SUMMER 2011 EDITION
Celebrating Victoria’s commitment to green living
Special Advertising Feature to: Victoria News • Oak Bay News • Saanich News • Goldstream News Gazette • Peninsula News Review
scene Published by:
Group Publisher Penny Sakamoto Section editor Jennifer Blyth LAYOUT & DESIGN Lily Chan director, advertising sales Oliver Sommer Circulation Director Bruce Hogarth Cover image courtesy of Thiago Silva
Table of Contents Getting Outside? Play it Safe!........................ 3 Going Green at Royal Roads.......................... 4 EcoStar Youth Leader...................................... 6 Give Your Septic System a Check-up............. 7 Newspaper Tales.............................................. 8 Sustainable Tourism at Royal Roads............. 9 Island Builders Embrace Green Design.......10 Low-Maintenance Gardening........................11 Home Efficiency Grants.................................12
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Carbon & Energy Leadership........................14 Fruit Tree Project............................................16 LiveSmart BC..................................................17 Green Drinks Victoria....................................18 Royal Roads’ Solar Studies...........................19 Calendar of Green Events.............................20 Backyard Composting....................................21 Kids’ Page.......................................................22 Jennifer Blyth photo
ends September 30/11
818 Broughton St Victoria, B.C. Canada, V8W 1E4 250-381-3484 www.blackpress.ca
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2 • COMMUNITY GREEN SCENE • AUGUST 2011
Capital Regional District
Getting outside this summer? Play it safe!
t’s time for summer fun — camping trips, a month at the cottage, or just a day at the lake! Being outside, however, means we use more of our portable devices — flashlights, propane cook stoves, motor oil for the boat. Though this can be fun, it can also spell trouble for the environment when it comes to disposing of the batteries, propane bottles and oil containers we’ve used to power these items.
Using more outdoor devices means we’re using more household hazardous wastes (HHW), which can be hard on the very environment we’re enjoying during our holidays. Household hazardous waste is any waste from your home that contains toxic chemicals, including oils, paints, cleaners, pesticides, chemicals and batteries. These products are not only harmful to the environment to produce, they can also lead to health problems in people and animals if accidentally inhaled or ingested. A prime example is the small fire that started at Hartland landfill in late July. Batteries which had been disposed of in the general garbage stream exploded; the fire spread to surrounding garbage, creating a hazard for landfill workers and the environment. “Batteries and other hazardous wastes that are incorrectly disposed of represent a significant danger to Hartland landfill employees, contractors and customers,” said Hartland Operations Manager Tom Watkins. “We want to see the public, Hartland staff, and our region’s environment benefit from more source separation of hazardous materials.” So what to do with the household hazardous wastes we’ve acquired during our summer festivities? Every year, the Household Hazardous Waste Management Program at the CRD safely diverts several hundred tonnes of materials that are flammable, corrosive or poisonous. It’s all collected from residences at Hartland’s recycling facility and at collection events
around the region. You can bring your household hazardous waste to the recycling area at Hartland for free drop-off. Household hazardous wastes should be transported in labelled, sealed containers, and require safe, responsible handling. Once they have been turned over to the Hazardous Waste attendants at Hartland, wastes are stored then given to appropriate facilities for treatment or disposal. No matter what your outdoor plans are this summer, be it a canoe trip north or a camp out in the back yard, watch for hazardous products in the usual places around your home: in the campsite, the car, the first aid kit or the boat. And remember, when sourcing new materials for your next trip, choose natural products and rechargeable batteries that are less hazardous to our environment. That way, you can enjoy the great outdoors and take care of it at the same time! To learn more about the Household Hazardous Waste program, resources or events, visit www.crd.bc.ca/waste/hhw/ products.htm or call the CRD Hotline at 250-360-3030.
Our natural environment is no place for household hazardous waste. Like us, the plants and animals that live in our region thrive in a clean and healthy environment. So we never put pesticides, varnishes, paints, chemicals or batteries in with our garbage or down a drain. Instead, we’ll be taking them to an authorized depot. It feels good to know we’re doing our part to keep our environment free from hazardous waste. Find a depot near you at: www.crd.bc.ca/hhw or contact the CRD Hotline at 250.360.3030.
COMMUNITY GREEN SCENE • AUGUST 2011 • 3
Going green at Royal
Silver secured, but sights are set on gold By Jennifer Blyth Black Press
ast year, Royal Roads University achieved the highest rating among all universities in its group in an international sustainability tracking program.
Thanks to its many initiatives, ranging from energy conservation to innovative education programming, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s STARS program – Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System – awarded the university a prestigious silver rating. Looking ahead, and building on already significant milestones which include becoming carbon neutral in 2010, the university is aiming for a gold rating in three years, and to go “off the grid” by 2018 – self-sufficient in energy, waste and water. It’s all in a day’s work – or school – for the Colwood university. Royal Roads strives every day to be a recognized leader for sustainable stewardship of its historic lands, notes Royal Roads’ Associate Vice President Steve Grundy. As former dean of the School of Environment and Sustainability, Grundy oversaw development of environmental programs and championed sustainability among students, faculty and staff, drafting the university’s first sustainability plan and establishing the Office of Sustainability. Royal Roads is working to reduce net Greenhouse Gas emissions by 50 per cent of 2007 levels by 2020, and
4 • COMMUNITY GREEN SCENE • AUGUST 2011
Royal Roads gardener Blair MacDonald tends the grounds at the university, just one area where the campus is “going green.” from these and other experiences, aims to identify best practices and be a leader in sustainability. “Since the inception of Royal Roads in 1995, sustainability has been a founding principle – along with Leadership, Conflict Resolution and Entrepreneurship,” says Nancy Wilkin, Director of the Office of Sustainability, pointing to the Environmental Stewardship and the Corporate Social Responsibility policies, which guide the university’s daily actions in an environmentally sustainable manner. “Sustainability is comprehensive at Royal Roads University – it covers the environmental (greenhouse gas emissions and stewardship), social (a Cultural Values Assessment was completed in 2010), and economic.” Continuing to look for ways to extend its sustainability, the newly opened Learning and Innovation Centre building was completed to LEED Gold standard and the college received more than $1 million last year for energy retrofits, including solar panels for hot water heating. A partnership with the City of Colwood on its Solar Colwood Project also includes funding for faculty and student research. (See related story, page 19) Key to the university’s success is that it’s nimble,
Wilkin suggests. When experts expressed concern that people were not educated about carbon – carbon credits and carbon finance in particular – within three months a new certificate called Carbon and Energy Leadership was available in the Continuing Studies department – open to the public, Wilkin points out. (See story page 14) In addition, the Centre for Applied Learning and Management created a new Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Community Development, whose first students created a Climate Action and Sustainability plans for the City of Colwood. This local partnership is appreciated by students. “The students continually state how meaningful their projects are when they are directly related to real needs of the community,” Wilkin says. “When our students become alumni and go back to their communities around the world (they) look for collaboration in their communities, with their employers, or with their local universities and colleges.” Moving forward, transportation will be a focus for Royal Roads as the most recent study showed that 90 per cent of commuters travelled in single-occupancy vehicles, Grundy says. However, a recent student referendum supported mandatory participation in the public transit
U-Pass system for all full-time on-campus campus donors such as alumni, who donate in part based on the carbon emissions assostudents. “The U-Pass is part of the campus pro- ciated with their transportation to and from gram to reduce the number of single-occu- campus, SAFE supports projects aimed at pant vehicles coming to campus,” Wilkin reducing environmental impacts. Thanks to these and other initiatives, says. “Other initiatives include the construction of a bus turnaround at the top of the paired with the university’s excellence in campus, enhancing bus service to RRU, academic programming and research, the enhancing the carpool program, promoting students and university have been able to Rideshare, and enhancing and promoting create partnerships in the local community, with more and more sustainability-related cycling.” student projects sponAssessment work is sored by local companies under way for the Wetand government. land Restoration Proj“We are extremely forect, thanks to a $19,000 Royal Roads University was tunate to be a univercontribution by the Vancarbon neutral in 2010! sity on a National Hiscouver Foundation and toric Site. Our campus is $11,000 from the Pacific unique and inspiring and Salmon Foundation, and the university is launching a new Graduate it is very important to all of us at the university that we are excellent stewards,” Grundy Certificate on Ecology and Management. Appropriately, sustainability ideas and says. “We are also fortunate in that we are initiatives come from the student body as situated in a municipality that has declared well as from administration. With its active similar goals and we look forward to worksustainability committee, the Royal Roads ing very closely with our neighbours on University Student Association leads Earth future projects to help us be a showcase for Day activities, conducts garbage audits and a sustainable community.” And looking ahead three years, with those is leading the implementation of the BC $1 million in energy retrofits in place, forget Transit UPASS program, Grundy notes. In addition, graduate students in the silver in the STARS program – “we hope to Masters in Environment and Management reach gold!” Learn more about Royal Roads sustainestablished the Sustainability Action For the Environment (SAFE) Fund to promote ability initiatives – and find plenty of ideas environmental education and action. With and inspiration – at its new Sustainability funds coming from students, staff and off- website, firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you know?
