Newsletter 122, 20 February 2017

Newsletter comments and suggestions are welcome at

Speaker to introduce Brockville-based international centre

Transition Brockville / 17 February 2017

Dr. Ellie Bennett, an ecologist and teacher, will introduce the fledgling Brockville-based International Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities (ICSRC) at the next Transition Brockville presentation, Sunday, February 26, 2-4 p.m., at the Brockville Public Library.

Bennett, who designed the education content of the Aquatarium's exhibits and school programs, is program manager for the ICSRC, a proposed UNESCO designated facility, based in downtown Brockville, that will be integral to achieving the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Program's objectives related to biodiversity, climate change and sustainable development.

A physical and virtual hub for the EuroMAB Biosphere Reserve network, the Centre will be collecting best practices for sustainable development from around the world. It will link Indigenous and traditional knowledge from rural communities with modern science, and use this knowledge and these ways of knowing to educate and inspire people to work together to build thriving rural communities.

Save this date: March 11

Transition Brockville and the Brockville Public Library are partnering again this year to offer their 3rd Annual Seedy Saturday. See Upcoming Events for details.

Practical projects are central to developing Transition as they are creating the world that we want to live in. They show people in your community that Transition can actually make a changes at a local level that are positive and benefit them directly. They also provide your group with something very concrete to focus on and develop. Combined with this they also:
  • Provide people with lots of different ways to get involved in Transition
  • Promote the Transition idea in your community
  • Can lead to the creation of jobs and social businesses
  • Empower people through helping them to develop new skills


Tax receipts for eco centre

Recorder & Times / Ronald Zajac / 17 February 2017
City council this week approved a recommendation of its economic development and planning committee to issue tax receipts "on donations towards the various work phases and business plan development cost to establish a UNESCO EuroMAB international centre in Brockville." The motion also cal...

2nd major infrastructure grant for Brock Trail/cycling project

Active Brockville / Alan Medcalf / 10 February 2017
Brockville's project to extend the Brock Trail through the 401 corridor and extend the Trail from Laurier north to Centennial is receiving a $175,000 grant from the federal government. The grant is part of the Ontario allotment of the $3.4 billion Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF)...

Brockville Council backs bike parking corrals

Active Brockville / Alan Medcalf / 28 January 2017
Brockville City Council carried the first of two motions in a report from staff and the cycling committee, "THAT bicycle parking corrals be added to the Water Street parking lot, Hardy Park, Rotary Park, St. Lawrence Park and Memorial Park". This will create permanent locatio...

An updated listing of businesses dealing in used goods and services is now available in a colour brochure format. "Treasure Hunting in Lanark Leeds and Grenville" was pulled together by Dawn Quinn, owner of Dawn's Closet and Smiths Falls Town Counsellor. It replaces the two previous versions of "Treasure Hunting in Sm...


Ontario shouldn't abandon its shift to renewable energy

Torontoist / Angela Bischoff / 10 February 2017
Our power planners love nuclear energy, and the nuclear industry insists it is a low-cost source of power. Of course, they don't add that publicly-owned Ontario Power Generation just applied for an 180 per cent increase in the price it is paid for the power generated by its nuclear plants, or that...

2017 Powering Prosperity award winners

OSEA / 08 February 2017

Congratulations to the winners in all categories:

•  Community Project of the Year Award
•  Manufacturer of the Year Award
•  SMARTpreneur of the Year Award
•  Community Developer of the Year Award
•  Non-Profit of the Year Award
•  Developer of the Year Award
•  Sustainable Project of the Year Award
•  20/20 Leadership Award
•  Special Recognition Awards


Ontario raises $800 million with third green bond

Ministry of Finance / 03 February 2017
Ontario has successfully issued its third green bond, raising $800 million to help build clean transportation and environmentally friendly infrastructure projects in communities across the province. Proceeds from the bond will support 12 projects, including: St. Joseph's Healthcare in Hamilton, target...

Ontario making electric vehicles more affordable

Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change / 01 February 2017
Ontario is making it easier for people across the province to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and switch to an electric vehicle (EV) by further enhancing its Electric Vehicle Incentive Program (EVIP). Part of Ontario's Climate Change Action Plan, and in effect as of Jan. 1, 201...


Bulk Barn embraces the Zero Waste movement

Treehugger / Katherine Martinko / 26 January 2017
In glorious news for zero wasters, Canada's largest bulk food chain will accept reusable containers and bags in all stores, starting the end of February. In one fell swoop, Bulk Barn has revolutionized grocery shopping in Canada. The largest bulk food retailer in the country has just announced...

