participated in the Chamber of Commerce’s Green Trade Fair, demonstrated low-energy and solar equipment at the Farmers Market, invited Hon. Stephane Dion to speak on climate change and Canada’s response to it, and coordinated planning for a community garden.

Transition Brockville tries to keep its finger on the community’s pulse. We’ve offered constructive comment on official sustainability plans, participated in the health unit’s Food Matters coalition, supported the city cycling initiative and invited local speakers on waste management, social hubs, emergency preparedness, and more.

In recent years, Transition Brockville has sought to build partnerships with other groups and agencies in the city whose visions align with ours. We all want to make our community one that’s resilient in the face of the 21st century’s converging challenges, a place where people enjoy a collaborative, sustainable way of life both ecologically and economically.

In that spirit of cooperation, Transition Brockville has partnered with the Brockville Public Library to host the annual Seedy Saturday in March; with Butler’s Creek Community Garden to host a summer tour of the garden; with Culture Days to highlight ways people can reduce their carbon footprint; with the City of Brockville to host Talking Trash, annual activities to educate young and old about reducing waste.

A small and dedicated steering committee coordinates the work of Transition Brockville. Hugh Campbell stayed as committee coordinator until a year ago and remains an active volunteer coordinating the group’s website, newsletter and Facebook page. Over the years, in addition to Campbell, the following have given time and talent to the group: Peter Breedyk, Lisa Callaghan, the late Don Glover, Brian Killins, Bernice Moore, Kevin O’Henly, Bob Panter, Graham Pearson, Nancy Raitt, Emily Shackles, Chris Stesky, and Izabela Waglay. [And later: Carol-Ann Cheff, Nancy Clow, Jen Rogers, Ashley Stewart, Patricia Sutherland, Elicia Wernikowski, Michael Wiggin and Robert Wright.]

People with new ideas, new strengths, and the desire to see our community thrive in challenging times are always welcome on the steering committee and in the general membership. Transition Brockville invites anyone who wishes to take a larger role in the group to visit the website at transitionbrockville.com and send an email to info@transitionbrockville.com.