Compost Education Centre 2015 Annual General Report

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2015 Annual Report The Compost Education Centre (CEC) is a project of the Victoria Compost and Conservation Education Society which is a not-for-profit, charitable organization. Started in 1992 by the Fernwood Community Association, the CEC provides composting and conservation education to Capital Regional District (CRD) residents with the goals of reducing waste and improving local soils through the use of compost. The CEC promotes organic gardening as a means of reducing the health and environmental effects of chemical gardening practices as well as promoting the health, environmental and social benefits of local food production.

2015 Highlights Soil Superstars In 2015 we developed Soil Superstars, a workshop focused on soil science and stewardship, for students in grades 1-3. Discovery based activities encourage students to unearth the ways soil is part of almost everything around us, and a key part of healthy ecosystems.

ICA Elder Knowledge Project Partnershi p This project with the Inter-Cultural Association (ICA) brought together ethno-cultural seniors and members, young and old, to learn from each other, create new friendships and raise awareness of the importance of growing and eating food close to home through workshops at the CEC and farm tours. As well, our Site Manager Alysha represented the CEC as a community partner to UVIC's Edible Geography class to create a map that shows where newcomers can access the foods they want in Victoria. The finished map has been extremely well-received by the food security community and now hangs in the ICA's building where visitors can easily interact with it.

New Site Signs New education signage was created in collaboration with the Brian Slater from the CRD and Island Blue. The new signage creates a more interactive, accurate and attractive self-guided tour for members of the public to learn about composting, organic gardening, rainwater harvesting and more as they walk through the site. Two large signs were created to draw the attention of people walking/driving by and to increase awareness of our location - one on the corner of Chambers/North Park that clearly states who we are and one by the front gate that provides an overview of what happens at the CEC, a territory acknowledgment and a map showcasing all the amazing things happening on our tiny yet amazing site! 2

Education Programs 

In 2015 we continued to teach thousands of children and adults about composting, soil, and growing food.

We taught a total of 871 adults in 55 workshops and presented 107 school programs to 2,398 students and teachers.

School Programs by Munici pality Saanich (35) Victoria (33) Oak Bay (10) Colwood (6) Esquimalt (6) Sooke (6) Central Saanich (4) North Saanich (4) View Royal (2) Sidney (1)

What teachers and students are saying about our programs 

“The workshop supplemented our studies related to environmental stewardship and helped students understand what compost is. They particularly loved the exploratory part of the garden where they got to taste a few different plants.”

“I liked the compost because it smells like lollipops!” 3

2015 Financials 2015 TOTAL EXPENSES $224,246

2015 TOTAL REVENUE $228,793

To request a full copy of the CEC’s unaudited Financial Statements please email 4

Fundraising and Donor Recognition We gratefully acknowledge the financial support from our funders, community partners, and Compost Club members who help us to deliver high quality educational programming within our vibrant Capital Regional District. In addition to funds received from the Capital Regional District and the City of Victoria, the following sources of funding were obtained in 2015:


Individual Donors

Cash and In-kind Donations

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Capital Regional District City of Victoria Province of British Columbia United Way Greater Victoria 1% For The Planet Foundation Flow Through Fund Horne Coupar Law Hummingbird Foundation Victoria Foundation HRDCS (Canada Student Summer Jobs Program)

Additional Revenue       

Organic Plant Sale Sales of composters Event Fundraising School programs Community workshops Memberships Donations

Arash Baradaran Connie Charnell David Greig Catherine Ince Shauna Johnson Roy Kendall Wendy O’Connor Ann Peters Grace Seabrook Amity Skala Sarah Zimmermann John Sutherland

Black Press Chatterblock D.I.Y Fungi Hoyne Brewery Big Barn Garden Centre Borden Mercantile Ellice Recycle Danica Nursery Dig This Fernwood NRG Fernwood Community Association Garden Works Little Elf Garden Centre Meadow Oak Nursery Soap Exchange Mason Street City Farm Van Isle Water Systems

Summary of Programs and Services In 2015, the Compost Education Centre (CEC) delivered 107 school presentations to 2726 children from preschool to Grade 12, and facilitated 35 community workshops on topics from Composting Basics to Soil Science 101and Mushroom Garden Pathways. Over 6,500 Capital Regional District (CRD) residents visited the CEC’s demonstration site or participated in one of its 44 educational community events and compost demonstrations. The CEC hosted five core community events in 2015, including a Spring and Fall Organic Plant Sale, Rainwater Harvesting Education Day , Soil Education Day and Mushroom Education Day. The CEC supported the first year of the Capital Region-wide food waste ban by heavily promoting on-site food waste diversion using backyard composting and food waste digesters and increasing our services to the rural regions of Sooke and the Gulf Islands. The CEC reached a total of 183,785 residents in 2015through all avenues of our educational mandate, an increase of 200% from 2011. Since 1992, the GVCEC has made over 1,015,858 contacts with CRD residents.!



Board of Directors

Executive Director: Marika Smith Site Manager: Alysha Punnett Office Manager: Clare Pepper Education Coordinator: Jen Storey Summer Intern: Emily Bellinger

Chair: Nik Hill Vice Chair: Doug Mutch Treasurer: David Neate Secretary: Jelena Putnik Member at large: Tamara Chirovsky Capital Regional District Representative: Wendy Dunn

Message from the Executive Director The Compost Education Centre is about to have its 24th birthday, and during that time we have grown into a trusted and valuable community resource hub for urban food production, soil conservation and on-site composting. Together with our dedicated staff, Board of Directors and fabulous volunteers, we annually reach over 180,000 CRD residents with our educational services and practical solutions for living more sustainably. In 2015 we launched a new school workshop called Soil Superstars for grades 1-3. Together as a class, the children learn how soil is part of the food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the houses we live in! Hands-on, discovery-based activities connect youth to the ground beneath our feet while encouraging them to become soil stewards. We believe that we can grow the seeds of community through accessible and valuable education programs that empower CRD residents to become more self-sufficient and lower their carbon footprint. The CEC is proud to be an educational resource for composting, organic food growing and teaching children and adults to be stewards of our beautiful and diverse natural resources. We look forward to another fruitful year and welcome everyone to our beautiful urban oasis in the heart of Fernwood in Victoria BC.


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