TIDELINES CURRENTS, CONVERGENCE, CHANGE
Environmental literacy and sustainable practices are no longer ripples in our conversations about ecology; they’re powerful tides helping us to erode previous misconceptions. At Royal Roads University, sustainability is one of our founding principles and we’ve made it our responsibility to navigate towards environmental awareness. With over 300 courses, discussions, and events on our Continuing Studies Calendar, we’re working together towards a mutually sustainable existence for all. Visit us at www.royalroads.ca/continuing-studies to find our “Green Learning” programs, or call 250-391-2600 ext 4801 or 1-866-890-0220
Royal Roads’ new Learning and Innovation Centre building was completed to LEED Gold standards.
V I C TO R I A B C C A N A DA COMMUNITY GREEN SCENE • AUGUST 2011 • 5
EcoStar youth leader tackles region’s environmental issues When someone displays as much enthusiasm in tackling environmental issues as this year’s youth EcoStar does, it’s easy to feel positive about our green goals. Presented earlier this summer, the Capital Regional District’s 2011 EcoStar Community Environmental Awards celebrated environmental leaders across the region. Among them was this year’s Youth Leader, Kati Walters, who “walks the talk” when it comes to environmental responsibility. Also one of this year’s Black Press “Great Kids,” the Belmont secondary student has been a leader in her school recycling program. Says the CRD, which sponsored the youth award: “When Kati Walters joined the Environment Club at Belmont Secondary School she hadn’t dreamed it would
change her entire view on recycling.” Volunteering first for a Pacific Mobile Depot recycling initiative, Kati then joined her school’s Environment Club and participated in the creation of school recycling stations. In addition, Kati taught classes on recycling and held lunchtime events to encourage sustainable behaviours. Adding to the scope of her green endeavors, Kati has volunteered at her school’s Earth Day celebrations and the West Shore’s Off-the-Grid Festival, at an Environmental Youth Summit with YESBC and with Climate Action West Shore. “Her environmental efforts have made a significant difference to waste reduction and recycling at Belmont Secondary and have earned her praise from across the region,” the CRD notes.”
2011 EcoStar Award Recipients
Waste Reduction: Lighthouse Brewing Company Integrated Watershed Management: Jawl Investment Corporation Water Stewardship: Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre
In addition to youth leader Kati Walters, the 2011 EcoStar awards honoured the following businesses, groups and individuals:
Kati Walters at one of the Pacific Mobile Recycling days at Belmont Secondary. Climate Action: Clean Air Landscaping Climate Action Non-Profit: Recreation Oak Bay Land Stewardship: Adrena LINE Zipline Adventure Tours
Jennifer Blyth photo
Land Stewardship Non-Profit: Friends Uniting for Nature Society Community Environmental Leader: Mark F. Salter Waste Reduction Non-Profit: Downtown Victoria Business Association
A New Choice for Victoria Royal Oak Burial Park is the first cemetery in Canada to offer green burial. Natural or green burial is a statement of personal values for those who, just as they lived their lives, seek to minimize their impact on the local and global environment at their death. Human remains are prepared for green burial without embalming and are buried directly in the ground in a fully biodegradable casket or alternative container. Natural burial is available exclusively at Royal Oak Burial Park in an area called the Woodlands.
We welcome your visit to the Burial Park to see the Woodlands or visit us online.
4673 Falaise Drive 6 • COMMUNITY GREEN SCENE • AUGUST 2011
250-658-5621 • www.robp.ca
Capital Regional District
An Apple a Day… Give Your Septic System a Check-up
t may not be visible, hidden under your lawn, but your septic system plays a big role in the daily functioning of your home. Keeping it happy and healthy, through an annual check-up, will ensure you don’t end up with an expensive problem in your yard and keep the repair doctor at bay.
Septic systems, also known as onsite sewage systems, are a great treatment option when designed, installed and maintained properly. Lack of maintenance, such as regular pump-outs, is the number one cause of failure. A failing system can result in contamination of groundwater, local streams and lakes as well as shellfish beds and other sensitive water bodies. Regular maintenance will protect your system, nearby residents and ecosystems. Maintenance is also a great insurance policy for the worth of your home and property. View Royal, Saanich, Langford and Colwood have taken the lead: under CRD Bylaw 3479, septic systems in these municipalities require septic pump-outs every five years. If you haven’t pumped out your tank recently, take the time to make an appointment today! The bylaw requires that owners with Type 1 systems (septic tanks) pump out their system every five years. For example, a 2007 pumpout is required to pump again by 2012. If you haven’t pumped out the contents of your tank since 2006 you are now due. The septage receiving facility will notify the CRD of your pump-out; it’s a good idea to keep your receipt as proof of service. Owners of Type 2 or Type 3 systems (often package treatment plants) are required to maintain their system according to the maintenance plan for the system, and ensure it is maintained by an Authorized Person at least once per calendar year. A form will be completed by the Authorized Person and sent to the CRD. You should keep a copy of this form for your records. Homeowners are also encouraged to have an inspection before pumping their
system. The inspector will examine each component of the system and determine if it is structurally sound and functioning correctly and that all mechanical and electrical parts are in good working order. Components can then be cleaned as required and any necessary repairs carried out. Many typical problems can be repaired with some maintenance work, but ignoring problems can result in the need for costly repairs or replacement of the system. Finally, it’s a good idea to hire a registered practitioner. In BC, Registered Onsite Wastewater Practitioners (ROWP) with education and experience in onsite sewage system construction and maintenance are registered with the Applied Science Technologists & Technicians of BC. If you have questions or need assistance regarding ROWPs, you can call 1.877.456. ROWP (7697).
A healthy environment starts in our own back yard. That’s why we’ve made the commitment to maintain our septic system on a regular basis. Our properly maintained system will last decades longer, and over time will likely save us thousands in repairs.
Want to learn more? The CRD offers Septic Savvy workshops around the region. Learn how to protect the environment, your community’s health and save money! For more information on septic systems or to register for upcoming workshops please contact the CRD Hotline at 250-360-3030 or email@example.com.
To find out more about septic system maintenance and bylaws, or to sign up for a free workshop, please visit www.crd.bc.ca/septic or contact the CRD Hotline at 250.360.3030.
