Shovels in the Ground at Station 20 West
Saskatoon Star Phoenix - Construction of Station 20 West is underway in Saskatoon, and Leeann Bird is one mom, volunteer and community member who expects to benefit. Bird, who spoke at the groundbreaking for the centre Wednesday morning, is a single mother of three children. She’s had difficulty accessing groceries while living on the city’s westside. With the high cost of rent and food, finding an extra $20 for a cab or to hire a babysitter just to go to the grocery store is difficult.
Several golden shovels hit the ground Wednesday morning at the project site, a symbolic signal of the start of construction. An additional $350,000 is still required for startup costs and grocery store equipment, but construction will begin this week. The building is expected to be complete by July 1, 2012.
The community centre, located at Avenue L and 20th Street West, will provide a neighbourhood grocery store, food, housing, employment and health services to the city’s core neighbourhoods. Programs will include collective cooking, community gardens and nutrition education programs.
Biomass Furnace Provides Alternative Energy Source, New Crop for Farmers
A Saskatchewan-based pilot project is looking for an alternative fuel source in a familiar form - wood.
At its open house on Thursday, the AAFC Agroforestry Development Centre in Indian Head was showcasing its new biomass furnace. It's not installed yet, but when the $280,000 system is hooked up this fall, the centre, which has been planting trees for use in agriculture for over 100 years, could achieve significant savings, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, using wood to heat its greenhouse and administration building.
"Natural gas is easy. We've been relying on natural gas for a long time," said Chris Stefner, senior research technician with the Agroforestry Development Centre. (ADC) "(This is) not as easy a system as natural gas, but there are opportunities to save money."
Heat from burning wood isn't a radical concept, but the centre is asking big questions: Is this a sustainable source of energy and can farmers harvest trees like a crop?
New Technology Creating Options for Sustainable Energy in Saskatchewan - Report
Regina — In the debate over sustainable energy options for the future, wind and solar power usually receive the bulk of attention. However, recent technological developments are creating a new assortment of viable sustainable energy options that Saskatchewan is well placed to take advantage of.
CCPA Saskatchewan’s newest report, Plugging the Gap: Sustainable Power Options to Complement Wind and Solar by Mark Bigland-Pritchard investigates the means by which the province could complement wind and solar power with other renewable energy options such as using fuels of biological origin like biomass and biochar, dammed and run-of-the-river hydroelectricity, concentrated solar thermal technology, advanced energy storage and other hybrid systems.
Bigland-Pritchard evaluates the efficacy of these options as they pertain to Saskatchewan, exploring how they could be used in conjunction with other renewable energy choices to provide a stable and secure electrical power base for the future. More: http://greenenergysask.ca/page/news.
Download the report at http://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/reports/plugging-gap.
Mark Your Calendars Saskatoon! World Rivers Day '11
World Rivers Day' 11 is Sunday September 25! Where? Outdoors on Queen's House Grounds at 601 Taylor Street West in Saskatoon. What? A Day of Fun, Friends, Food and Focus on the South Saskatchewan River Talks - River Walks - Rowin' on the River - A Little Water Music - Feastin' by the River - A Current Stream of Fun & Facts for all ages!
Persons interested in planning or being part of this fun day, can call the Saskatchewan Eco-network office at 652-1275.
Wanska, Nah-Thi-Rehn-Ta, Wake Up! Walk Against Nuclear Waste
The Committee of Future Generations is announcing our walk against nuclear waste, departing July 27th, 2011 from Pinehouse for the Regina Legislature. The walk will kick off with a Public Forum on Nuclear Waste in Pinehouse on July 26, 2011. Keynote speaker will be Francois Paulette.
The purpose of this walk is to wake people up to the grave dangers of storing millions of radioactive nuclear bundles in Saskatchewan, and to take action by signing a petition to the government to legislate a ban against nuclear waste.
As we pass through each community, we hope to be joined by as many people as possible, and will collect petitions from the surrounding area via adjoining highways. By the end of our walk, we hope to have collected the equivalent of 100 signatures per kilometer on this petition.
Our route will be Pinehouse > Beauval > Green Lake > Big River > Prince Albert > Saskatoon > Regina. We're aiming at 30 km/day, with a rest day in P.A., which on paper calculates to 29 days, so we expect to arrive in Regina anytime after August 24th. In the meantime, whether or not your community is on the walk route, please contact any groups and individuals that may be interested in joining us for any length possible.
