1. Coordinate Public Awareness and Education on Climate Change Resilience
Sackville residents, businesses and students would like to attend a variety of workshops to learn more about climate change and appropriate actions and skills to build self-sufficiency. The most asked for workshops and training opportunities are:
- gardening skills
- permaculture gardening
- regenerative agriculture
- pruning trees and shrubs and how to tend newly planted trees
- wild foraging skills
- survival skills
- traditional skills
- food preservation and Community canning workshops
- small scale livestock farming
- water conservation
- how to grow things in drier conditions
- how to manage livestock during drier conditions
- emergency preparedness
- flood risk reduction
- how to be resilient
- climate stress
- mental health first aid
- home retrofits and ways to save energy
- accessible renewable energy alternatives
- and many more!
The above needs reflect the climate impacts and risks of most concern to community members such as dyke breaches, flooding, agricultural/food system impacts, and droughts. EOS Eco-Energy has offered some of these workshops (e.g. wild edibles, canning, managing climate stress, solar energy, emergency preparedness, etc.) in the past and hopes to offer more workshops. Open Sky has also offered workshops on mental health first aid, gardening skills, canning, etc.
2. Aquire Traditional Self-Sufficiency Skills
A senior in the seniors focus group said, “You can live on less when you are self-sufficient.” There are so many reasons to be more self-sufficient at home and self-reliant as a community. Often being self-sufficient means learning and using traditional skills. Apart from saving money, using traditional skills can save energy, reduce waste and make people less vulnerable and more resilient when they have the things and skills they need to get by. Some of the self-sufficient traditional skills community members would like to learn include gardening, canning and preserving food, raising livestock, survival skills, and how to fix things.
A great idea is to start a Sackville DIYers group. It was suggested to have an email list, meet monthly, put on workshops, bring in speakers, offer skill sharing events, have a Facebook page with tips, etc. Learning forgotten traditional skills from seniors could be a valuable multi-generational activity. Groups that could help offer traditional skills training could include EOS Eco-Energy and Open Sky, who already partnered and offered a series of popular food preservation workshops. The Tantramar Seniors College and local schools could also organize learning events. It is important to think about those who live in apartments and others who may not have the ability to be as self-sufficient as others and how they could be supported.
3. Use Art and Visual Representations to Capture People’s Attention
Artistic and visual representations can catch people’s attention and help raise awareness about climate change issues. Music, art, and theatre with various age groups and sectors could be organized and shared. One survey respondent suggested that publicly displaying maps created with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or other visual formats could be used to show residents local climate changes and related flood risks in Sackville. The Sackville Art Association, Struts Gallery and Faucet Media Arts Centre, Mount Allison University’s Fine Arts Department as well as their Geography and Environment Department, Owens Art Gallery, EOS Eco-Energy, and the New Brunswick Southeast Regional Service Commission (planning commission) could also be sources of visual representations to get people’s attention. The Owens Art Gallery has an online map of local landscape art and photography where residents can upload their art and photos at: https://www.youareheresackvillenb.ca/about.
4. Provide Climate Change Education in Schools
Several respondents noted the need for quality and accurate climate change education in schools and providing multigenerational learning opportunities. There are a variety of local organizations who can enhance and support climate change education in schools from elementary to university levels. More and ongoing efforts are needed and groups such as EOS Eco-Energy, RCE Tantramar, Sackville Schools 2020, the Tantramar Wetland Centre, Nature NB, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC), the Chignecto Climate Change Collaborative (CCCC) and many others could help provide more climate education in schools. The CCCC offered a climate change fair at Tantramar Regional School in early 2020, EOS goes into schools during Tantramar Climate Change Week, DUC and Nature NB have ongoing programs for youth as well.
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