Stay informed about your septic system.
Now that a bylaw is in effect in Saanich, Colwood, Langford & View Royal, stay informed about the requirements for your septic system at www.crd.bc.ca/septic
COMMUNITY GREEN SCENE • AUGUST 2011 • 7
A newspaper viewed in a whole new way! By Jennifer Blyth Black Press
A newspaper is more than a shiny window!” says Muriel Ward, known by many for her years at the helm of Muriel’s Sew & Serge before her 2007 retirement. Her motto: “rethink, re-use, recycle.”
Rather than simply recycle her community newspaper, Ward prefers to take it one step further, re-using it before recycling it, and in the process, reducing her reliance on additional products. “The colourful flyers and comics I use to wrap gifts from the garden, party gifts and to line baskets,” Ward says. In addition, with her two shredders, a cross-cut and a string-cut, Ward shreds and stores the paper to use as summer mulch for weed control. When turning and rebuilding the compost, the shredded paper offers
a thick layer between garden trimmings, and in late fall the fuchsias are put to bed in a thick comfort of shredded paper. Protecting her garden’s blooms for next year, dahlia tubers are also nested in the paper for storage. Need even more innovative – and cost-saving – ideas? “I bag up packing bags when I need to add (filler) to parcels – it’s lightweight and free!” Planning a trip? Continue those 3 Rs by cutting out and saving puzzles to keep you busy when travelling, Ward suggests.
Tell us all about it!
How do you re-use your newspaper? Black Press wants to hear all your great ideas and home projects – email your ideas/project, with photos if possible, to Jennifer Blyth at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Sustainability is a key component to Royal Roads’ tourism programs.
Royal Roads explores sustainable tourism
s anyone in Greater Victoria knows, tourism is big business here on the West Coast.
So is sustainability. In keeping with Royal Roads University’s guiding philosophies, its School of Tourism and Hospitality blends both. Not only does the college offer a Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Tourism as a component of its MA in Tourism Management, but several graduates have also completed their Graduate Research Papers on sustainable tourism topics, notes Brian White. Sarai Danby’s exploration of how sustainable initiatives benefit B.C. guest ranches won the prestigious Pat Corbett Award at With Royal Roads’ $1 million the BC Tourism Industry conference. Other in energy retrofit and solar graduate research focusing on southern initiatives, the campus will see Vancouver Island includes culinary tourism a reduction of 20 per cent of its and mountain bike tourism development greenhouse gasses, in addition in the Cowichan Valley. In the undergraduate BA International to substantial utility savings, Tourism Management, Dr. Geoffrey Bird says Nancy Wilkin, Director of includes a Green Key Audit of Victoria the Office of Sustainability. hotels, providing a service to the hotel industry, and Valerie Sheppard has developed and teaches a unique course in Tourism Ethics. White himself is conducting research in Sustainable Cultural Tourism for First Nations in Clayoquot Sound, and has also been involved in establishing the B.C. Garden Tourism Coalition, to promote garden inspired tourism particularly on southern Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.
Did you know?
TOURISM IN A WHOLE NEW WAY.
You are ethical, fiscally responsible, and demand sustainable solutions. Your industry should share your values. At Royal Roads University’s School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, you can drive the change. Gain specialized knowledge while enhancing your leadership skills through an MA in Tourism Management, a BA in International Hotel Management, or one of our intensive graduate certificate programs: Destination Development, Sustainable Tourism, Hospitality Management, and Tourism Leadership. Our flexible learning model lets you choose a learning style to fit your schedule. Study online or on-campus. Going back to school doesn’t mean giving up your life. Learn more at www.royalroads.ca or contact our Enrolment Advisors: firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-877-778-6227.
V I C TO R I A B C C A N A DA COMMUNITY GREEN SCENE • AUGUST 2011 • 9
On the Homefront Island builders embrace green design
By Jennifer Blyth Black Press
rom materials and colours to layout and technology, home design and construction reflects the times we live in.
It’s little surprise then, that one of the most significant trends in the home building industry involves environmental initiatives that reduce both the impact of the home’s construction and its ongoing operation. Honouring these environmental achievements – along with the best in home design and construction on the Island – are the 2011 CARE Awards, hosted by the Canadian Home Builders’ Associations of Vancouver Island. And in fact, while some of the projects stand out in their specific categories, environmental considerations are a factor in most of the awards categories, notes Casey Edge, executive officer for CHBA-Victoria. “These criteria include Built Green level or R2000, energy efficiency, water conservation, recycling, effective land use and compatibility with the environment. Entrants can score additional points by addressing these areas in their project statements,” Edge says. “CARE Awards finalists and Gold winners normally contain strong elements of environment-friendly practices, which is important for today’s consumers and future generations.” Edge is seeing more Built Green homes on the Island and in addition to increased energy efficiency, “we are seeing more use of solar panels, cisterns, natural materials and local vegetation in landscaping,” Edge says, noting one particular project that is entirely “off the grid.” “Of course there are costs for this, but it shows what is possible in the area of sustainability.” Recognizing both indoor and outdoor excellence, CARE Awards judges narrowed the field to five silver finalists for the award for Outdoor Environmental Achievement. (Gold winners will be announced at the awards gala in September). In its 62-home Qualicum Landing housing development, Palladium Developments has reclaimed the seawall and returned the beachfront to its natural state. A fish-bearing stream has been rejuvenated and, working in conjunction with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, the salmon have returned to spawn. Initiatives included removing invasive species and replanting with indigenous species. Water-wise native plants are used throughout the site and wherever possible the natural tree habitat was maintained. A state-of-the-art septic treatment plant has treated water going through a number of filters to be recycled and reused across the road to irrigate a farmer’s field. Caporale Construction – also recognized in the Indoor Environmental Achievement category – tackled an extremely challenging sloped lot by creating a home that is narrow but longer 10 • COMMUNITY GREEN SCENE • AUGUST 2011
Palladium Developments’ Qualicum Landing
to accommodate the view and maximize sunlight throughout the day. Although trees were cut during home construction, many were either protected or left untouched, while others were limbed to allow views and sunlight. Trees felled to accommodate construction were milled and used for all exterior posts, post caps, timber framing at the entry, fireplace mantel, cedar walkway and the railing in the garden terrace. Similarly, rock, sandstone and slate blasted on site was used for interior and exterior design features. Water is drawn from a 500-foot-deep well while drip irrigation on timers and rain barrels allow water conservation. Artisan Properties’ Chemainus Garden Holiday Resort project set out to refurbish the acreage of ponds and gardens to accommodate long-stay RV resort living, similar to parks in Arizona and California. Today the park has more than 90 per cent of its lands dedicated to green space. With environmental and civil engineers – plus plenty of hard work – the project cleared years of accumulated debris, restored existing buildings and gardens for public use, adding new trails and bridges, and managed storm water through a series of ponds. M. Knight Construction’s Windward Oaks created a beautiful home on a challenging pie-shaped lot site that included a copse
Continued on Page 12
Top: Artisan Properties’ Chemainus Garden Holiday Resort; Bottom: Caporale Construction’s silver finalist. Photos courtesy Canadian Home Builders’ Association/CARE Awards
Capital Regional District
Cultivating a Low-Maintenance Relationship with your Garden
n our region, we enjoy long days of sun and very little rain during the summer months. This is because most of the Capital Region exists under a rain shadow, which creates a dry, Mediterranean-like climate. Fortunately, our region’s native plants are well adapted to summer drought conditions. Our rare native ecosystems, such as Garry oak meadows and older Coastal Douglas fir forests, thrive naturally on little or no rainfall during the summer. In fact, many of these species actually do most of their growing in winter: Garry Oaks increase their roots and flowering bulbs send up next year’s leaves. In summer, they go dormant; that’s why they can survive on so little water during the warmest months. Dry conditions can be tough on plants that are used to wetter conditions, such as the cultivated, European annuals and perennials many of us use in our gardens. This increases our seasonal water needs and can result in the escape of non-native plants into natural areas, where they overwhelm native ecosystems. Want to work with nature, save water and still enjoy a beautiful view throughout the growing season? You can help protect and enlarge native habitats and promote wise water use by creating a beautiful, lowmaintenance naturescape garden in your own yard using drought-tolerant plants. Native plants, such as Oregon Grape, Snowberry, native grasses and flowers thrive once established in our gardens, helping to strengthen our native ecosystems. This helps our region practice good water conservation habits, protect park ecology and care for our watersheds. Native plants also create corridors of habitat and food sources for beneficial insects and wildlife. Just remember, avoid using pesticides and feed the soil, not the plant, through use of organic compost and leaf mulch. Create mini-habitats for wildlife by leaving leaves on garden beds rather than raking, by converting your lawn to a native
& GARDEN EASY
& GARDEN EASY
When it comes to gardening, we’re sticking close to home. Mary Sanseverino photo
wildflower meadow, or by leaving brush and rock piles for birds and amphibians. Attend a free native plant gardening workshop offered through the CRD. Join a native plant salvage program to rescue native plants from development sites and you could even acquire native plants for free. The CRD is committed to environmental protection and stewardship and is promoting sustainable gardening practices through drought-tolerant native plantings. Fall is an ideal time to plant native plants. CRD Water Ambassadors will be at local nurseries this season giving out free native plant seeds, showcasing native plants and their benefits and demonstrating gardening and water saving tips you can practice at home. A list of native and drought tolerant plants and workshop dates is also available on the CRD website: www.crd.bc.ca/nativeplants. Get out this fall and garden for the health of our watersheds and our native species!
