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Joanna

Joanna

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Thursday, 20 December 2012 15:26

See you all soon

Dear NBEN members and friends,

The holidays are a season and time for reflection. In a flash, the New Year arrives and with it comes resolutions and many a change. Here at the NBEN there will be one change that some of you (I hope) will notice. After two and a half years with the NBEN, I have decided to accept another position that starts in January. Don’t worry, I am not going far! I am the new coordinator for the Westmorland Albert Community Inclusion Network Co-operative.

This would be a sad little blog entry if I were saying goodbye, but it is not a sad note because I am not saying goodbye, just - see you around and SOON. It has been a pleasure working with everyone over the last few years and I look forward to our future working and social relationships.

See you all soon!

Warmly, Joanna

Wednesday, 28 November 2012 15:07

Tongue-wagging or truth-telling?

Shale gas development is being discussed by a multitude of folks: neighbours, politicians, youth, health care providers, farmers, and investors. Yet, I find it surprising that there is very limited discussion in the media about the fact that groups and citizens continue to take precious time out of their lives to go directly to the legislature doors to express their concerns. There have been two years of active public outcry by citizens and groups working to ensure that the shale gas conversation is not cut short.

New Brunswick is full of tenacious people who will continue to publicly share their concerns at the NB legislature steps until true dialogue and active citizen-engaged decision-making occurs. Both sides of the shale gas debate deserve the chance to not only discuss concerns, but share their fears and ideas of a vibrant New Brunswick.

Citizens and groups are engaged and invest their time into because they love this place. These people are also a resource that needs to be tapped as a way to help propel NB into the future.

Check out some of the online media:

-         Facebook images of NB Legislature opening

-         N.B. to weigh in on shale gas development, Halifax Herald

-         NB premier promises to deliver shale gas blueprint, CTV news

-         CBC News report

-         Toward a Green Power Grid & Financing a Green Power Grid, Woodstock Sustainable Energy Group

Thursday, 08 November 2012 09:47

Can I get a whoop whoop

Congratulations to this year’s Environmental Leadership Award winners!

I want to add a special shout out to Meagan Betts, who has taken an active role in the Youth Environmental Action Network, acting as the chair and representative for Fredericton High School Green Team and now EcoAction. I have seen Meagan in action and feel this is a much deserved honour.

Government text here

Winners of Environmental Leadership Awards

FREDERICTON (GNB) – A presentation was held today in Fredericton to honour the 2012 Environmental Leadership Award recipients and poster contest winners.

“Through this initiative, we are able to recognize these achievements as we highlight the importance of protecting our environment,” said Environment and Local Government Minister Bruce Fitch. “Sharing these initiatives will encourage further environmental stewardship and will have a positive impact on our province. Others can be motivated to follow in the footsteps of those recognized today.”

This year's recipients are:

●    Individual Youth – Meagan Betts, Youth Environmental Leader;
●    Youth Group – The Sacred Garden Team, Devon Middle School;
●    Individual – Pamela Fowler, Municipal Nature Park;
●    Business – Rhoda Welshman, ReAction Events;
●    Communities, Groups and Organizations – Tobique River Team, Tobique First Nation Community Clean-Up; and
●    Lifetime Achievement – Ralph Simpson, Youth Mentorship.

Fitch also announced the winners of the poster contest who illustrated an environmental theme. The winners are:

●    Sophie Landry, Save the World; and
●    Natasha Barna, Je suis ta Terre.

The awards are presented annually to individuals, communities, groups and businesses that demonstrate exceptional leadership in the enhancement and protection of the environment. A panel of independent judges selected the recipients.

Information about the awards is available online.

2012 Environmental Leadership Award recipients

Individual Youth


Meagan Betts – Fredericton

Youth Environmental Leader: A former student of Fredericton High School, Betts dedicated much of her time to enhancing environmental awareness at her school and in her community. She led the school Environmental Club and introduced such ideas as Motorless Mondays, vermiculture composting and a reduced car prom. Outside of school, Meagan chaired the Youth Environmental Action Network.

Youth Group

Devon Middle School – Fredericton

The Sacred Garden Team: In 2011, the Sacred Garden Project was established at Devon Middle School. While promoting a sustainable organic garden, this Outdoor Classroom aims to educate the students and the community about the importance of traditional First Nations' medicines. As students move through the process of germinating the seeds, maintaining and tracking their growth, and transplanting their seeds into the Garden Classroom, they also discover, through traditional teachings, a connection to the Earth, agriculture, history and sustainability.

Individual


Pamela Fowler – Riverview

Municipal Nature Park: An environmental science teacher at Riverview High School, Fowler is committed to teaching her students about the environment while using applied approaches to help them identify with the high school curriculum. She initiated the Mill Creek Project, which had her class propose a nature park in Riverview that would connect to the Fundy Biosphere Reserve. Her students surveyed the proposed park, completed water testing and botanical surveys, and presented their findings to the town council.

Business


Rhoda Welshman – Saint John

ReAction Events: Concerned for the environment and seeing a niche that needed to be filled, Welsman launched a business, ReAction Events. Focusing on environmentally-friendly parties and events, she aims to reduce the use of plastic products while providing unique, personalized party supplies for her clients. Welshman offers eco-friendly products that are handcrafted and sustainable. Not only are the decorations, table ware, and treat bags environmentally friendly but her parties promote both creative and physical activity.  

Community, Group and Organization

Tobique Riverbank Team – Tobique First Nation

Community Clean-up: The Riverbank Team of Tobique First Nation was formed after a need for riverbank stabilization work was identified. Following this project, the team started to look at the community as a whole, and when an opportunity to work with the Valley Solid Waste Commission arose, they led the way. Working together, the team and the commission cleaned up illegal dumpsites in the community, posted signs discouraging dumping and cleaned streams and banks along the river. This spurred the community to promote a clean environment and to hold community clean-up days as well as the clean-up of the demolition site of an old school.

