Fall 2012 Update:
The Initiating group kicks off the core activities of Transition such as building partnerships and raising awareness. Its members act as the early pioneers who network and lay good foundations until another group takes over the reins of what has become an established and wider-reaching Transition Initiative.
This article is less of a personal view and more of a group update on partnership building and awareness raising. We pick up the thread six months after we are registered on the Transition Network as a “mulling” Initiating group.
Participating in Roberts Creek Earth Day celebrations was a great little “zap” project for us to get our feet wet. The event coordinator Sheila, expressed her gratitude to our members for directing traffic, collecting dishes and transporting them on bikes up the road to the kitchen. In return for our help, we were given space to set up a booth for Transition. The “Grandmothers & Grand Others” group loaned us their tent and we had fun painting a banner that we hung up to announce our arrival as the new kid in town. Those who had attended the Launch Transition workshop partnered up with members who were newer to the group. Rather than just give out information about Transition, our focus was to listen to people talk about their concerns for Mother Earth.
During a casual evaluation of the project, we concluded we enjoyed the interaction with people in our community, we networked with groups and individuals who promote local resiliency in our community, and as a bonus, we collected three pages of new contacts. It was suggested that for future collaborative events, pairing volunteers together makes for an enjoyable experience.
As an adjunct to Earth Day, there was a Roberts Creek main street community planting project. In addition, a couple of our members joined Permaculture teacher Delvin and a group of permaculture students in the Heart Gardens to help plant a food micro-forest. www.gaiacraft.com (village repair/food micro forest) for photos.
A few of our members who are involved in other groups on the Coast attended the Biodiversity Summit May 31 – June 2 in Sechelt. I was invited to attend by the Ruby Lake Lagoon Society and the Sunshine Coast Biodiversity Steering Group and represented Sunshine Coast in Transition. It was a powerful, energetic three days of sharing ideas, expertise and vision for a local Biodiversity Strategy Framework. www.lagoonsocity.com/biodiversity/biodiversity-summit
Over the Spring and summer we had a couple of potluck dinners with our meetings to help celebrate our achievements and meet new people interested in Transition.
In August, Justin from the One Straw Society Live & Learn re-skilling program invited us to join them at the Synchronicity Art Festival in Gibsons hosted by Deer Crossing the Art Farm. We also collaborated with the SCRD “We Envision” project. A few of us got together to brainstorm ideas and decided on a couple of interactive art pieces for our booth. The first was based on a piece originally conceived by Transition Newent in the United Kingdom; the core of an “Oil Memorial” assembled from plastic garbage cans and dozens of plastic milk jugs. Festival goers interacted by adding articles made of petroleum to the structure to celebrate the achievements oil has brought us and then say goodbye to it. The memorial was a popular hit for parents to educate their children about all the things we use that are made out of oil. Barb from Gibsons Recycling Depot graciously loaned us the materials.
The second structure was a positive visioning piece constructed of sustainable materials. People were invited to draw their ideas of a positive future for our community or write their suggestions for substitutes for oil made articles and attach them to the piece.
When we were invited to do a Transition presentation at Green Drinks night at the Gumboot on August 30, we wanted to show appreciation for the grassroots groups in the audience who have contributed to local resiliency on the Coast, so we presented our hosts with a cake that was baked with as many local ingredients we could find. The cake was also used as a metaphor for local resiliency as described in the Transition Companion book by Rob Hopkins.
On a sunny day in September, our members Barb, Leslie & Rolf hosted a tour of their property to further educate our team about Permaculture design, which is an important tool used in the Transition movement for a sustainable and resilient culture. The focus was to introduce some Permaculture principles as it relates to Transition. Leslie & Barb showed us their ten year permaculture mapping plan, gave us a tour of their garden and demonstrated a mulching technique. This opportunity stimulated much discussion while we were served tea and delicious zucchini bread.
Plans are underway for increasing awareness raising and continuing to build partnerships in the community e.g. showing films and establishing a website and Face book page.