Bridgewater receives awards

Bridgewater has received yet another two awards in recent months.

AWARD 1: In the summer Bridgewater was one of three communities who received the Lieutenant Governor’s Community Spirit Award.

This award celebrates the power, strength and diversity of vibrant communities across Nova Scotia. Bridgewater’s receipt of this award again confirms that it is a community that is brimming with local spirit and community activity. The events and projects which drew the recognition of the award committee included:

  • Moving the Bridgewater Library from downtown to it’s new location
  • Bridgewater’s efforts towards sustainability and community engagement
  • The Bridgewater Community Gardens Network
  • The Community Christmas Dinner
  • Senior Friendly Bridgewater
  • Kinship Project
  • Recreation Rocks with the Kraft Summer Tour
  • The United Way of Lunenburg County
  • The innovative Youth Engagement work going on
  • The AfterGlow Art Festival
  • Bridgewater’s Fire Department Band

To read the full submission go to: Bridgewater Spirit Award

 Award 2: At the Bright Business Conference, hosted by Efficiency Nova Scotia, the Town of Bridgewater was the recipient of a prestigious Bright Business Award!  Joining the ranks of other leaders in energy efficiency, the Town was recognized for its success in cutting energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from its facilities by 15% over a 5 year period, as well as its broader sustainability efforts. This great video highlights the town’s energy commitments and success with a shout out to the Community Gardens Network.

Note: for some reason the link below doesn’t go right to the Bridgewater Award video, so click on ‘play all’ and then search on the right for the 7th video which is the ‘Community Award, Town of Bridgewater’ Thanks!

 

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Art Happening Bridgewater

blogThere’s new buzz on King Street in Bridgewater these days. It’s called Art Happening Bridgewater

Art Happening Bridgewater will be a community gathering place for all to explore creative expression of all kinds, music, visual art, poetry, crafting, storytelling, gardening, performance, theatre…the list is yours to create! All forms of creativity and people are welcome to drop by once we open, 430 King Street. No experience necessary it’s a place to explore what creativity can be share skills, learn from each other, and build community

Art Happening Bridgewater is a project of the Bridgewater Development Association’s Art and Culture Committee, and is in the process of forming it’s own registered society. We currently have crowd funded square-foot campaign to build enough revenue to sustain our overhead. Other support will depend on donations and volunteer efforts.blog2

 

Send this out on all your social media and word of mouth, help make Art Happening Bridgewater a reality!

We also need help with: core team members, collecting donations of cash and supplies, hosting a booth at the Growing Green Festival, painting,  and cleaning the space.

Contact artinbridgewater@gmail.com  for more info

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Heritage Skills and Youth Engagement

Here is another example of local young people who care about and are active making a difference in Bridgewater. This innovative project was a great collaboration between Community Services, HeartWood, The DesBrisay Museum (http://www.bridgewater.ca/desbrisay-museum/welcome-to-our-museum.html), and Lighthouse Media group (southshorenow.ca).

It ran for 10 weeks from Jan until April and built employability skills through service learning in the community. The museum had a genuine need for skilled film-makers and there were young people looking for work experience and an opportunity to build their confidence. With support from Community Services, HeartWood (www.heartwood.ns.ca) delivered this program.

See the results for yourself of when young people are given a meaningful task and provided with some skill building to support their success.

Many thanks to Jason, Dawn, Jordan, Celia, Matthew and Martin for a dynamic and successful program!

Bridgewater Downtown and Waterfront Master Plan revealed

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.

Place-Making Bridgewater

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:

 


Cafe 12 The Great Unveiling

It’s been on the down low for most of the year, but yesterday evening Cafe 12 Bridgewater had a Great Unveiling at a public meeting with Town Council. The seats were packed with over 35 people present as we shared our proposal to Town Council.

Cafe 12 supporters at Council Meeting

Our request is to lease the Bridgewater Library Building when the current Library moves into the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre in 2013.  The Library’s move could have the result of another empty building on King Street–or it can be seized as an opportunity of new life to an iconic Bridgewater building.

Bridgewater Library building to Cafe 12

Library photos December 2011

Cafe 12 is a non-profit corporation, a network of cafes shaped by the gifts of individual communities, where all ages love to gather. It’s staff are trained experts and inviting neighbours to get involved in community building in ways that encourage creativity, leadership and enterprise. The result–a thriving community.

In Bridgewater we have a design team of 12 who have been working hard over the past month to get a proposal together for council, which was generally well received. We’ve also built some great relationships with community agencies, individuals and supporters. Some of those include: Lighthouse Media Group, the Police Department, Lunenburg District Office of Community Services, United Way, Wildwood Cafe, the Bridgewater Development Association, and South Shore Public Libraries, and more!

Rachel, Ashton and Brian present to Council

Bridgewater Town Council asked some great questions, and what was most awesome was that other council members or  town staff responded to the questions, showing support among council and staff for the vision and concept. The next steps will be to meet with town staff to answer their questions, work out details of the proposal and work towards a lease agreement that is acceptable to both groups.

We later celebrated this milestone by the river, with cake!

always celebrate with cake!

Cafe 12 Bridgewater Design Team and Friends celebrating by the river

South Shore Sustainability Expo

Check out this great event happening at the Nova Scotia Community College this Saturday, March 31. Lots of great ideas on products, services and ways to get involved towards Sustainability and Resilience. This event is one of many steps towards seeing our community as part of the global Transition Town Movement…and the more local Revolution Through Doing Good Things (check out the Revolution in Action pages on this blog).

Expo

HeartWood Leadership Youth Make a Difference in Bridgewater

Re-posting this as there was an error in the original posting and it did not show up on the blog. Also added some photographs. Text is written by youth from the HeartWood March Break Youth Leadership Program which had a special emphasis on Bridgewater.

building the compost bin

The experiences in Bridgewater at HeartWood’s leadership camp have really been a great and eventful opportunity. Some of the things we have done have been a really great and a fun experience.

On the first day of the camp, making friends was really easy and great. Seeing some of the people of Bridgewater and how they have affected the community and people in general has been very influential. We split up into groups and visited different leaders in the community; an example of one would be Leon who worked at the Town Hall. Leon’s idea was to make things more eco friendly in an effective way and made us feel like we could do the same.

The next day we went out into the community and partook in service projects. Some of us went to the Small World Day Care, where we looked after the children and played with them. Some of us went to the Ryan Hall Seniors Home where we played music and socialized with the seniors and some of us helped to build a structural compost bin for the community gardens.

When we weren’t out in the community we were back in the M.A.R.C. in Dayspring, where we participated in different activities that helped us develop our leadership skills and passions.

We are a diverse group of youth who come from different parts of the province and we hope to bring home all of the new skills and passions we have learned and developed back into our communities so we too can make a difference.

Written by: Tyler Brimfield, Hailie Harrison and Shamus Stapleton, participants in HeartWood’s March Break Leadership program. www.heartwood.ns.ca

This year the Bridgewater Community Christmas Dinner was able to provide scholarships for 4 local youth to attend the program.

Sheild tag in the blizzard

Tyler playing keyboards during the "Not Necessarily Talented, But All Talented" talent show

Blaize sharing his rabbit snaring skills during the participant led session

compost crew with Ernie and Rosmarie

Join the Community Sustainability Network!

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!

http://www.sustainablebridgewater.ca