At our place, we’re gardening with native, drought-tolerant plants like Red Flowering Currant, Nootka Rose and Snowberry to create a natural landscape. That means we don’t use pesticides, and over the summer, we use little or no water to keep things looking beautiful. Our yard attracts butterflies, hummingbirds and bees and works with nature, not against it. Want to learn more about native plants and attend a free native plant workshop? Visit www.crd.bc.ca/growlocal. NATIVE PLANTS of the CAPITAL REGION
COMMUNITY GREEN SCENE • AUGUST 2011 • 11
On the Homefront
4 steps to home efficiency grants
Continued from Page 10 of weathered oak trees requiring protection and 500 feet of West Coast beach. While the oaks were protected during construction, indigenous plants were removed and later returned. The design goal was to ensure privacy, maximize sunlight inside and out, and provide panoramic ocean views from all areas, without forgetting the functional requirements of the outdoor areas. Geothermal heating from eight wells drilled into the bedrock heats every floor in the house, and preheats domestic water. Incorporating the home into it environment, the design embraces beach elements such as pebbles, natural vegetation and natural landscaping materials, with irrigation provided by an under-garage cistern that captures water. Embracing its original topography, InSight Holdings’ Thornbridge at Longwood has been transformed into a unique, pedestrian-friendly, garden-style village. An elegant collection of space-saving, energy-efficient homes, Thornbridge sits among 50 acres of landscaped grounds. Design criteria included buffering Thornbridge from existing and future neighbours, achieved with landscaping that included large-scale trees and protected natural areas, home to a variety of birds and small wildlife. Water is an important visual and sound element repeated throughout the community, and the project’s natural pool and waterfall contributes to its peaceful, tranquil setting.
M. Knight Construction’s Windward Oaks InSight Holdings’ Thornbridge at Longwood
Planning renovations to your home? Make them energy-efficient renovations and take advantage of the return of the $400 million federal ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes program. Even better, homeowners participating in both the LiveSmart BC and ecoENERGY grant programs can access thousands of dollars in grants to help with the cost of energy upgrades, increasing home comfort, reducing the environmental footprint of their home and more. Benefits to homeowners participating in both the home energy grant programs include accessing thousands of dollars in grants to help with the cost of energy upgrades, reducing energy bills, increasing home comfort, enhancing home re-sale value and feeling good about reducing the environmental footprint of their home. Homeowners wishing to access the federal and provincial grants follow a simple four step process: 1. Register with Natural Resources Canada at http://oee. nrcan.gc.ca/residential/personal/registration.cfm or 1-877953-5454; 2. Get an energy assessment with a Certified Energy Advisor to identify and prioritize energy upgrade opportunities; 3. Perform the energy efficiency upgrades of your choice; 4. Have a post-retrofit assessment to verify the work and apply for the grants (your Certified Energy Advisor handles the paperwork for you). Note that not all homes are eligible. For details about the grants and eligibility criteria call City Green at 1-866-381-9995 or visit www.citygreen.ca
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12 • COMMUNITY GREEN SCENE • AUGUST 2011
Builders honoured for Indoor Environmental Achievement
n addition to Caporale Construction’s entry (highlighted on page 10), which also earned silver finalist nods for Exterior Environmental Achievement, CARE Awards judges have honoured three others as finalists for their Indoor Environmental Achievements. T.S. Williams ConstrucThe Huntington tion’s Dock House is a quaint residence perched on stilts over the ocean. In addition to low-flow plumbing, water-based paint and stains, granite tiles and EnergyStar appliances, eco-friendly initiatives include hand-scraped reclaimed fir floors, timbers sustainably harvested from second-growth forests and a charming fireplace clad in locally sourced stone. Constructed with structural insulated panels, the home also features soy-based spray foam under the floors to help maintain warmth underfoot, with additional efficiencies from a high-efficiency HRV system and low-e windows. T.S. Williams and the Interior Design Group were also recognized for their Huntington project, with efficiencies ranging from low-flow plumbing fixtures, LED lighting and EnergyStar appliances to geothermal heating from a WaterFurnace heat pump providing zoned heating and cooling to specific areas of the home as required. A built-in desuperheater allows the heating system to
produce a percentage of the home’s hot water, while water conservation is further maximized by harvesting rainwater in five 2,000 gallon cisterns below the home. By using a variety of filtration and technologies, all rainwater is used for 100-per-cent domestic purposes. Low-e windows and skylights were designed to harness natural light late into the day, minimizing reliance on artificial lighting, while additional eco-friendly features include soy-based insulation, wind-fallen timber beams, an engineered wood ceiling, wool carpeting and bamboo floors. A Built Green Platinum home with an EnerGuide rating of 89, Icon Development’s Rainforest project was sited to maximize solar exposure for natural lighting. Homeowners enjoy additional energy efficiencies from a 10” exterior wall, HRV and air source heat pump., plus drain water heat recovery, solar hot water preheating and collected rain water used for the duel flush toilets. VOC-free paints, 100-per-cent-wool carpet with recycled underlay and formaldehyde-free insulation aids indoor air quality. Technology includes lights that can be switched off remotely via smart phone. The engineered stone countertop uses recycled glass while local materials such as reclaimed beams and custom vanities crafted from leftover wood minimize reliance
FIND WESTHILLS... ...FIND QUALITY
Top: T.S. Williams’ Dock House; Bottom: Icon Development’s Rainforest on products that need to travel long distances. Leftover materials are futher used on other projects from the company’s inhouse recycling/reusing program.
As built home may not appear exactly as illustrated.