Lifetime Achievement


Ralph Simpson – Fredericton

Youth Mentorship: An ecologist and forest pathologist, Ralph Simpson is committed to environmental restoration and youth mentorship. For more than 20 years he has volunteered to develop, obtain funding, lead and execute environmental projects. He has been involved with The Fredericton Backyard Composters, the Fredericton Area Watersheds Association, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, and in 2006 he was the recipient of the Canadian Environment Awards Community Award. Simpson also worked on the Bur Oak Project, where he trained and worked with youth to restore at-risk native species of trees, and the Children's International Summer Villages, where he was an environmental mentor, leading annual trail and stream clean-ups.

http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/elg/news/news_release.2012.11.1040.html

New Brunswick Citizens and Groups

Presented with Environmental Awards

 

This past weekend two environmental awards were presented to New Brunswick citizens and environmental groups in honour of exemplary service to their community. The prizes, awarded by the New Brunswick Environmental Network (NBEN), recognize significant efforts by citizens and citizen groups toward the protection and restoration of New Brunswick’s environment.

 

Community Forests International, an organization based in Sackville with a mandate to promote community-based ecological forestry both in New Brunswick and internationally, was honoured with the the Gaia Award. According to Mary Ann Coleman, Executive Director of the NBEN, “Community Forests International received the award for their determined effort to maintain stewardship of Whaelghinbran Farm and to develop an on-site training centre to inspire youth and future generations to work towards achieving the health and diversity found within the Acadian Forest Eco-region prior to European settlement.” Recently, Community Forests International purchased Whaelghinbran Farm a unique 650-acre farm and Acadian forest woodlot in the Sussex area on which they will be farming organically and practicing ecological forestry. The multi-stakeholder community-based ecological forestry practiced at Whaelghinbran will be an example of alternative approaches to woodland management in the region.

 

The Phoenix Award, dedicated to those who have been “through the fire,” was presented to Mark D'Arcy, of the Friends of the UNB Woodlot. Coleman stated, “Mark received this award in recognition of his bold leadership, creative strategies, and tireless devotion to raising public awareness about and mounting resistance to shale gas exploration.”

 

The awards were presented during the Annual General Assembly of the New Brunswick Environmental Network, which was held in Sackville on October 13, 2012. During the assembly, member groups of the NBEN participanted in various workshops, discussions, and field trips in the area. As well, participants enjoyed the Soup Fest fundraiser hosted by local Sackville community groups in which Sackville-area potters donated bowls that Soup Fest participants took home as keepsakes. Soup Fest participants also enjoyed the music of two Sackville musicians, Michael Duguay and Steve Haley.

 


Scientists staged a mock funeral at Parliament Hill in Ottawa yesterday, July 10 2012, in order to shine a light on the seemingly restrictive political atmosphere to sciences or really any voice that could raise concerns, ideas, or evidence which goes against the current federal political direction.

These scientists have hit my emotional nail on the head – I have been mourning this year the loss of our country’s positive global image and accepting that my idealistic view of Canada as a nation that can debate tough issues by weighing opinions and science is one that has been suppressed by a small unified financial vision.

I know it is horrible to have such sad thoughts on another beautiful day! However, it is the beauty of the people I know, our natural environment, and the small victories that keeps me going, hoping, and contributing to a healthier nation – thanks to those scientists on Parliament Hill for doing the same. 

Thursday, 31 May 2012 10:28

Eco-expo in Tracadie-Sheila

NBEN RENB - View my 'Eco-Expo à la Polyvalente WALosier' set on FlickriverThanks to Polyvalente W.A. Losier Environment Committee for inviting me to visit and participate in their Eco-Expo. I heard more than 800 students floated through the gym yesterday – no wonder my voice is really hoarse today! Here are some photos of a few of the folks I had the chance to meet and chat with! – Joanna

Thursday, 31 May 2012 09:39

Eco-expo in Tracadie-Sheila

NBEN RENB - View my 'Eco-Expo à la Polyvalente WALosier' set on FlickriverThanks to Polyvalente W.A. Losier Environment Committee for inviting me to visit and participate in their Eco-Expo. I heard more than 800 students floated through the gym yesterday – no wonder my voice is really hoarse today! Here are some photos of a few of the folks I had the chance to meet and chat with! – Joanna

Thursday, 17 May 2012 09:07

Scott Vaughan

I just have to say it Scott Vaughan is one cool Environment Comissioner! Check out his frank 2012 report on how Canada’s faltering on our climate change commitments and the at times overlooked impacts of contaminated sites. Click here to access the whole report online.

I also included one of his videos here but, click here, if you want to watch some more of his videos – they make his job seem accessible.

Thursday, 17 May 2012 08:36

Commuter Challenge June 3-9, 2012

The NBEN’s staff are taking the challenge will you? June 3- June 9th the National Commuter Challenge gets underway and competitors are asked to try and find active ways to get to work! We here at the NBEN are challenging you as an individual or group to enter today.


Why not join it:

  • Is a week-long event during Canadian Environment Week (June 3 9, 2012)
  • Is a friendly competition between Canadian cities and workplaces
  • Encourages Canadians to leave their cars at home
  • Rewards walking, cycling, carpooling/ride-sharing, taking transit and telecommuting
  • Celebrates active and sustainable transportation
  • Is nationally hosted by Sustainable Alberta Association
  • Is locally hosted by City Coordinators who support workplaces

Click here for the rules and to enter


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