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March 2015 Newsletter

 Sustainable Environment Network Society Newsletter MARCH 2015

 Support Us! You can become a member (Family - $20.00, Individual - $15.00, Basic - $5.00), attend our monthly meetings (the 4th Thursday usually), donate, and/or volunteer. Mailing address: SENS (Sustainable Environment Network Society), c/o the Boys and Girls Club, 3300-37th Ave., Vernon, V1T 2Y5. Website: www.sensociety.org.

This newsletter is being sent out for your interest. Information contained within does not imply approval by SENS directors.

 *** SENS provides tax-deductible receipts for donations ***


1. Annual Seed & Plant Swap/Sale and Annual General Meeting (AGM): March 26, Schubert Centre. The free seed and plant swap/sale starts at 6:30 pm, a short AGM at 7:30 pm, followed by Brian McIsaac and Rebecca Kneen presenting: "Capping Growth in a Finite World – when is enough, enough?" Afterwards, there’ll be time for discussion and more seed and plant swap/sales.

Interested in contributing to SENS as a Director? Please contact our Chair, Sigrid-Ann Thors, at 250- 503-3150 prior to our AGM.

 2. Symphony of the Soils: March 19, 7 – 9:15 pm, Schubert Centre. $5 assists with room costs. To celebrate the UN International Year of Soils, SENS, Allan Brooks Nature Centre, and Food Action Society are hosting a screening of this new documentary. It explores the relationships between soil and its surroundings and users, and explains how having healthy soil leads to a healthy planet (humans too!). Breakout sessions with well known local soil experts and facilitators will assist all of us in planning for the next steps in an Okanagan Soil Resilience Project. Details on this website: http://www.abnc.ca/ai1ec_event/symphony-of-the-soils-film-screening/?instance_id=306

3. Vernon Seedy Saturday, March 21st 10 am -3 pm, Vernon Rec Centre, 3301 37 Ave.

Join SENS and Vernon in Transition on the first day of spring to celebrate seeds, gardening, bees, local food and community. You’ll find locally grown heirloom seeds, starts, plants, garden products, locally produced food, honey and more. Experience the community (free) seed exchange, educational displays, children's activities, inspiring speakers and films (eg Voices of Transition) throughout the event. 

A special feature, 12:30 – 3 pm, is Sierra Club Canada Foundation's Protect The Pollinators Tour with special guest speakers John Bennett, National Program Director, Sierra Club Canada,  and Paul McKay, author, The Kepler Code

Admission by donation ($2 suggested) to assist with rent. 

For updates check  https://www.facebook.com/events/434822590005938/



1. Farmers’ Markets:

·       Coldstream: Fridays, 2:30 – 6 pm.

·       Vernon: Kal Tire Place, 12 – 4 pm, March 6, 13, 20, 27

·       Lumby: Daily, 10 am – 5 pm, Arbour Mall on Highway 6.

      -    Organic produce, both GMO and pesticide free. Contact: 250 547-7808.

 2. Sustainability, Greening Cities: March 9, 9:30 – 11:30 am, People Place basementKeli Westgate, SENS director, is the speaker. Admission is $20 (Cost of yearly membership).

 3. Transit Options: March 11, 10 am -2pm, Schubert Centre. Please note this rescheduled change!  RSVP to 250-545-0585.

 4. Organic Vegetable Farm Job Opportunity: Nevin and Shauna Gavigan of the Farmacy Organic Farm (email) are expanding their Lumby operations, and are interested in hiring a seasonal Full time staff member from within the local
community. Visit their website to learn more.


 5. Environmental Art Bursary: Okanagan College is organizing an environmentally-focused event, Earth Matters, that blends an art competition with an academic symposium.  The symposium will take place April 9, 2015. 2D art submissions are needed! If you know of any art or environmental groups that you think might be interested in this event, please email Kathleen Jagger.

 6. World Water Day: March 19, 2 – 3:30 pm, UBC Okanagan Ballroom, 3333 University Way, Kelowna. Eileen D Pearkes, author of “A River Captured”, is keynote speaker.  http://worldwaterday.ok.ubc.ca/  

 7. Vernon Village Co-Housing: March 28, 2:30 pm, Okanagan Library, Vernon Branch. If you are interested in helping to create an economic, social, and environmentally friendly community in this area, please attend this informational session. For more, email Barbara or Mel or call 778 475-3453.

 8. B.C. Organics: Here's a quick survey on organics. Feedback is asked for until March 31…

 9. Okanagan Science Centre: Wishes 2 liter pop bottles dropped off for spring break camps…

 10. Water Sustainability: By now you've heard that B.C. has a new Water Sustainability Act. But sadly the bill has no bite! The Canadian Freshwater Alliance is leading a media & community organizing initiative that will shape a stronger Act. Should you wish to take part, contact Susi Porter-Bopp. 

 11. Element Ecodesign: If you’re interested in their program of courses for 2015, check out their website. Topics include, designing an edible landscape, storm water management, permaculture earthworks, edible forest gardens, and much more.

 12. Allan Brooks Nature Centre Fundraiser: Flights of Fancy Dinner and Auction Gala, April 10, 5 – 11 pm Best Western Lodge, $65 per ticket or $500 per table of 8 at 250 549 SHOW. Early bird deadline is March 15. www.abnc.ca

 13.  Eco-Friendly Home Tour: May 2nd, Vernon / May 3rd, Kelowna –  a CFUW Scholarship fundraiser

Tour 7 homes in Vernon & Kelowna with leading edge energy and water saving features, meet the owners, and learn how LEED Gold standard, Living Building Challenge & Net Zero Energy Certification are involved with generating energy to sell back to the grid,  incorporating passive solar design principles, utilizing various geothermal systems, capturing rainwater, recycling greywater, retrofitting a 70 yr. old home,  and xeriscape gardening . Tickets for the 2 day tour are $20.  Only 48 tickets are available through Bean Scene.  At Sunday’s last stop refreshments are ‘on’. Contact franceswarner@shaw.ca    or call 778 475 2255.  


