James Mikalauskas, along with his mom Lara, gets a lesson about the importance of wetlands and how they can play a role in mitigating the effects of climate change from Jenn Dick, intrepretive and education specialist with Ducks Unlimited during last week’s Climate Change Week activities.
Last year’s Climate Change Week, organized by EOS Eco-Energy, was so well received by Sackville residents that organizers this year have expanded the week to offer activities and information booths across the Tantramar region in Port Elgin, Sackville, Dorchester and Memramcook.
“EOS Eco-Energy is excited to showcase a collaborative, community-based approach to climate change with so many different organizations taking part this year,” explains Amanda Marlin, executive director with EOS.
Last year’s Climate Change Week raised awareness about climate change, including the increasing frequency and intensity of storms, and the risk of storm surges and flooding in the Sackville area.
This year’s Climate Change Week (with funding from the Environmental Trust Fund) is focusing on what can be done to fight climate change and to adapt.
“We want residents and business owners to be energized by the options and solutions that do exist,” says Marlin.
Events this year focus on the impacts of climate change locally and globally, energy use, eating habits, transportation, gardening practices and more. All events are free of charge and open to the public, some are bilingual.
A climate change film festival Sunday afternoon, Feb. 2 (2:30-4:30 p.m. at the Vogue Cinema in Sackville) will screen the documentaries Chasing Ice and Climate Change in Atlantic Canada, which highlight impacts globally and locally.
“If you have not seen Climate Change in Atlantic Canada yet, it’s a must see,” says Marlin.
The film was produced by Mount Allison University and sees farmers and fishermen talk about the changes and impacts they are already seeing. The film festival is sponsored by RCE-Tantramar.
Films will also be screened on hydrofracking Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 4 (3-6 p.m.) at 17 Bridge Street in Sackville followed by an informal discussion period with the Tantramar Alliance Against Hydrofracking.
Those curious about solar energy systems for their homes can check out information sessions at the Port Elgin Fire Hall (Feb. 1 at 2-4 p.m.), Vogue Cinema (Feb. 5 at 7-9 p.m.) and a bilingual session at the Bibliotheque publique de Memramcook (Feb. 6 at 7-9 p.m.) with Renewables NB, Efficiency NB and EOS Eco-Energy. Events are free but donations to local food banks are encouraged.
The trial Tantramar Shuttle Service is still getting organized but in the meantime people can try out the shuttle for free during Sackville’s Family Day Saturday afternoon, Feb. 1. Shuttle runs, paid for by the town of Sackville, will leave the old fire station and head to Beech Hill Park.
“The shuttle is a great way to ride together and reduce your carbon emissions,” says Marlin.
The week also includes awareness of food choices we make and their impact on energy use and the environment. Shoppers at Sackville’s Saturday morning Farmers Market on Feb. 1 and 8 can purchase a local seasonal recipe booklet. And everyone is encouraged to celebrate Meatless Monday on Monday, Feb. 3.
Adding to the issue of food will be an edible landscaping workshop at Open Sky Cooperative in Middle Sackville on Tuesday, April 4th (7-9 p.m.). Seats are limited so reserve a spot by calling Open Sky at 536-4565.
“This workshop promises to be very entertaining and will explain how to create low-cost, delicious, multi-purpose landscaping and is being organized by Norm Hunter,” explains Marlin.
The town of Sackville will also be offering behind-the-scenes tours of its new energy-efficient town hall building, including the new green roof. The tours will run at noon and 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 6.
“I’m really excited for these tours because they give the town a chance to showcase to the public the great achievements they’ve made to reduce their energy costs, carbon emissions and be more sustainable,” says Marlin. “Having the town involved in Climate Change Week shows that the issues are mainstream and the solutions can be local.”
Climate Change Week also features events for children. There will be an environmental story and activity time featuring The Lorax at the Sackville Public Library on Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 10 a.m., as well as activities on Tuesday for Grades 5-8 at Dorchester Consolidated School on climate change and solar-powered
Other things to check out during Climate Change Week include information booths across the region at the Port Elgin Credit Union, Sackville Headquarters (19 Bridge St.), Dorchester Public Library, and École Abby Laundry in Memramcook.
“Businesses are being asked to participate as well with special menu items or displays, etc,” says Marlin.