Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Make-A-Change project takes to the trails!

Hi everyone!

My name is Clare and I’ve recently completed an art project for one of my classes. The art pieces are all food related – a cornucopia, a fish, a carrot, a fork and knife - and my hope is that they will challenge the viewer to think about food security issues, both locally and globally. In addition, it encourages folks to get out and enjoy the beautiful trails of Wolfville. You can check out the (12) art pieces by simply taking a walk through the Acadia Woodland Trails, Reservoir Park Trails, and Millennium Trails. They will be left up until the end of exams. 

Thank you, and good luck with all of your studying!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Outdoor Environmental Education Comes to Life in Lunenburg County

Acadia students and graduates are taking the lead in a new and innovative community partnership in Lunenburg County to provide environmental education and facilitate community development. A collaborative effort of the Blue Nose Coastal Action Foundation, Michelin Tire, the Halifax Regional Adventure Earth Centre and Acadia University have helped bring outdoor environmental education to life in Lunenburg County. Programs are being run at the Morton Centre, a beautiful Acadia field station on Heckman’s Island near Lunenburg.

The spring started with Cycle Savers, a fun-filled environmental education program for local grade 4 classes. Coordinated by Megan Beliveau (BRM ESST 2014) and Jen McKinnon, Cycle Savers is a day of outdoor environmental activities led by high school student volunteers who receive intensive leadership training. The 4th grade classes learn about the air, soil and water cycles at the Morton Centre and then apply that learning back at school and home in working to implement lifestyle changes to reduce their impact on these cycles. The summer months have included week-long earth adventure day camps, off-site earth education visits and a high school student environmental program. These are the exciting first steps in fostering the vision for a dynamic, community oriented and environmentally thoughtful learning center.

Located on a remarkable 99 acre property, the Morton Centre, was donated to Acadia in 1995 by Harry and Rachel Morton for environmental research and education. Cate deVreede (BSc. Environmental Science 2005, MRM 2011) is taking the on-going lead in Lunenburg County to develop these programs through the Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation. They see the program expanding over summers, providing learning and employment for Acadia students while offering new innovative programs in the community. Acadia Faculty including Dr. Ian Spooner (Environmental Science) and Drs. Alan Warner and John Colton (Community Development & ESST) are supporting the efforts.

Megan Belliveau (BRM ESST 2014) working with children as a part of Cycle Savers.

ESST-Y Award Tree Planting

On Tuesday, May 14, a small group of ESST students and faculty took to the campus with one goal in mind: planting apple trees to honor recipients of the ESST-Y Award! It only took a few hours to complete the task. Some were pros. Some weren’t so much. Regardless, fun was had, and lots of laughter took place. It made for an excellent (rainy) afternoon that exemplified what this program is really all about – coming together to work towards a common goal. And with many future awards to come, Acadia’s campus is sure to provide a delicious snack once these beauties start growing! Check out some of the pictures below:

Breaking ground!
Glyn hard at work!
Some are working, some are merely "supervising"
We did it!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Harvest Feast Program

On Saturday November 3rd, 2012, on behalf of the Acadia Community Farm, Alyssa, Rachel and Fiija organized and ran a Harvest Feast program at the Farmers' Market. The event was a huge success, with people from the farm community, the Acadia community and the Wolfville community all attending. A multi-course meal was served including soup, salad, and a bun were the appetizers, vegetable pasta and corn-on-the-cob were the main course, and there was apple crisp, pie and cookies for dessert. Heather Kelday performed throughout the event (a big thanks again goes out to Heather for helping!). There were games for the kids, crafts such as corn husk dolls and gourd painting, in addition to a booth where participants were able to plant a small herb garden. There were also two booths set up around preserving foods and the Acadia farm. Two draws were taken, for a commissioned painting by Rachel Morrison and a nice basket of fruit, winery tour tickets, and chocolate. The event could not have happened if it weren't for the many volunteers that came out and helped - Thanks again!! - and the donations from local businesses. Noggin's donated quite a lot (ALL the decorations, pumpkins, gourds, etc.). We had a great time and the organizing team learned a 
lot from the experience.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

First Year Experience - Camp Mockingee

Near the beginning of the year, all first year Environmental and Sustainability Students went on a 3 day trip to Camp Mockingee. The purpose of this trip was to get to know everybody and create a better sense of community in our tight-nit program. Through team-building activities, and quiet reflection in the heart of nature, and story-telling by the campfire, we became a family.

Throughout the trip, we had the privilege to hear about the professors' backgrounds, and concluded by being joined by the upper year students of the program. It was a great way to start the year, meeting such wonderful people, building a network, becoming a family, eating great homemade food, and taking part in some awesome activities related to the environment!

