THUNDER BAY – On Saturday, County Park residents came together, shovels and garden gloves in hand, to plant trees, shrubs and wildflowers in the relatively vacant neighbourhood park. EcoSuperior coordinated the effort as part of the Building EcoActive Neighbourhoods (BEAN) project supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) – through a $61,900 OTF Seed grant. The goal of the project was to build climate resiliency at a neighbourhood level by helping neighbours get to know each other, learn about climate issues and work together on an action plan.
“I applaud EcoSuperior environmental stewardship through the Building EcoActive Neighbourhoods (BEAN) Project,” said Michael Gravelle, MPP for Thunder Bay-Superior North. “The BEAN Project is an innovative approach to addressing the very real concern of climate change by building climate resiliency at the grassroots level. By bringing neighbours together to support a healthy and sustainable environment, we are growing a stronger community.”
The County Park group has been meeting regularly since January of this year, and has held an emergency preparedness workshop, a rain garden information session and a composting workshop. Similar projects are happening in two other city neighbourhoods: Brent Park and Northwood.
Barry Beaupre, County Park resident and neighbourhood champion says, “Since joining BEAN in County Park I have met a number of my neighbours for the first time, working together to make County Park a better community. It’s cool to work with my neighbours to make County Park a good place to live.”
The planting event resulted in 15 new trees, and several shrubs and pollinator plants installed along the creek. City of Thunder Bay Parks department is planning to add an additional 50 trees in the park to complement the residents’ efforts.
“It has been great to see the process of people getting to know each other,” says EcoSuperior program coordinator Aynsley Klassen, “and talking about ways to improve their neighbourhoods. We hope these projects will get the ball rolling for more initiatives in the future.”
EcoSuperior is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to build a healthy future for people and the planet. It is supported by project funding, fee-for-service program delivery, a small retail operation, and other community services such as children’s day camp and home energy assessments.