Access to acres of open space, trails and lakes Built Green Gold with an Energuide Rating of 89 Community - Rich Lifestyle
SUPERIOR FINISHING THROUGHOUT
SPORTING FACILITIES AND SCHOOLS
CLOSE TO LAKES AND HIKING TRAILS
EASY ACCESS TO LOCAL AMENITIES
Affordability - for the Home and access to wonderful local Amenities Shopping and Recreation From Veterans Memorial Parkway turn onto the Langford Parkway, drive past City Centre Park and follow the signs.
See WesthillsBC.com or contact 250-889-4445 COMMUNITY GREEN SCENE • AUGUST 2011 • 13
Royal Roads University
Carbon & Energy Leadership: One-of-a-kind environmental education By Jennifer Blyth Black Press
n the fast-changing world of energy efficiency, carbon emissions and renewable energy, an effective education program has to keep up with the times.
Royal Roads University’s Carbon and Energy Leadership Certificate program, offered through Continuing Studies, does just that. “The RRU Carbon and Energy Leadership Certificate is the only one of its kind in Canada, and builds on both the strength of the RRU faculty and the expertise available in the British Columbia, which is leading the way in North America in terms of carbon policies and programs,” explains Hilary Leighton, Director, of Royal Roads Continu14 • COMMUNITY GREEN SCENE • AUGUST 2011
ing Studies. Designed by Leighton and Dr. Charles Krusekopf, and taught by leading experts from Royal Roads’ School of Environment and Sustainability, and others from provincial and local governments, nongovernment organizations and private business, the program offers “flexible delivery options and can be taken either online or face to face or in a combination of both.” Welcoming students from all sectors, the program features short, comprehensive, non-credit courses that help build awareness and broaden understanding and development of carbon and energy leadership. Taking what they’ve learned and applying it in the community, graduates will influence change and lead environmental action in areas ranging from green energy to understanding climate change.
Among the areas of study: • Hands-on learning opportunities in the fields of energy-efficiency, alternative energy, and carbon management; • How behavioural choices and values drive and impact environmental issues; • Developing a carbon emissions reduction project for the community, home or organization; • Technologies and management practices for energy efficiency, renewable energy and clean energy solutions; • Strategies to overcome financial and organizational barriers to initiating energy projects; • The larger context of energy production, distribution and use, and new ways to reduce energy use and develop or use low carbon sources of energy • Innovative ways of working within communities to lead environmental adaptation and mitigation;
• The full environmental and social costs of products and decisions, and green financing; • Economic aspects of global climate change with a focus on emissions taxes and carbon markets; • Carbon management for companies, consultants and policy-makers; • How to develop and buy carbon credits. New for 2011-2012, the program is expanding to include both on-campus and online courses, and, in response to public response, will add modules on transportation and forest carbon, Leighton says. Planning is also under way for a oneweek intensive Carbon and Energy Leadership Summer Institute next June, offering students further opportunity to gain knowledge and leadership skills to move toward a low-car-
bon future. This ability to respond to current environmental objectives and interests helps “build a profound professional understanding of the new carbon economy at a critical time in our history,” Leighton suggests, pointing to additional benefits such as flexible delivery, leading edge, intelligent design, and the respected industry experts and educators teaching. And for students, in a very practical sense, the short applied and experiential courses also allow for a work/life balance. Students interested in exploring options for earning university credits through successful completion of the Carbon and Energy Leadership Certificate and additional academic work should contact the RRU Continuing Studies office for more information.
SO CLOSE AND GO SO FAR.
You don’t have to leave Victoria to move forward on your career path. At Royal Roads University, we offer options you can’t find anywhere else in the country. Tourism and Hospitality, Environment and Sustainability, or Business, Communications, Education, Leadership, or Conflict and Disaster Management – we’ve got a program for whatever interests you, so you can get ahead while staying close to home. Our flexible admissions process allows us to add your real world experience to your formal education, so you can follow your passion in our blended face-to-face and online programs without sacrificing your work or family life. Check us out at www.royalroads.ca then chat with an Enrolment Advisor to email@example.com, or call 250-391-2528.
V I C TO R I A B C C A N A DA COMMUNITY GREEN SCENE • AUGUST 2011 • 15
LifeCycles Fruit Tree Project
Don’t let your fruit go to waste! The Fruit Tree Project is under way in Victoria.
Turning fruit tree extras into food for others
f you have more plums and apples ripening on your fruit trees than your family can use, it doesn’t need to go to waste.
*R*UHHQ )LOO\RXUERRWV BuiltGreen TM Geothermal New Homes In Beautiful Sooke BC Geothermal heating, air conditioning & hot water Built Green rated Gold Energuide rated +80 EnergyStar appliance package 6 Beautiful Plans Steps to Schools, Parks, & Shopping From $384,900 net HST included
Linda & Bruce MacMillan
C A M O S U N
16 • COMMUNITY GREEN SCENE • AUGUST 2011
In the pursuit of health & beauty what you put on your hair is as important as what you put in your mouth… 11th annual
Gorge Waterway Clea Cleanup Join us Saturday September 17 from 9 am - 12 pm
The Gorge Cleanup event has a history of retrieving over 2 tons of debris as a result of tremendous volunteer efforts and generous community sponsorship. Phone Sandy at 250-388-5251 or visit www.burnsidegorge.ca to register as a volunteer, register as an organizational team or provide in-kind sponsorship. Burnside Gorge Community Association ting ra
Jennifer Blyth photo
Through the LifeCycles Fruit Tree Project, volunteers are turning backyard fruit trees into valuable sources of food for the community, harvesting fruit from private trees that would otherwise go unused. Harvesting local trees since 2000, LifeCycles’ Fruit Tree Project “links people who have surplus produce in their yards, with people who have the willingness and ability to harvest it, to people and community groups that do not have access to fresh produce,” the organization explains. Generally picked from July through October, fresh cherries, plums, apples, pears and other fruit (or sometimes vegetables) are then distributed through community centres and food banks and shared among volunteer pickers, tree owners and the Fruit Tree Project.
A portion of the fruit is also set aside to make value-added products which help fund the program. The Fruit Tree Project Partnership Program partners with local businesses to create a line of products that would help LifeCycles cover costs. Products have included Quince Paste with the Marina Restaurant – perfect with your favourite cheese – Apple Cider Vinegar, with Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub, Kings and Spies Hard Cider, with Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse and Kickass Plum & Apricot Chutney, with Feys & Hobbs. Tree owners who would like to have their trees picked can sign up for bookings between July 1 and Oct. 31, and volunteers will do their best to reach everyone. Volunteers are also welcomed for picking, helping in the office, and with community outreach – for more information call the LifeCycles office at 250-383-5800.