Alternative investment options in the cleantech space

Corporate Knights / Jason Visscher / 11 January 2017
Canadians who want to invest in environmental solutions and clean technologies (cleantech) – the sector of companies that minimizes the impacts of non-renewable resource use – have several options. Some of these are available to retail investors wary of choosing individual stocks or volatile p...


NASA, NOAA data show 2016 warmest year on record globally

NASA Global Climate Change / 18 January 2017
Earth's 2016 surface temperatures were the warmest since modern recordkeeping began in 1880, according to independent analyses by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Globally-averaged temperatures in 2016 were 1.78 degrees Fahrenheit (0.99 degrees Celsius) warmer th...

Antarctic sea ice shrinks to smallest ever extent

The Guardian / Reuters in Oslo / 14 February 2017
Sea ice around Antarctica has shrunk to the smallest annual extent on record after years of resisting a trend of manmade global warming, preliminary US satellite data has shown. Ice floating around the frozen continent usually melts to its smallest for the year towards the end of February, the ...

Scientists marvel at 'increasingly non-natural' Arctic warmth

Washington Post / Jason Samenow / 02 February 2017
The Arctic is so warm and has been this warm for so long that scientists are struggling to explain it and are in disbelief. The climate of the Arctic is known to oscillate wildly, but scientists say this warmth is so extreme that humans surely have their hands in it and may well be changing how ...

Nuclear industry in crisis

RenewEconomy / Jim Green / 06 February 2017
Forget the hype about so-called 'Generation IV' reactors - the industry is having massive problems with 'Generation III' reactors, which are nothing more than modified versions of long-established reactor technology. Problems with Generation III projects - which largely explain Toshiba's crisis - ar...

Processed foods drive surge in obesity rates

United Nations News Centre / 19 January 2017
The FAO/PAHO report points out that one of the main factors contributing to the rise of obesity and overweight has been the change in dietary patterns. Economic growth, increased urbanization, higher average incomes and the integration of the region into international markets have reduced the consumpt...

Latest research uncovers new risks of GMOs, glyphosate

The Organic & Non-GMO Report / Ken Roseboro / 26 January 2017
Within just a few weeks, two studies were published in the peer-reviewed journal Scientific Reports that cast new doubts on the safety of genetically modified foods and glyphosate herbicide. The first found that a genetically modified corn, NK 603, was not substantially equivalent...

Language and the sustainable revolution

Mother Earth News / Joel Salatin / October/November 2016
Over the years, our tribe has developed a vocabulary to promote and explain our views on the environment, self-reliance, and sustainability. We've fought for 100 percent grass-fed beef, free-range chickens, pasture-raised pork, USDA Organic veggies, and so much more. But today, powerful in...


The Garden Planting Calendar

Internet Scout / 10 February 2017 - Volume 23, Number 6
Anyone who has planted a vegetable garden knows that the ideal time to plant can vary widely by geographic location. The National Gardening Association has created this tool, the Garden Planting Calendar, to help. Simply type in a select zipcode, landmark, or city to access a handy chart of...

Seed starting: Easy setups for home gardeners

Mother Earth News / Shelley Stonebrook / December 2015/January 2016
Growing your own seedlings indoors can save you big bucks, as well as open up a whole new world of crop variety options. When you start seeds at home, you aren't limited to the, well, "garden variety" plants available at most garden centers. You can order seeds of anything you d...

6 ways to grow food year round in any climate

Mother Earth News / Destiny Hagest / 19 December 2016
How do we make it so even people in hardiness Zones 5 and below can realistically (without tons of electrical input or expense) grow enough food to sustain themselves year round? Solutions abound — it's more than possible, no matter where you are, to take control of your food again, and br...

Greening Sacred Spaces Certification Program

Green Living Ottawa / Katherine Forster / 09 December 2016
The Greening Sacred Spaces Certification program recognizes, celebrates and motivates faith communities who demonstrate commitment in the care of the environment through action. This program helps you celebrate when you've accomplished a certain number of tasks and it provides ideas of h...

What is OLED lighting? And how is it different from LEDs?

Mother Earth News / Jennifer Tuohy (Home Depot) / 23 January 2017
In just a few years, LED lighting went from niche uses to mainstream. Helped in part by a significant drop in price, total installations of LED bulbs in American homes more than doubled from 77 million to 202 million in just one year. That figure is even more impressive when compa...