If you know of any groups and individuals who may be interested in donating funds and/or any kind of support like water, food, lodging etc. to the walk, please contact Committee for Future Generations firstname.lastname@example.org. Details, petition and open letter can be found at http://www.cleangreensask.ca/.
Out of Your Tree: Fruit Sharing Group
Out of Your Tree is an urban fruit sharing group in Saskatoon. There is fruit grown in our community that could be harvested and used. Instead a large portion of it ends up on the ground, in the compost or in the garbage.
The idea is simple, how it generally works is a group of volunteers harvest the fruit, 1/3 is left with the home owner, 1/3 is donated and 1/3 is kept by the volunteers. This program has been very successful in many other cities here in Canada.
Currently, we are focusing on our own neighbourhood, North Park Richmond Heights, but any one is welcome to join the group and organise fruit sharing in their own neighbourhood.
If you would like to volunteer or join our harvesting team please fill out this online registration form https://spreadsheets0.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?pli=1&hl=en_US&formkey=dDE1NGpIU0taN0EyaUx3UG5VdnhaSEE6MQ#gid=0.
If you would like to register a tree or a plant (apple, raspberry, saskatoon, cherry, rhubarb, etc.) please fill in out online fruit registration form https://spreadsheets1.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?hl=en_US&formkey=dEhZaW1udWxwV19YcnJyN2ZpMzY3X1E6MQ#gid=0.
EcoFriendly Sask gathers the news and stories on the environmental front in Saskatoon and Saskatchewan and passes it on via blog, Facebook, and Twitter, hoping to raise awareness, educate, and encourage. Visit their site at http://www.ecofriendlysask.ca.
The Greenest Computers
Computers for Kids sell refurbished computers $145 - $295. Plus for every computer sold, two will go to people in need. Computers For Kids is a registered charity in Saskatoon that recycles, refurbishes and diverts thousands of computers from the waste stream every year. They are located at 322 Avenue C South in Saskatoon and at 1450 Park Street in Regina
Alternatives Journal Call for Queries: Green Buildings
Things have changed a lot since we published our last issue on Green Buildings in 2004. Back then, Canada was trumpeting its first LEED-Gold building. Now we have five certified Platinum-Standard developments on the LEED registry. There have been spectacular advances in building design, construction materials, reuse, heating, ventilating and more, helped and hindered by changes to public policy.
In this issue of Alternatives, we want to pick up where we left off in 2004. We are interested in articles that explain how far we’ve come, and predict where we are headed. We want to know about new laws and regulations governing the design and construction of buildings, and hope to have space to profile a few of the best examples of green buildings from Canada and beyond. We’re also interested in who is leading the charge to greener buildings.
Details are at http://www.alternativesjournal.ca/call-for-submissions-green-buildings. Send submissions electronically in word format by July 31, 2011.
Nature Sask Art Competition: Calling All Saskatchewan Art Enthusiasts
Nature Saskatchewan is hosting an art competition to acknowledge the long-term commitment to conservation of Burrowing Owl habitat in this province. Go to http://www.naturesask.ca/?s=news&p=news&id=506 for the complete details of this competition.
Deadline for entries is September 20, 2011 with a winning prize of $1000. The winning entry will also be presented to participants of Operation Burrowing Owl and Stewards of Saskatchewan Programs once they have reached their 15th anniversary of participation in these programs. For more information call Nature Saskatchewan at 1-800-667-4668 or email@example.com.
Seeking Nominations for the Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards
Communities rely on strong support from a number of sources, including volunteers, businesses and not-for-profit organizations. That support could include activities like raising funds for community projects, giving employees time to volunteer or creating a new after-school program for at-risk youth, to list only a few examples.
Every day, local businesses, not-for-profit organizations and thousands of individuals volunteer their time, energy and skills to improve the well-being of families and communities across the country. They help make Canada stronger by creating change and inspiring hope.
The Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards is a new program that has been created to celebrate these Canadians who make a difference. A total of 17 awards will be given at both the regional and national level. Recipients will be eligible to identify a not-for-profit organization to receive a grant for $5,000 (regional award) or $10,000 (national award).
Those chosen for the awards must be nominated. The first call for nominations will close on September 9, 2011. Award recipients will be recognized at an award ceremony to be held in early 2012. Do you know an individual or group, a business or not-for-profit organization that is making a difference in your community? Recognize their contributions and show your appreciation by submitting a nomination.