1. Roundup in “Froot Loops": Apparently, "DNA lab testing verified that 100% of the corn in Kellogg’s Froot Loops is genetically modified corn, containing DNA sequences known to be present in the insecticide Roundup Ready" Ugh! For the article, go here.

 2. Air-Powered Car: Check out this cool video!

 3. Norway’s Wild Salmon Threatened: A month ago, a huge number of farmed, sexually mature trout escaped from their pens in Norway. Most were caught, but the true damage won't be known for some time... What is known though is that this latest incident is rocking the salmon farming industry. There are renewed calls for the industry to get out of the ocean!  B.C. should echo those calls. For the entire article, go here. And for even more, go here.

 4. B.C.’s Wolf Cull: According to this CBC article, B.C.'s controversial wolf cull will likely be necessary for the next five years. The Alberta government conducted a similar cull of wolves starting in 2006 that resulted in almost 1,000 animals being killed. Caribou numbers there showed no sign of improvement afterward...

 5. Ah, Weeds: http://www.portcoquitlam.ca/Assets/Pesticide+Alternatives+$!26+Natural+Solutions.pdf

 6. Bnnetton’s Reversal: They will now pay compensation to victims of the Rana Plaza Factory collapse in Bangladesh. https://secure.avaaz.org/en/benetton_thank_you/?bQynJab&v=54275

 7. Mount Polley was our biggest ever mining disaster but our BC government has now given Imperial Metals a temporary permit to open Red Chris mine, a new copper and gold mine with a a large tailing pond in the Stikine watershed. Tell BC Premier Christy Clark to remove Imperial Metals' permit to build the Red Chris Mine!  Thank-you to SumOfUs.org for this.


1. Help Stop New Fish Farms: Seafood BC wants to convert two of its shellfish aquaculture tenures to salmon farms. As we all know, fish farms can be harmful to our wild salmon via its wastes, chemicals, and potential to spread sea lice. If approved, it could open the floodgates to other shellfish tenures being converted to salmon farms. Help stop this by writing an action letter ((1 & 2) and submitting on the B.C. government's website. Here's the full story.


1. Okanagan Grizzlies are At-Risk: The Okanagan territory was once home to thriving populations of grizzly bears, but today few remain. As such, the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) has declared Grizzly Bears as "at-risk" and in need of protection. The ONA has received some funding from Environment Canada to support the protection of this species and to assist in recovery efforts. For more info, go here.

2. Okanagan Stewardship: Over the next year, the Okanagan Similkameen Stewardship Society (OSS) will be focusing on land owner contact, habitat enhancement and community stewardship initiatives in the North and Central Okanagan. These projects will largely focus on Species at Risk and their habitats. If you would like to help on any of these projects, please email the OSS.

 FROM ECOJUSTICE     Take a tour of their re-designed site.

1. We Need to Slow Down: Staff lawyer Karen Campbell was in the room when U.S. tribes shared deep knowledge and grave warnings in the Kinder Morgan testimonies. Hear what they had to say in her blog.

 2. A Day in Court to Defend Species: Ecojustice lawyers took the Ontario government to court for a regulation that guts our Endangered Species Act. Get a firsthand account of the court proceedings here.

 3. Pesticide Fight Update: Ecojustice is currently fighting to improve the federal Pest Control Products Act. Of specific concern are the bee-killing  neonicotinoids. Recently, Ecojustice won an important legal victory, with Canada now planning to ban hundreds of pesticide products containing harmful ingredients. For the entire story with some great links, go here


The 2040 Imperative: Interested in a great read on phase-out of fossil fuels in Canada? Read this story...


1.Why the Wolf Kill Will Fail:  http://www.vancouverobserver.com/opinion/bc-s-caribou-recovery-plan-do-we-want-caribou-species-exist


1. Climate Change and Carbon: 2014 is confirmed as the hottest year on record, and 13 of the hottest 15 years have occurred since 2000. Decisive action is needed!  Hmmm… how about a global carbon tax to take some of the volatility out of the prices? Removing fossil fuel subsidies? 

2. Right To A Healthy Environment: Duncan, Ladysmith, and Sannich have joined nine other communities passing declarations recognizing their citizens’ right to live in a healthy environment!  We're one step closer towards the final goal: amending the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to recognize every Canadian’s right to a healthy environment! Show your support for this initiative by signing the pledge and/or bringing this initiative to your community

3. Nominate A Youth: for The Starfish Canada’s Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25 if you know of a young leader who deserves national recognition. Others who inspire:

Ta’Kaiya Blaney, a 13-year-old from B.C.’s Tla'Amin First Nation, spoke at the UN Rio +20 conference in 2012 when she was just 11.

Engineer Stephen Thomas, co-founded If You Build It. He’s a driving force for our nation’s clean energy future, getting community owned wind projects in Nova Scotia.

Vanessa Gray, of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation, mobilized other young people to campaign against Enbridge’s Line 9 pipeline proposal to transport oilsands bitumen through Sarnia, Ontario to Montreal for export.  

Co-Edited by Egan Mandreck