Sustainability Week!

Sustainability week is an annual event which takes place at Acadia University, focusing on the issues and solutions of sustainability, specifically on campus. This years event took place October 29th-November 3rd, 2012, including events ran by the Environment and Sustainability Studies students touching on water, waste, biodiversity, energy, and food. In order to promote action and extend the awareness, other events included Free Coffee at Perkins, Chapel Services, Ride Free Week, courtesy of Kings Transit, Waste Free Wednesday, and many more.

Water - Tap Water Challenge 

Focusing on the flawed perception of bottled vs. tap water, an awareness event was chosen in order to demonstrate both the benefits and quality of tap water. Our main goal was to advocate the harm done by plastic water bottles on the environment, targeting the student population primarily. Furthermore, we hoped to encourage the use of tap water on campus, as it is both clean and free!  We had the participants sample both tap and bottled water, having them decide which they preferred and also to attempt at differentiating the two. Additionally, we had the students answer various questions around water use, scarcity, and water bottle facts, rewarding those who answered correctly with a reusable water bottle provided by Chartwells.

Waste – Clothing Swap

We have chosen a clothing swop for our event since Jodie has shared knowledge that a clothing swop was done successfully once before on a small scale, so a larger campus scale ought to bring success. It was also a concern to janitors of Acadia when international students would move and leave a large amount of waste behind that would be discarded of.
Goals/objectives of the event:
1. Eliminate the amount of waste left from students moving off campus especially clothing.
2. Help Acadia students understand the importance of proper waste management through information provided on our Facebook page and other marketing areas.
3. To help students on campus/off campus to get clothing that is recycled and to provide the opportunity for them to get rid of their non-used clothing/items.
4. If clothing is left over they have a sense that it is going back to the community to a local organization such as Red Cross.      

Biodiversity – Bonfire 

Our group put on an indoor bonfire at the Irving Center to explain and teach other students, community members and faculty about biodiversity and how it affects the world around us. We included snacks, and designed creative stories and played various games around the idea of biodiversity and its importance.

Energy – Towering Energy Tours
This event focused on energy consumption and way to conserve energy in residence, specifically focussing on Tower. A tour of one of the floors revealed that the building’s heating system, light fixtures and faucets/showers have not been updated. A kind of show and tell, we took people on a tour, showing them all the things they could do individually to help conserve energy: turning off lights when not in the room, keeping windows closed and locked in the winter, and taking shorter showers, to name a few.
Providing figures of amounts of oil, steam, water, etc. to run the building gave tour members a perspective of how much energy we use. The tour concluded with a trivia session with energy-saving prizes provided to us by our partner organization, Efficiency Nova Scotia.
1. To bring awareness to students about energy usage.
2. To show students realistic ways to drastically reduce their energy consumption.
3. To show some negative sides to high energy consumption.
4. Shed light on energy inefficiency in general.

Food – Great Wolfville Food Challenge 

The food group for sustainability week chose to do a Food Scavenger Hunt that took place at various points around Wolfville. The goal of the event was raise awareness on local, sustainable food, advocating both the to student and community population. Participants were given a reusable bag (provided by Pete’s), and uncovered clues in order to make their way from station to station. At the various stations, there were activities, challenges, and games designed challenging the participants to earn the free food offered. The produce and items obtained for the Scavenger Hunt were donations from the local businesses across Wolfville including Pete’s, TAN, Acadiana Soy, Pie r Squared, and many other generous donors. 

Interested in staying in touch for next years event? Check out the Arthur Irving Academy for the Environment website for full event details and updates!

ESST Pub Night!

As noted before here at the Acadia Environmental and Sustainability Studies blog our aim is to keep you updated on any and everything our students are involved in. In this case we want to share our first ESST Pub night of the 2012-2013 academic year with you guys. Like many of our other events such as cider making or the fast approaching snow shoeing event at Prof. Colton’s, we ESSTers like to organize events that’ll give us a chance to have fun outside of the classroom setting.

Our first pub night of the year was held at Paddy’s Brew Pub on one of their coveted Monday nights. This was a great night to get everyone down at Paddy’s because if anyone knows Paddy’s Brew Pub you know that you’re almost always in for a good time at their Monday night open mics.

This event was a hit because it brought ESST students together while having a lot of fun! It was a great opportunity for our students to connect and to one another. Some of the older students got to know some of the newer students in addition to reconnecting with others who I haven't seen in a long time. It was simply a night full of food, drinks, music, and fun!