Posts filed under ‘Community’

How to Start a Crop Swap

Backyard gardeners and urban homesteaders are coming together to share excess produce in increasingly popular local meet-ups known as crop swaps, where neighbors exchange, say, beets and greens for apples and squash. Some crop swaps include trades for honey, eggs, flowers, and preserved or prepared foods, too.

Read How to Start a Crop Swap by Sarah Henry in Shareables.

August 16, 2017 at 10:49 am Leave a comment

Strength Test #1: How’s your Main Street doing?

“Take a photo of your main street at midday. Does the picture show more people than cars?”

space2

This is the first item on the Strength Test for a reason. It helps us understand on a very basic level whether your town is filled with cars passing through, or people enjoying your city center as a destination. At Strong Towns, we call humans the “indicator species of economic health.” If you’ve got a lot of them walking around, visiting your town’s businesses, enjoying your town’s amenities and living in your town’s homes, you’re well on your way to being a strong town. That means you have an economic base to support your community and people who genuinely want to live in your place and contribute to it.

On the other hand, if your main street is devoid of people and merely a thoroughfare for cars, that tells us about your town’s auto-dependence (which makes infrastructure costs expensive) and it tells us about the tax base of your community. In our analyses of tax value per acre in city after city, we find that downtown cores and main streets are the most economically productive places.

Read Strength Test #1: How’s your Main Street doing? by Rachel Quedno at Strong Towns.

June 26, 2017 at 10:59 am Leave a comment

Cornwall Public Library wants to raise $250K for rooftop oasis

Dawn Kiddell and volunteer Anne Downing

The Cornwall Public Library could have a “roof oasis” by 2020.

Maybe sooner.

“If we have a good, solid fundraising strategy and the support we need, it could (be completed before 2020),” said Francois Marineau, chair of the Library Roofop Development Committee, at a Tuesday night stakeholder meeting.

The proposed $250,000 project would have the roof at the library on Second Street transformed into a gathering place, what Marineau called “an oasis in downtown Cornwall, a unique and attractive public venue that fosters learning, socialization and relaxation.”

The project, still considered to be in its early stages, would have the roof including a wellness area with quiet times for reading and reflection, and there could be activities including everything from yoga and Tai Chi to a night sky observatory. There could be music events, a green space café, a giant chessboard out of patio stones, community gardening and private social events, too.

Read Cornwall Public Library wants to raise $250K for rooftop oasis by Todd Hambleton at the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder.

June 12, 2017 at 10:23 am Leave a comment

Edible plant fest keeps growing

Experienced and aspiring green thumbs were at the promenade next to city hall on Saturday, to ask questions, learn, have fun, and even take home a plant to care for.
It was the Incredible Edible Plants Festival, hosted by the food action group of Transition Cornwall+ with the support of the All Things Food food network.
The event attracted a steady stream of a few hundred people to browse the booths and activities. MPP Jim Macdonell even arrived to present the organizers with a certificate for bringing the event back for a fifth year.
Organizer Kat Rendek said she was very pleased to see how the event has grown since its humble beginnings.
“The festival has grown considerably through partnerships in the community. Initially, in our first year, it was really just about the plant giveaway,” reflected Rendek.

”But now we have a community garden planting in four different community gardens . . . we also had a huge number of activities this year.”

Read Edible plant fest keeps growing by Alan S. Hale at the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder.

May 29, 2017 at 10:59 am Leave a comment

10 Ways Bicycle-Friendly Streets Are Good for People Who Don’t Ride Bicycles

A dedicated bicycle lane in Durham, New Hampshire

Drivers, some of whom view the nation’s roadways as their exclusive domain, are having to contend with growing numbers of bicyclists and pedestrians.

Bicyclists, who are largely focused on maneuvering through vehicle traffic and not getting sideswiped on shoulderless streets, sometimes don’t realize how they imperil pedestrians.

People traveling by foot often feel under siege from both speeding cars and unpredictable bicycles.

Like many street-level conflicts, this one is about territory. Who owns the streets?

The solution (and key to reducing frustration and preventing actual injury) is to share the streets by providing a space for each group. Recent research shows that bicycle-friendly projects are even good for people who will never ride a bike. Here’s how:

Read 10 Ways Bicycle-Friendly Streets Are Good for People Who Don’t Ride Bicycles by Jay Walljasper at AARP.

May 15, 2017 at 10:56 am Leave a comment

How to Throw a Successful Yard Sale

By gosh, there’s nothing better than a good sale. And I’m not talking about shopping. Selling off your stuff can be surprisingly fun, liberating, and profitable. It’s hard work, though. To ensure good profits, your best bet is to organize a multi-family or neighborhood sale. Bigger sales bring more customers; a well-run, well-publicized event can net hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

So how do you do it? Well, you’ll need more than a newspaper ad. Get organized, plan ahead, and use social media to make your sale stand out.

1. Start early and in person.
A month or two before the sale date, start calling your neighbors and friends. Hold a planning meeting, potluck-style. Topics of conversation: location, date, theme, and price points. Make an action plan and let every household choose a manageable task.

2. Create a web presence.
This step makes all the difference, but it doesn’t need to be complicated! The easiest method is to create a Facebook event. It’s quick to set up, and you can invite most of your friends and neighbors.

3. Catalogue the goods.
Create an online photo album (e.g. on Flickr). Use a shared login so your co-sellers can upload photos. Ask everyone to post their interesting or valuable items, along with information about any antiques or collectibles. If possible, set up a separate album for each participating household.

Read all 8 tips at How to Throw a Successful Yard Sale by Jessica Reeder at Shareable.

April 24, 2017 at 11:07 am Leave a comment

Hearts & Minds: Sharing as a Mental Health Intervention

green leaf breaking through crack in concrete

One of the biggest challenges for many societies in the 21st century is mental health. In addition to the incalculable human cost of pain, distress and heartbreak, it has also become a huge economic cost.

The World Economic Forum report ‘The Global Economic Burden of Non-communicable Diseases’ revealed that mental health issues are the single largest source of health care costs, more than cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, cancer, or diabetes.

At the same time that demand for services is increasing, austerity measures are exerting downward pressure on budgets. Communities everywhere will need creative ways to address mental health, and the associated spiralling costs.

Sharing and collaboration opens up incredible opportunities for strengthening individual and community resilience. Those participating in or monitoring sharing activity know this, usually anecdotally. But what if we could measure the benefits to people and societies?

Read Hearts & Minds: Sharing as a Mental Health Intervention by Sharon Ede at Post Growth.

April 12, 2017 at 10:48 am Leave a comment

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