Great Ideas for Inspiring Community Resilience to Climate Change
By and for Residents, Businesses and Organizations in Sackville, NB
Scroll down to explore the toolkit. Have a comment or want to add to the toolkit? Please contact: EOS Eco-Energy at (506) 536-4487 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sackville is a small town located in southeastern New Brunswick at the head of the Bay of Fundy. The area is part of the traditional, unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq called Siknikt in the district of Mi’kma’ki. Sackville is situated near the Nova Scotia border on the narrow Chignecto Isthmus, a nationally important transportation corridor. Sackville is a low-lying coastal town with part of the community located below sea level behind a network of dykes. The picturesque town is surrounded by forested uplands and low-lying dykelands, once reclaimed from the sea by Acadian settlers. The area is known for migrating songbirds, shorebirds and waterfowl. The community is home to Mount Allison University, Canadian Wildlife Service, the regional Sackville Memorial Hospital, a small industrial park, three schools, Silver Lake, the Sackville Waterfowl Park, farms, and many shops, restaurants, small businesses and services. It is also home to a number of environmental organizations and many community groups. About 5300 residents and 2250 university students call Sackville home. The town serves surrounding rural unincorporated Local Service Districts. Sackville is and will continue to be impacted by human-caused climate change; however, the community is vibrant and known for its focus on the arts, nature and sustainability.
How This Toolkit Came To Be
EOS Eco-Energy, based in Sackville, NB, was awarded funding from the New Brunswick Environmental Trust Fund in 2020-2021 to create a plan to help residents, businesses and organizations come together to adapt to human-caused climate change and be more resilient. This toolkit complements the Town of Sackville’s adaptation plan focused on municipal operations adopted by the town council in 2016.
The timing of this project coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has shown the community how vulnerable basic needs are, such as food supplies, but the community has also realized how resilient it can be, how people can come together to help community members and neighbours adapt when faced with hardship. COVID-19 presented an opportunity to develop this toolkit with pandemics in mind as well.
To gather input for the toolkit, EOS staff performed a literature review, and looked at other rural and small-town climate change resilience and adaptation plans. A steering committee of ten local residents was formed to help guide the project and included representatives from local businesses, organizations, Mount Allison University, students, municipal staff, and provincial government. EOS interviewed key informants and experts from across Canada, and performed 4 community focus groups with local experts, community residents, and vulnerable populations (seniors and adults with disabilities) for a total of 31 participants. EOS also conducted resident, business and student surveys to gather information about perceptions of risk, climate change concerns, existing adaption actions, perceptions of community strength, barriers and challenges, and ideas for enhancing community resilience to climate change. A total of 262 people (ages 11 to 75+) responded to the surveys. Summaries of the surveys can be found at https://eosecoenergy.com/en/sackville-community-climate-change-resilience/.
The overall aim of this toolkit is to help residents, businesses, organizations and institutions in Sackville, NB to plan, prepare, adapt, respond to climate change. There are ideas for household and community projects, and for influencing political action for more widespread adaptations.
Much like the symbol of the dandelion, this tool is meant to sprout resilience, communication, clarity, perseverance, ingenuity, healing and hope.
Please click on the following links to explore the toolkit:
Great Ideas for Community-based Resilience in Sackville:
The Great Ideas are in no particular order, and all are important. They have been grouped together in themes, as seen below. The ideas are community-based actions that residents, businesses and organizations could do alone and collectively. The ideas represent the power of a community to come together to improve resilience and self-reliance.
- Heath and Wellness
- Education and Skill Building
- Green Spaces
- Flood Risk
- Emergency Planning
- Local Economy
- Communication and Collaboration
- Citizen Engagement
A printable guide is available for download: 50 Great Ideas for Inspiring Climate Resilience in Sackville, NB
EOS Eco-Energy wishes to thank the following groups and people who helped inform and create this toolkit:
- Steering committee members: Sabine Dietz, Mike Fox, Sarah Evans, Shoshanna Wingate, Margaret Tusz-King, Amelia Moore, Laura Reinsborough, Breanna MacLeod, Jamie Burke, and Prativa Pradhan.
- Local residents, businesses and students at Marshview Middle School, Tantramar High School and Mount Allison University who answered the community surveys.
- Key informants who took the time to chat about climate change and resilience in Sackville.
- Focus group members from the Chignecto Climate Change Collaborative, Seniors College and Open Sky.
Thank you for reading and we hope this toolkit inspires you to become more climate change resilient within your community.