years of community 1991-2011
• Ammonia free salon • No Sodium Lauryl Sulfate • Nor Parabens • Environmentally friendly colours, perms & smoothing treatments
The Point Hair & Retail Centre 111-2187 Oak Bay Ave
Capital Regional District
Go Green to Get into the Black:
the LiveSmart BC Program
or small businesses in the Capital Region, green is the new black. Thousands of small businesses across BC are already taking action on climate change. Now, more businesses will be putting money back into their cash registers by reducing their energy use. Thanks to an innovative partnership between the CRD, City Green Solutions and the West Shore Chamber of Commerce, the new LiveSmart: Small Business Program is now available in the Capital Region. Businesses from Port Renfrew to Salt Spring Island and everywhere in between can now take advantage of free energy audits and new financial incentives that provide the best return on investment for their unique needs. “We recognize the value that small business brings to our region,” said Larisa Hutcheson, General Manager, CRD Environmental Sustainability. “By providing programs and incentives specifically for small businesses, we are making it easier for them to reduce operating costs and achieve community climate action goals at the same time.” The LiveSmart program was launched in July 2011 and has already seen interest from a wide array of businesses who want to improve comfort, reduce costs and demonstrate environmental leadership. “Each site visit includes an assessment of lighting, windows, doors, hot water and ventilation systems,” explained Peter Sundburg, Executive Director of City Green. “Energy advisors provide businesses with a quick, easy and free way to understand the payback on energy efficiency.” Restaurants, hotels, offices, daycares, and garages are ideal candidates for this program. Commercial property management companies can benefit from assessments of both common spaces and individual tenant units – offering an even more attractive business case for making changes to lighting, heating and building envelopes. Businesses must be privately owned and operated and spend less than $50,000
Through LiveSmart BC, we’re getting paid to save energy. Now that’s a bright idea. per year on their electricity use. The audit provides a customized report on how to access cash rebates on more than 10,000 energy efficient technologies including lighting, refrigeration and commercial cooking equipment. “This program represents an investment in the local, and increasingly, green economy,” added Dan Spinner, Chief Executive Officer for the WestShore Chamber of Commerce. “We know that businesses want to save money; this new program can help make it happen. The Chamber is a proud partner in delivering this program with the CRD and City Green.” Across the province, the LiveSmart BC: Small Business Program is targeted to reach more than 4,000 participants over three years. It is forecasted to save BC small businesses more than $7 million in utility costs each year once complete. Get your business into the black by going green. For more information, eligibility details or to arrange for a free energy assessment of your small business in the Capital Region, please contact 250-4781130.
As business owners in the Capital Region, we’re saving money and reducing energy consumption through the LiveSmart BC: Small Business Program. Our business is receiving a free energy assessment, we’re learning about energy efficiency and we’ll receive utility and provincial grants for energy upgrades we complete. Small business is the backbone of our economy; that’s why, when we work toward climate action goals, we all enjoy the savings.
Book a free business energy assessment today by calling 250.478.1130 or visit www.westshore.bc.ca/livesmartbc.
www.crd.bc.ca COMMUNITY GREEN SCENE • AUGUST 2011 • 17
Mix & mingle with the Green crowd By Jennifer Blyth Black Press When like-minded people come together to share ideas, good things happen. It’s the philosophy that founded the international Green Drinks program, including the local Victoria chapter, linking green-minded individuals interested in sustainability. Founded in 2006 by Roger Colwill, quite simply, “it’s an effort to build a sustainable community; it’s a coming together of people – everyone from university students to players in the government,” explains co-ordinator Christopher Bowers. When Colwill passed away several years ago, his family asked Bowers to take over as coordinator to keep the group’s goals and initiatives going. The group gets together once a month at a local restaurant or bar for casual conversation and meeting of new people. Bowers suggests newcomers think ahead of time what they would like to talk to others about or who they would like to meet. People may want to keep conversations short to give them time to meet more people – you can always come back to the conversation later. Bring business cards, come with the expectation of building relationships and with a genuine curiosity in other people, he advises. And don’t think you need to be outgoing to benefit – just come check it out and Bowers will help with the
introductions – one couple even got married after meeting at Green Drinks Victoria! “I think it’s such a relief for people – like-minded, likehearted people coming together,” he says. “When you enter that room you have a sense that the values of the people are at least similar to yours.” The strength of Green Drinks is in its foundation of networking, both in person and online. Today, Green Drinks Victoria boasts more than 715 members and more than 1,000 on its online list serve. A bi-weekly newsletter also helps members stay current. The local group meets on the second Tuesday of every month at the Office Restaurant and Lounge, next door to the Dalton Hotel on Yates Street. While the gathering is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m., in reality, “you’d be surprised how long people stay around,” Bowers says, adding, “those who come in at 6:30 can sometimes have as good a time as the early birds.”
in the know? • Join the next Green Drinks Victoria gathering Sept. 13 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Office Restaurant and Lounge, next door to the Dalton Hotel, 759 Yates St. • A $5 cover charge is requested to help cover the expenses. • For more info visit http://greendrinksvictoria.ning.com/
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RRU students infuse data into solar study By Amy Dove Royal Roads University
oyal Roads University students are shining a light on solar technology.
Through a partnership with the City of Colwood, students are researching the value of solar thermal heating systems. Funded by a $3.9-million federal grant, Solar Colwood aims to bring discounted solar hot water heating technology into 1,000 homes and businesses over three years among other initiatives. What that means in energy savings is for Royal Roads to find out. The project gives students real-world experience in return for credible research for Colwood, says Nancy Wilkin, Royal Roads Office of Sustainability director. The work also strengthens the value of communities collaborating with local universities, she adds. It’s a partnership the City of Colwood is grateful to have. The work stems from a 2009 memorandum of understanding to allow students to work on city projects as the basis of their major research projects. “Our partnership with Royal Roads is an integral and valuable part of the Solar Colwood program,” says Colwood Coun. Judith Cullington. “Having so many bright minds in the midst of our community means that we can keep up to date on best practices, disseminate the results to the world, and gather new information to help the program and our residents.” Two teams of five Bachelor of Environmental Science students are researching aspects of solar power. One team is developing a baseline monitoring system to record energy savings and monitor the impacts of the project on greenhouse gas
Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science students like Kate Fonteyne and Jordan Kummerfield are exploring solar energy projects through their degrees. Kummerfield is working directly with Solar Colwood, a federally funded clean energy project. Amy Dove photo
emissions, energy use, economic spin-offs and the social acceptance of clean energy concepts. The second team is analyzing the lifecycle of a solar hot water heating system and providing a cost benefit analysis. For student Jordan Kummerfield, it’s satisfying to contribute to a real project. A lot of the work at the bachelor program level is hypothetical or theoretical, he says, but this work is actually going to help the City of Colwood promote its goals. “Our hope is (our work is) going to be a tool kit that other projects can use as a jumping off point to start their own assessment of energy use and clean energy projects.” The end result for the City of Colwood includes a product lifecycle and benefit cost analysis to help residents decide if solar hot water heating systems are worth the investment for them, says student Jari Eikenaar. That analysis will include the payback period on investment and other economical factors. “This project is going to help other communities who are thinking about solar,” Wilkin says. “It’s going to help them communicate with their citizens the actual savings from using solar hot water. This information is just so meaningful.” To learn more about Solar Colwood go to www.solarcolwood.ca
LOCAL Foodie events celebrate the harvest season
arvest season is here and farmers’ markets and farm gate stands are filled with local produce. Foodies and others passionate about locally grown and produced foods can celebrate the harvest with several special events coming up.
The Eat Here Now 2011: Harvest Festival comes to Centennial Square Sept. 11. Organized by the Victoria Downtown Public Market Society, the free, familyfriendly festival takes place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and features some of the region’s best farmers, fishers, butchers, bakers, processors and restaurants. Visitors and participants will enjoy live music from local performers, farm animal viewing, a corn boil, a wild salmon roast
and local restaurants demonstrating how they make the best use of regional produce and value-added food products. For more information visit http://victoriapublicmarket.com The following weekend welcomes one of the region’s favourite annual events, the Vancouver Island Feast of Fields, to the Saanich Peninsula’s Marley Farm. A four-hour gourmet harvest festival and fundraiser for FarmFolkCityFolk, the Sept.
18 event offers the opportunity to taste the best of B.C. from chefs, vintners, brewers, farmers, fishers, ranchers and food artisans. Connecting growers and producers with chefs and home cooks, Feast of Fields highlights the amazing foods being grown and created on the Island and the importance of a sustainable, local food system. Tickets are $85. For more information, visit www.feastoffields.com COMMUNITY GREEN SCENE • AUGUST 2011 • 19
Second Tuesday of the month – Green Drinks Victoria
meets, 5 to 7 p.m.-ish at the Office Restaurant and Lounge, next door to the Dalton Hotel, 759 Yates St.