To learn more about the Prime Minister's Volunteer Awards, please visit http://www.pm.gc.ca/awards or call 1-877-825-0434.
Nature Regina: Tree TourSaturday, July 23rd, 8 am - 12 noon, meet in the parking area in front of the Legislative Bldg.
A walking tour of Rotary, Kiwanis and perhaps Les Sherman Parks to see and identify the many species of trees and shrubs that have transformed our home on the Regina plains into a woodland park. Tamarack, oak, and maple, are all present along with other exotics. Bring a field guide on trees and shrubs if you have one. Also, bring binoculars in case of birds! Sponsored by Nature Regina.
Regina Trash Dashers
Regina Trash Dashers is a brand new organization which was founded by a high school student in Regina. Inspired by Saskatoon Trash Dashers, the group will be focused on going out to certain locations on certain dates to clean up as much garbage in the general vicinity as possible. By doing this, they aim to make Regina look cleaner, healthier, and more well-kept. But most of all, by picking up trash, they are helping the environment and the plants & animals that call Regina home. Join the cause today!
Saskatoon Prairie Clean-up - Phase II: Asquith North & Asquith North 2July 23th, 8 am - 4 pm, Asquith, SK
Last year, 20 dedicated Conservation Volunteers removed old barbed wire and fence posts at the Asquith North property, making room for the installation of new fencing. This year, Nature Conservancy of Canada needs your help to complete Phase II of the site clean-up - removing the remaining debris (glass, steel, and wood material) from both the Asquith North property and another property in the immediate area, creating a better environment for wildlife. Volunteers should be in good physical condition and be able to work outside in difficult conditions.
Please make sure you eat a solid breakfast, and pack a lunch to bring with you for the day of the event. Snacks and beverages will be provided by NCC to keep you energized and hydrated.
If you'd like to attend this event you can RSVP online at http://www.natureconservancy.ca/site/Calendar/965413171?view=Detail&id=100644.
Flood Relief ConcertJuly 27th, Third Avenue United Church
After last year's Flood Relief Concert that raised $35,000, a group of musicians will come together once again to raise money for the people in our province that need it most. The night will feature: 3-time Juno winner Connie Kaldor, CCMA winner Brad Johner, Jay Semko from The Northern Pikes, Carrie Catherine, Jeffery Straker, Stephen Maguire. Tickets $20 and available at McNally Robinson Booksellers and online at http://www.picatic.com/floodrelief2011. All proceeds to the Red Cross and the people across Saskatchewan affected by the severe weather.
Saskatoon Nature Society: Field Trips
There are numerous field trips scheduled for this summer. Check out the website at http://www.saskatoonnaturesociety.sk.ca/trips.html. Everyone is welcome to participate in any field trip. Bring your friends. Carpooling for out-of-town trips is usually arranged at the meeting place. Participants are expected to share gasoline costs and should make arrangements with the driver to do so. There is no other charge. Phone the trip leader if you have any questions. Participants are free to depart early if they wish.
Seegwun Family FunWednesdays until August 10th, 10 am - 2:30 pm, Pleasant Hill School (enter at the Gymnasium Door)
Join us for family games, crafts, information, cooking, support and fun! Lunch and snacks served each Wednesday No registration required. A partnership program of Saskatoon Health Region - Building Health Equity, The School Wellness Team, KidsFirst and Saskatoon Public School Division.
Spruce up Your Exercise Routine: Join Trash DashersSundays at 9 am, various locations in Saskatoon
Trash Dashers is a local initiative and is community fitness at its best: it’s free, fun, interactive and helps maintain our health and the health of our community. People of all ages, abilities, and fitness levels are encouraged to join us in rain, snow or shine so encourage your friends and family (and pets!) to come along too! Every Sunday morning during the summer months we meet at 9 am in parks around Saskatoon to do a walking or jogging park clean-up until litter has found its way to a garbage can and recyclables have been collected. Our schedule for 2011 can be found under the info section of our facebook page or on our website: http://trashdashers.jimdo.com/schedule.
Summer Ecology Day CampsAugust 15th - 19th, Saskatoon
Summer ecology day camps for kids 8-12 years run 9 am - 4 pm with optional before and after care. Fee is $225; 4-day camps are $200; before and after care is $25, $20 for 4-day camps. Special Theme Week: Camp #7 Aug 15-19, Insects-with your own bug net and critter hut. Details at: http://www.extension.usask.ca/ExtensionDivision/noncredit/Nature/.