15 ways to help reduce global carbon emissions

The Guardian / Chris Goodall / 19 January 2017
From cutting down on meat, to contacting your local representatives and investing in clean energy, here are 15 ways to help reduce global carbon emissions...


  Facing Climate Change part 1

Environmental Commissioner of Ontario / 10 February 2017
This webinar [recording] covers chapters 1 - 3 of Facing Climate Change, the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario's 2016 Greenhouse Gas Progress Report, released to the Ontario Legislature on November 22, 2016.

  Transition meets Degrowth on a Caribbean island / 01 February 2017
Naresh Giangrande, co-founder of the Transition Movement, in conversation with Richard Swift, author of "SOS Alternatives to Capitalism" and an editor of the New Internationalist magazine. Brought together in the Caribbean island of Dominica, with Earthbooktv's Jessica Canham and Timothy Speaks Fishleigh at th...

  Solutions: What you thought you knew is obsolete

Colorado Renewable Energy Society (CRES) / Joe Romm / 12 September 2016
Keynote address by Dr. Joseph Romm, creator of, at the Annual Wirth Sustainability Luncheon in Denver, Colorado, Sept 9, 2016.


LGL Good Food in Schools Forum

The Table Community Food Centre, FoodCore LGL and the Two Rivers Food Hub
WHEN: Wednesday, February 22
WHERE: Gallipeau Centre, Smiths Falls, ON

Learn from others, share your progress and challenges in incorporating healthy foods and food literacy into everyday student life & curricula.

Keynote: Carely Shelck Carley is dedicated to bringing healthy wholesome and from-scratch foods to institutional settings as demonstrated in her work at St. Paul's University, the Parkdale Food Centre and her son's school where she is helping set up a garden and supporting teachers to introduce food literacy into their classrooms.

Additional speakers, workshops and panel discussions will cover topics such as: indoor and outdoor gardening, the provincial BrightBites! program, transforming cafeterias, farm-to school programs, healthy food fundraisers, and how to create school environments that foster positive body image/self-esteem, healthy eating and physical activity.

30th Annual Kemptville Winter Woodlot Conference

WHEN: Wednesday, February 22
WHERE: North Grenville Municipal Complex, 285 County Rd 44, Kemptville, ON

This year's keynote speaker is Peter Kimbell, Warning Preparedness Meteorologist, Meteorological Service of Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada. Peter has been a meteorologist with Environment Canada for close to 30 years. He has experience in forecasting for marine and aviation clients, the military, and the general public. Currently Peter is on assignment as the Manager of the Ontario Storm Prediction Centre in Toronto. The title of his presentation is "Weather Patterns in Ontario: A Look Back and a Peek Ahead"

More info:

Eco Farm Day 2017

Canadian Organic Growers, St. Lawrence-Outaouais Chapter
WHEN: Saturday, February 25 - Sunday, February 26
WHERE: Ramada Inn, 805 Brookdale Avenue, Cornwall, ON

This year's theme is "The 3 Rs of Organic Agriculture: Restorative, Responsible, Resilient".

Keynote Speaker: Mark Shephard, author of "Restoration Agriculture: Real World Permaculture for Farmers". Mark is founder of a global landscape restoration company (Restoration Agriculture Development), founder of a agroforestry tree nursery (Forest Agriculture Enterprises), and a farmer member with the Organic Valley Cooperative.

Other sessions include: Water management, the Farmersville Community Abattoir, women organic farmers, dealing with perennial weeds, records management, getting the most of your greenhouse, cover crop cocktails, parasite management in livestock, the Flow Hive, and much more!

More info and registration:

Webinar: Facing Climate Change, part 2

Environmental Commissioner of Ontario
WHEN: Thursday, March 2, 2:30 pm
WHERE: Online

This is the 2nd of two webinars presented by the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO), Dr. Dianne Saxe, on Ontario's recent greenhouse gas progress report, Facing Climate Change. This webinar will discuss chapters 4 to 7: What Ontario is doing to reduce our emissions. It will focus on Ontario's new Climate Change Mitigation and Low Carbon Economy Act and its greenhouse gas reduction targets. The discussion will be centered around the following questions:

  • Why does the ECO conclude that Ontario's cap and trade system is reasonable and well designed?
  • Will the proceeds of the new system be properly used to reduce emissions?
  • How good is Ontario's Climate Change Action Plan?
  • How far will it take us?
  • What about adaptation?