Sept. 10 – Naturescaping your Garden, 1 to 4 p.m. at the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific. Learn how to attract wildlife and biodiversity to your garden. HCP members $25; non-members $35. FMI: 250-479-6162 or www.hcp.ca Sept. 10, 17 & 24 – Advanced Pruning, 9 a.m. to noon at the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific. From basic pruning techniques to advanced pruning strategies to encourage desirable structure, reduced maintenance and long-term plant health. Bring your secateurs; all other equipment will be supplied. HCP members $90; non-members $125. FMI: 250-479-6162 or www.hcp.ca Sept. 10 – Free Composting Basics workshop, 10 a.m. to noon with the Greater Victoria Compost Education Centre. Preregister at 250-386-9676.
Sept. 10 – Energy Efficiency & Saanich Heritage, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Saanich Municipal Hall. Learn how homeowner can economically improve the energy efficiency of an older home in balance with preserving the heritage character; followed by a presentation by Nick Russell, The Past is Present, stories heritage buildings can tell us. FMI: www.saanich.ca/parkrec/ recreation/alg.html
Sept. 11 – Eat Here Now 2011: Harvest Festival, organized by the Victoria Downtown Public Market Society, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Centennial Square. FMI: firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-216-5433 Sept. 14 – Info Session for the Organic Master Gardener Course, 6:30 p.m. at Royal Roads University, 2005 Sooke Rd. FMI: www. gaiacollege.ca/organic-master-gardener-course.html
Sept. 14 – Info Session – Ecological Landscape Design, 7:30 p.m. at Royal Roads University, 2005 Sooke Rd., FMI: www. gaiacollege.ca/certificate-in-ecological-landscape-design.html. Sept. 17 – Seed Saving, 2 to 4 p.m. with the Greater Victoria Compost Education Centre. Fee: members $10; non-members $15. Pre-register at email@example.com FMI: 250-386-9676.
Sept 17 to 25 – Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup – join a beach clean-up near you! FMI: shorelinecleanup.ca
Sept. 18 – Vancouver Island Feast of Fields, a four-hour gourmet wandering harvest festival at Marley Farm, in support of FarmFolkCityFolk. Taste the very best of B.C. from chefs, vintners, brewers, farmers, fishers, ranchers and food artisans. Tickets in advance $85. FMI: www.feastoffields.com Sept. 25 – How to Create a Winter Garden, 1 to 4:30 p.m. at the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific. HCP members $25; nonmembers $35. FMI: 250-479-6162 or www.hcp.ca 20 • COMMUNITY GREEN SCENE • AUGUST 2011
Renowned primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall, shown here with Gombe chimpanzee Freud, is coming to Victoria Oct. 15. © Michael Neugebauer photo
Sept. 28 – 1 to 4 p.m. – Native Plant Gardening Workshop
Oct. 5 – 1 to 4 p.m. – Native Plant Gardening Workshop from
from the Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary and CRD. Learn about the identification and benefits of native plants, how and where to grow them, tips for reducing or eliminating lawns and more. Classes fill quickly – pre-register at 250-479-0211. FMI: www. swanlake.bc.ca
the Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary and CRD. Learn about the identification and benefits of native plants, how and where to grow them, tips for reducing or eliminating lawns and more. Classes fill quickly – pre-register at 250-479-0211. FMI: www. swanlake.bc.ca
Oct. 1 – Free Composting Basics workshop, 10 a.m. to noon with the Greater Victoria Compost Education Centre. Preregister at 250-386-9676
Oct. 8 – Fall/Winter Maintenance, 1 to 4 p.m. at the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific. Classroom and garden time will teach you how a little work now can save a lot of work later. HCP members $25; non-members $35. FMI: 250-479-6162 or www.hcp.ca
Oct. 1 – Mason Bee Workshop, 1 to 4 p.m. at the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific. The basics of mason bee husbandry, incl. cocoon extraction, condo cleaning & cleaning techniques to rid the cocoons of mites. Bring in your bee house and learn with hands-on techniques. HCP members $25; non-members $35. FMI: 250-479-6162 or www.hcp.ca
Oct. 2 – Madrona Farm’s fourth annual Chef Survival Challenge, 12 to 6 p.m.at 4317 Blenkinsop Rd. Watch the city’s finest chefs go head to head through a challenging obstacle course, picking the vegetables they need to create their masterpieces. Bid on your favourite plate and enjoy the afternoon festivities. Tickets $50 for adults or $100 for families, available at the Madrona farm gate Wednesday to Saturday, or online. Proceeds to TLC’s agricultural programs and the Horse Lake Community Farm Co-op. FMI: madronafarm.com
Oct. 8 – Alpine Troughs, an exciting way to garden on a small scale, 9 to 11 a.m. at Abkhazi Garden. Learn how to build and design your own trough garden; no supplies are needed but be prepared to spend time outdoors for this presentation. Fee: $25, plus tax. Reserve at 250 598-8096. Oct. 15 – 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Native Plant Gardening Workshop from the Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary and CRD. Learn about the identification and benefits of native plants, how and where to grow them, tips for reducing or eliminating lawns and more. Classes fill quickly – pre-register at 250-4790211. FMI: www.swanlake.bc.ca
See more events page 22
Capital Regional District
Creating Your Own Black Gold:
Interested in composting?
the Greater Victoria Compost Education Centre
We have 3 EASY ways to start:
hat do coffee grounds, apple cores, fallen leaves and grass clippings have in common? They’re the “greens” and “browns” of organic waste, and far from garbage, they’re perfect building block material for a backyard composter. Compost is rich in the nutrients and micro-organisms that help plants to thrive. A composting system works by transforming these organic wastes, with the help of bacteria, fungi and worms, into a beneficial and valuable resource that you can use in your garden. Converting your kitchen and yard waste into compost saves on greenhouse gas emissions, cuts down on the amount of waste going to Hartland landfill, replenishes your soil, helps control plant disease and pests without the use of pesticides and conserves water by improving soil’s ability to store moisture. It also gets you out into the garden, which carries a host of healthy benefits. In the Capital Region, we’re fortunate to have mild winter temperatures, which means that we can compost all year round. You can turn your kitchen scraps and yard waste into a nutrient-rich soil conditioner for your garden; it isn’t hard. A great place to start is the Greater Victoria Compost Education Centre (GVCEC), a fabulous resource for composting, organic gardening and conservation education. Funded in part by the Capital Regional District and the City of Victoria the GVCEC has composting supplies, including backyard composters, food digesters and worm composters for those who live in apartments or condos. The GVCEC holds a series of sustainable home and garden workshops for all ages, including school programs and summer camps. These programs help to spread the word about organic gardening, plant propagation, bee keeping, seed saving and other aspects of sustainable living. Coming up this fall are workshops on mushroom and garlic growing as well as Mason Beekeeping, an opportunity to learn about our native bees, which can help to pollinate your fruit and flower crops. Why else is composting so great for the earth? Organic waste comprises approximately 37 per cent of our household waste in the CRD. If we can turn this waste into a resource, we can save on truck trips to the landfill, combat climate change and help create regional food security by keeping our resources on site and using the compost we produce to build our own
p Create rich compost for your garden p Raw fruit and veggie scraps p Garden waste , Ê " p Many pest resistant features
Greencone Digester p ALL food scraps (meat, bones, pasta) p No garden waste p Can process dog waste p VERY pest resistant
Worm Bin p Indoor composting p Raw fruits and veggie scraps p Rich “Black Gold” in months p Great for teaching kids!
New to Composting?