Saskatoon Permaculture Design Certificate 2011August 14th - 27th, University of Saskatchewan
The PDC is an intensive certificate course, as 72 hours of class and field work time are covered in two weeks. The course runs 6 days per week for these two weeks. Lunch is provided as part of the course. If you are coming from out of town, you will have to find your own accommodations. Registration and payment is handled through the University of Saskatchewan's Centre for Continuing and Distance Education. Details at http://www.permasask.ca/home/pdc2011.
Public Forum on Nuclear WasteJuly 26th, Pinehouse, SK
The Committee of Future Generations is announcing our walk against nuclear waste, departing July 27th, 2011 from Pinehouse for the Regina Legislature. The walk will kick off with a Public Forum on Nuclear Waste in Pinehouse on July 26, 2011. Keynote speaker will be Francois Paulette. More at http://www.cleangreensask.ca/.
Grand Opening of Designated Sacred SpaceJuly 30th, 1 pm, CSLP Eco-Centre, Craik, SK
Join Multi-Faith Saskatchewan and the Craik Sustainable Living Project for this special designation. The program includes presentation of the Golden Rule and Care of the Earth, Cultural dance performances, ethnic food, an art show and displays as well as presentations by important dignitaries. Chief Guest is Hon. Rob Norris, Saskatchewan Minister of Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration. Please try to attend this important event marking such a significant cultural milestone for our province in terms of education for sustainable development. Details at http://www.craikecovillage.com/
Canoe Trips: Summer 2011August and September, 2011
CanoeSki Discovery Company http://www.canoeski.com/rivertrails.htm is offering one-day professionally-guided canoe trips to explore the sites and interpret the events of the 1885 North West Resistance on August 6 and August 24. They are also offering a two-day tour of Fish Creek and Batoche on August 20-21 and September 3-4.
The Golden Chapter of The Council of Canadians Direct Action CampAugust 19th – August 21st, Golden, BC
The Golden Chapter of The Council of Canadians has hired the California based Ruckus Society to offer a 2 and a half day series of workshops to help you expand your Direct Action toolbox.
The 2 and a half days will cover a variety of different areas. The Direct Action sessions will focus on the rural resistance of Ruin-of-the-River IPP hydro projects in the Kootenays but will also include workshops on topics ranging from non-violent direct action, blockades 101, environmental justice, media, art and activism, campaign planning and more. The camp will provide useful tools in any social justice campaign including but not limited to; Peace initiatives, union organizing and strikes, health care activism, feminist action, indigenous rights, environmental activism, human & animal rights, social equality, eliminating poverty, or food security initiatives.
August 19th will be open to the public at Jita’s Café from 7pm to 9pm with some speech’s from the trainers Jess Bell & Harjap Grewal and a meet and greet function. The guts of the event will be all day on Saturday and Sunday and registration is necessary to attend.
There is something for everyone and the two and a half day camp is a great way for new activists to learn a bunch of skills and meet a lot of other activists from the Kootenays and for the veteran activist to hone old skills and learn some new ones.
Activists from outside of Golden are invited and welcome and limited billeting is also available for out of town folks. Suggested donation for the weekend is $20 but no one will be turned away due to lack of funds. To register for the Council of Canadians Direct Action camp or to find out more contact Trevor Hamre at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-344-4668 or 250-344-6633.
Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation Camp: Women's Outdoor Weekend (WOW)September 10th - 11th, Lumsden Beach Camp
Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation is hosting a Women's Camp September 10 and 11, 2011 at Lumsden Beach Camp. Come out and learn skills such as canoeing, wildlife and birdsong ID, archery and much more! Registration deadline is August 19, 2011. For more information please contact JeanAnne Prysliak at 306.692.8812 or email@example.com.
Nature Education Tours
The Centre for Continuing and Distance Education provides a wide selection of lab-based, outdoor, and travel programs for all age groups to help participants learn about science, nature, and sustainable living. Their nature and science courses are available for adults, children, K-12 science teachers, as well as ecology immersion camps to destinations around Saskatchewan, Canada and the world. Based on a foundation of Science, Education, and Ethics. Programs include Churchill Manitoba Polar Bear Ecology Tour and trips to Jasper, South Africa and Costa Rica.
Lots more events at the SEN Event Calendar: http://events.econet.sk.ca/.