Bridgewater has been undergoing a Downtown and Waterfront Master Planning process with consultants Ekistics Planning and Design since the fall. Last night’s reveal of the draft downtown plan was awesome!!! The vision they shared (based on a lot of public consultation and citizen input) is really inspiring and sketches out the potential for a very vibrant community.
The energy in the room was quite positive and encouraging. They also provided a way to remove the south parkade–but not loose any usable parking spots, and increase parking on King street while encouraging a more walkable and inviting downtown core.
Part of Bridgewater’s new story is that it is becoming an urban centre (CBC Radio named Bridgewater in this way in a story this week on urban centers that exist outside of Halifax). Downtown Bridgewater has the potential to be a destination on the South Shore!
This plan brings some vital aspects to downtown, and reconnects the downtown to the LaHave River. It also makes a great statement that Bridgewater’s identity can be focused around sustainability–Bridgewater is already known in Nova Scotia as an innovator and model towards sustainable communities!
The town is inviting input on the draft plan until the end of February. Check out http://www.bridgewater.ca/downtownplan
Encouraging feedback and comments from lots of people will go a long way.
This summer Bridgewater undertook and innovative placemaking project in another great collaboration between HeartWood, the Lunenburg District Office Department of Community Services, and the Town of Bridgewater. Six youth took on the task of artistically designing and painting six art-benches for the town.
Assisted by Brian Braganza as facilitator and Jason Skinner as artist, the youth looked at themes relating to the location of the benches and themes connected to sustainability. Jason worked his magic to share his incredible talent and by the end of it built the confidence of the young people to create very beautiful benches.
Four of the benches were existing town benches and 2 were in disrepair and ready to be junked. We worked with a local welder, Ben Rodgers, who repaired the benches. The Resource Recovery Fund provided money to buy materials for the repairs, and Gow’s Home Hardware donated some of the paint.
Due to the many features of the benches (placemaking project, reclaiming possible landfill material, youth engagement) the project and young people were then featured at the annual Growing Green Sustainability Festival as the Legacy project for 2012. Lighthouse Media Group followed us along to make yet another stunning video of positive action in Bridgewater.
There is hope for more placemaking actions to happen in future years as the benches was very well received. Three benches are currently on King Street and 3 benches will be installed on the North side of the Veterans Memorial Bridge.
See the Lighthouse video below:
“It doesn’t take big things to create big changes.
It takes small things that capture the imagination.”
-Incredible Edible Todmorden
Imagine one small thing: a garden plot of vegetables in front of a local business with a sign: “Help yourself”. And people do… A child delights in the sweetness of a sugar pod pea… A client shares her tomato-growing skills… A passerby tends to the weeds in exchange for a head of lettuce.
Now imagine that others are inspired to do their own small thing. Pretty soon, there are small plots of vegetables growing at the daycare, the police station, and peppering the lawns of businesses, homes and apartments everywhere you look. You now live in a town where everyday you see food growing around you. It is being tended and eaten by the people who live and work and play there.
Imagine the impact of this edible landscape on how we think about the food we eat. We plant it, harvest it, share it, and learn to love the food that is healthiest for our bodies, our community, and the planet. The Bridgewater Community Garden Network envisions this edible landscape in our town. Incredible Edible Bridgewater. Can you see it too?
Can Bridgewater and surrounding Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, become a model of a “sustainable community”? A thriving, resilient, healthy place to live and do business, all within the Earth’s means? This may be a lofty goal but one that a lot of people feel is essential in today’s world. Many of our community members are already working hard to meet this challenge, and this website is dedicated to telling the story of our collective efforts!
The Community Sustainability Network is a free service open to any person or organization in the Bridgewater area (generally inclusive of Lunenburg County). Signing on to the Network is easy, and only takes about 10 minutes.
As a member, you will receive:
- Instant access to other people and organizations who are making a difference
- Regular updates from our email newsletter and events postings
- The ability to join the Network action teams and help make decisions
- Your own profile page where you can tell others about your interests, ideas, and products
- The ability to post information to our events, forums, and blogs
- An opportunity to become known as a supporter of sustainability!
Well-known Canadian author, broadcaster and environmentalist Silver Donald Cameron , in partnership with Efficiency Nova Scotia presented Take Charge! Saving Money, Creating Jobs and Helping the Planet in Bridgewater on a stormy Jan 12th. A small, but keen crowd received lots of tips and information about how to conserve electricity and save money on their power bills.
A bit of the talk can be seen here: http://southshorenow.ca/newsnowclips/play.php?vid=1639
Efficiency NS’s website has lots of ways that homeowners (including those with low and modest incomes), landlords, and tenants, can reduce their electricity use.