Join us for our FREE Composting Workshops! backyard food gardens. Great tasting and healthy food doesn’t get any more local, or any more delicious, than food from the garden. And when you spread that black gold on your garden beds, you’ll know that you’re encouraging biodiversity, reducing pesticide use, saving water and non-renewable resources, and replenishing essential plant nutrients in a safe and natural way. The Compost Education Centre is located at 1216 North Park Street, in Victoria, and is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Or you can visit www.compost.bc.ca anytime to learn more.
p Composting Basics Workshops on Saturdays from
10am-12pm on : September 10th, October 1st & November 12th.
pWorm Composting Workshop on Saturday October 15th from
Greater Victoria Compost Education Centre 1216 North Park St. u: 250-386-WORM Wed. - Sat. 10am to 4pm www.compost.bc.ca COMMUNITY GREEN SCENE • AUGUST 2011 • 21
Oct. 15 – Grow the Best Mushrooms, 2 to 4
p.m. with the Greater Victoria Compost Education Centre. Members $10; non-members $15. Registration: 250-386-9676. FMI: www. compost.bc.ca 10 a.m. to noon with the Greater Victoria Compost Education Centre. Pre-register at 250-386-9676.
Oct. 15 – The Jane Goodall Institute & Royal Roads University present An Evening With Jane Goodall, 7:30 p.m. at the Alix Goolden Hall (907 Pandora Ave). FMI: www.rmts.bc.ca
Road building materials
Shingles and shakes
Bedding for animals
Gardener Course, 6:30 p.m. at Royal Roads University, 2005 Sooke Rd. FMI: www.gaiacollege.ca/organic-master-gardener-course.html
Jan. 30 – Info Session for Growing Food,
Oct. 16 – 1 to 4 p.m. – Native Plant Garden-
Oct. 22 – The Next Steps in Native Plant Gardening, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., from the Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary and CRD. A free workshop for people who have completed the introductory Native Plant Gardening Workshop. Topics include: a review of native plants; new native plants for your garden; native plants by season and colour; garden problems – finding solutions. Pre-register at 250-4700211. FMI: www.swanlake.bc.ca
Oct. 22 – Grow the Best Garlic, 2 to 4 p.m. with the Greater Victoria Compost Education Centre. Members $10; non-members $15. Registration: 250-386-9676. FMI: www.compost.bc.ca
Oct. 27 – 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Native Plant Gardening Workshop from the Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary and CRD. Learn about the identification and benefits of native plants, how and where to grow them, tips for reducing or eliminating lawns and more. Classes fill quickly – pre-register at 250-470-0211. FMI: www.swanlake.bc.ca
Nov. 6 – 1 to 4 p.m. – Native Plant Gardening Workshop from the Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary and CRD. Learn about the identification and benefits of native plants, how and where to grow them, tips for reducing or eliminating lawns and more. Classes fill quickly – preregister at 250-479-0211. FMI: www.swanlake. bc.ca Nov. 12 – Free Composting Basics workshop, 10 a.m. to noon with the Greater Victoria Compost Education Centre. Pre-register at 250-386-9676 22 • COMMUNITY GREEN SCENE • AUGUST 2011
What do we get from trees? Many everyday things are made from trees, points out this fun questionnaire from the Royal BC Museum. Put a check (✓) in the box beside the things that you think are made from Canadian trees.
Oct. 15 – Free Worm Composting workshop,
ing Workshop from the Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary and CRD. Learn about the identification and benefits of native plants, how and where to grow them, tips for reducing or eliminating lawns and more. Classes fill quickly – pre-register at 250-479-0211. FMI: www.swanlake.bc.ca
GREEN QUIZ & ACTIVITIES
Jennifer Blyth photo
Nov. 12 – Mason Bees. Part 2, from 2 to 4 p.m. with the Greater Victoria Compost Education Centre. Members $10; non-members $15. Registration: 250-386-9676. FMI: www. compost.bc.ca
Nov. 15 – 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Native Plant Gardening Workshop from the Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary and CRD. Learn about the identification and benefits of native plants, how and where to grow them, tips for reducing or eliminating lawns and more. Classes fill quickly – pre-register at 250-479-0211. FMI: www.swanlake.bc.ca
Nov. 19 – Plant Propagation – Fall, 2 to 4 p.m. with the Greater Victoria Compost Education Centre. Members $10; non-members $15. Registration: 250-386-9676. FMI: www. compost.bc.ca
Jan. 3 – Info Session for the Organic Master
6:30 p.m. at Royal Roads University, 2005 Sooke Rd. Find out how to grow an abundant harvest of diverse food crops, without toxic chemicals, and right in your own garden. FMI: www.gaiacollege.ca/growing-food.html.
Send your Green Events to firstname.lastname@example.org
Answer: All of the items on the page contain materials from trees.
For more information, and a host of other kid-friendly activities, visit online at www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca
Wetland Word Search W I L B I O D I V E R S I T Y
C B W U O N S W T S Y I M U A
E M W S W A M P Y T T D D S W
C L Z A A Y T E T U Z U N P L
O K Y T T I H S R A M M A O G
doesn’t bump into anything. DRILL HOLE
S E C O E E F E R R A X L N O
Y N N S R E R Y I Y H R T D K
S L E R F P H T S H O T E W I
T N F U L K Y E A J S G W M B
E T A W E N A V R B O L T Q H
PRESS, NAIL OR GLUE IN PLACE
BAT WORD SEARCH
BATS LITTLE BROWN BA PREDATOR
I I P W I Z N A F P L W A D Z
N B O G D E H S R E T A W N B
Biodiversity Freshwater Swamp Bog Habitat Waterflea Ecosystem Marsh Watershed Estuary Mud Watertable Fen Pond Wetland
Bat houses should be built out of untreated wood and roughened or grooved on the inside so the bats have something to hold on to. Put it 3 to 6 metres above the ground facing south. To get plans for building a bat house, contact Bat Conservation International (www.batcon.org). They even have a North American Bat House Research Project you can join.
3/4-1 INCH GAP FOR ENTRANCE
BUILD A BAT HOUSE
Y A T W R O P D B O S K J C Q
You can encourage bats to live near your house and give them a place to sleep by building a bat house. It’s also a good way to learn more about bats.
BAT HOUSE INSECT NIGHT
T W I N E C S O G I E A Y O R
Too many mosquitoes flying around your yard? What you need is a bat living nearby, suggests the Royal BC Museum.
BATON TO ENSURE TIGHT FIT
BACK PLATE SHOULD BE ETCHED TO ALLOW BATS TO CRAWL UP.
M U J F R E S H W A T E R I A
BUILD A BAT HOUSE
CUT GROOVE TO FIT TOP
M W V T A U C P I K L A Y L M
For more about bats and to find other worksheets, visit the Royal BC Museum site at www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/Sch_Kid/Kd_Actvty_Sht.aspx COMMUNITY GREEN SCENE • AUGUST 2011 • 23
EVOLVE TOWARD A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
You understand how decisions made today impact tomorrow, so you choose sustainable and eco-sensitive solutions, locally and globally, to facilitate change without endangering our environment.
Our blended-learning model of online study balanced with short, on-campus residencies allows you to move forward with your education without compromising your professional or personal life.
At Royal Roads University we understand this too, so we’ve created a variety of certificates, undergraduate, and graduate programs in environment and management, environmental practice, sustainable community development, sustainable tourism development, environmental education or environmental science to help you take local steps to make global changes.
To learn more about our programs and the changes they can bring to your life, please contact our Enrolment Advisors at email@example.com or 1-877-778-6227, or visit us at www.royalroads.ca
E N V I R O N M E N T A N D S U S TA I N A B I L I T Y 24 • COMMUNITY GREEN SCENE • AUGUST 2011
V I C TO R I A B C C A N A DA