Workshop: Getting Started in Aquaculture and Aquaponics

WHEN: Monday, March 6, 8:45 am - 4:30 pm
WHERE: North Grenville Community Centre, 285 County Road 44, Kemptville, ON

Part 1: Learn about the advantages of farming aquatic species; global aquaculture output and future outlook; consumer trends in seafood consumption; aquaculture in Canada and Ontario

Part 2: Production systems; aquaponics; water supply; egg and fingerling supply; nutrition and growth; fish health management; necessary permits and licenses; nutrient management

Part 3: Fish processing methods and requirements; market factors; product forms and pricing; distribution channels to major markets; economics; model farm design and next steps

Part 4: Industry Presentations

One-day workshop will include lunch, presentations from government and industry, and all documentation. $75 plus $5.11 fee. REGISTRATION: For additional information, please contact: Michel Moisan, Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Specialist - 613.679.0937, or Steve Naylor, Aquaculture and Aquaponics Specialist - 519.826.3172

Murphys Point Provincial Park: Heritage Brought to Life

Brockville Museum
WHEN: Tuesday, March 7, 10:00 am - 12:00 noon
WHERE: Brockville Museum, 5 Henry Street, Brockville, ON

Guest speaker is Tobi Kiesewalter, the well-known Senior Interpreter/Naturalist at Murphys Point Provincial Park. He is an amazing and interactive storyteller that brings any topic he chooses to speak about to life … and he plays music, too! From the lecturer: "Music, storytelling, public archaeology and citizen science initiatives are just some of the ways that interpreters engage the public in the natural and cultural heritage values protected at Murphys Point Provincial Park. Stories of wildlife, First Nations, settlers and miners on the southern Canadian Shield offer insights into the powerful connections between the landscape and human prosperity, as well as our role in protecting biodiversity."

This lecture is part of our 14th Annual Winter Lecture Series. Tickets are $8 per lecture or $35 for the series. Pre-registration is required.

3rd Annual Seedy Saturday

Transition Brockville / Brockville Public Library
WHEN: Saturday, March 11, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
WHERE: Brockville Memorial Centre, 123 Magedoma Blvd., Brockville, ON

Seed savers and garden lovers are invited to swap and share seeds, and meet and share experiences with local gardeners. Our Seedy Saturday will also feature free planting activities for kids, as well as a seed sprouting demonstration. This year Seedy Saturday is expanding to include special guest speakers on starting your own seeds (Jeremy Dutton) and improving your soil (Dave Alguire), as well as displays by local food and garden vendors.

Everyone is welcome to attend and pick up free seeds.

If you would like to register and bring your own labeled vegetable and flower seeds to swap, or for more information about Seedy Saturday, please contact Brandy at the library, 613-342-3936 or, or Chris Stesky with Transition Brockville,

Gardening Seminar

Front of Yonge and Escott Twp Communities in Bloom
WHEN: Saturday, March 18, 9:30 am - 3:30 pm
WHERE: Mallorytown Community Centre, 76 County Road 5 South, Mallorytown, ON


  • Mary Ann Van Berlo - Master Gardener - Van Berlo Gardens
    Planning and Growing a Shade Garden
  • Emily Dowling - Roots Radical, Howe Island
    Healthy Herbs: Grow, Eat, Enjoy
  • Lunch (included) - catered by Junetown Women's Institute
  • Cate Henderson - Seed Saver from Heirloom Seed Sanctuary and KISSI:
    Grow your own seeds
  • Alison Whitlock - Flower Buds Professional Gardening and member of CIB
    Lets get Wild: Tips and Techniques for Establishing a Wildflower Garden

Tickets can be bought at the Township Office or Library. Or call Pat 613-342-5219 or email to reserve your seat by March 9.

Brockville Community-Wide Cleanup

WHEN: Saturday, April 22, 9:00 am - noon
WHERE: City-wide

The Brockville Community-Wide Cleanup organizing committee is comprised of volunteer community members and students. Each year, the committee coordinates with City of Brockville staff and with the financial support from environmentally conscious businesses, in an effort make our city clean.

The greatest efforts come directly from local volunteers and neighbours, who pitch-in armed with rakes and garbage bags. Each year this event draws a few hundred volunteers, removing tonnes of garbage and recyclable rubbish from our parks and green spaces.

More info:

10th Annual NG Sustainability Fair and Market

Sustainable North Grenville
WHEN: Sunday, April 23, 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
WHERE: North Grenville Municipal Centre, 285 County Road 44, Kemptville, ON • • Facebook Group

Mini-icons by Yusuke Kamiyamane. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.