Adam Olsen is slated to speak during the Sidney Summit, Nov. 10 at the Mary Winspear Centre. (Peninsula News Review/File photo)

Sidney Summit to forge path to sustainability ‘one backyard at a time’

Day-long event brings together advocates, community and leaders to discuss improving local spaces

In the spirit of togetherness, education and environmental action, a group of local advocates hold a one-day Sidney Summit to “build a better planet one backyard at a time.”

The day-long event, Nov. 10 at the Mary Winspear Centre, is open to the public and will feature speakers Robert Bateman, Bob McDonald of the CBC, Federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May and local Green MLA Adam Olsen.

More than 20 “habitat-caring” organizations will meet with participants to discuss how to best support and sustain the Saanich Peninsula.

RELATED: Future of dam in the hands of Sidney council, community

Bill Collins, co-chair of the Summit, said the idea was born from a handful of conversations between locals who felt more support on projects like the Residents of Reay Creek – which he manages – could result in a bigger impact, environmentally.

“We could do a more timely job in getting it done if there was a bigger voice in the community,” he says of the Reay Creek clean-up. “The voices exist, they’re just not collective enough.”

Collins sees the Summit as a way to bring local advocacy groups like his, Peninsula Streams Society and Friends of John Dean Park together and “maybe influence policy makers at all levels of government.”

LETTER: Sidney could lead the way in landscaping without pollution

There is a challenge to the enormity of a concept like climate change, where the average person wonders what their contribution can do, Collins explains.

But, it can be as simple as planting species in your own backyard that are better for the native habitat, reducing waste by simply buying less, or buying local, cutting down on greenhouse gases that vehicles can emit.

“Monarch butterflies are an endangered species,” he points out. “Why not plant some flowers that the monarch likes?”

The goal of the Summit is to help inspire the general public into taking action by connecting them with local organizations and municipal leaders to brainstorm collaborative efforts, Collins says.

Throughout the day, speakers will touch on a variety of subjects including the ways in which local First Nations first lived in the area, how communities can better exist along natural spaces in shared habitats and insight from McDonald’s findings as a science journalist.

RELATED: Climate change likely to cause more sewage leaks, says environment minister

The evening ends with a long table dinner featuring local chefs preparing food sourced from local producers, followed by a performance from local pop-jazz quartet, Mildly Wild.

Everybody wants to have a clean healthy environment, says Collins, who believes the community is “really hungry for the conversation.”

“We hope everybody leaves with a small internal resolve to do at least one thing to do their part.”

For more information, visit SidneySummit.ca


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Science fair draws best junior scientists from Vancouver Island to Victoria

200 young science enthusiasts share their inventions and discoveries at UVic

Vic. Symphony, Jeans ‘n Classics will rock you with the Best of Queen

Post-Bohemian Rhapsody, Pops Series concerts bring British band’s music back into spotlight

LOCAL FLAVOUR: Farm Whisperer tackles tough subject of farm succession

Linda Geggie is executive director with CR-FAIR

New Coast Guard ship crashes into Ogden Point breakwater

‘It is fairly unprecedented that it would happen’

Young cyclist struck near Galloping Goose Trail

Minor injuries reported by police

VIDEO: Keeping the hope alive, 28 years later

Annual Michael Dunahee Keep the Hope Alive run raised money for Child Find B.C.

Bobrovsky perfect as Blue Jackets blank Canucks 5-0

Vancouver shut out for 10th time this season

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps says future assembly deliberations won’t be closed to public

Reversal comes after Saanich Coun. Judy Brownoff raised concerns

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

Search and rescue team helicopters injured climber from B.C. provincial park

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Most Read