Environmental Initiatives

The community foundation seeks to establish a network of partnerships with those who share concerns for our environment, with a goal of environmental well-being and sustainability. 

Here are some of our current initiatives: (Click on for more information)

Working Together We Can Create the Future We Want

By Heidi Schaeffer

This Summer we have seen the impacts of climate change firsthand. Who can forget the Derecho windstorm in May that tore up trees and entire forests while leaving many without power for days across our region?  In July we saw prolonged heat and a serious drought across Ontario impacting crops. In other parts of the world, we saw record heatwaves and rivers drying up.  There is no doubt that we are seeing the impacts of the climate crisis in our forests and rivers and fields. We need to come together and create leadership for change and that’s the idea behind three talks and films this fall brought to you by the Whole Learning Alliance in partnership with the Aron Theatre Co-op, and supported by grant funding from the Campbellford/Seymour Community Foundation.

  • Our Relationships with Water

This event, rescheduled to October 27th, focuses on our relationship with water. Sacred Water Circle members from Curve Lake, including Spiritual Elder Dorothy Taylor, will facilitate a learning session designed to promote positive change in how we live with water and restore relationship between human communities and water. The Sacred Water Circle is a volunteer run, not for profit initiative that has brought together Indigenous and non- Indigenous people to work together for the benefit of water. The initiative leads with spirituality and also recognizes the necessity of working with science and policy to promote positive change in how we live with water.

  • Call of the Forest - The Forgotten Wisdom Of Trees

This event, on October 13th, focuses on our relationship with trees.  The event will include a film, Call of the Forest, about the work of world recognized author, medical biochemist and botanist, Diana Beresford-Kroeger. Not only will we screen the film, but we will invite the audience to share their questions about how to protect our local trees and forests and pose them to Diana.  The day after the screening everyone will be invited to a lunchtime talk where Diana will use zoom to answer our questions and teach us about climate change impacts affecting plants, trees and forests in our area.  We will also hear about actions being taken by Northumberland County and local conservation authorities to protect local forests and mitigate impacts of the climate crisis.

Read more>>

  • Leadership for Flourishing

Our third and final event this year on November 10th will be a collaboration with local environmental organization, Peterborough Greenup, to explore models of climate action and leadership for flourishing in rural communities.  A panel of speakers including the Executive Director of Green Communities Canada, Brianna Salmon, will reflect on how rural communities and Municipalities are coming together for green community flourishing. This session will include community conversations to explore our shared priorities for climate action.

Katheryne Hayhoe, author of “Saving Us: A Climate Scientist's Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World” describes climate action as “Who we love, what we love and where we love.” There is no doubt that we all love these beautiful rolling hills, the forests and rivers in Trent Hills and area.  And we can make a difference together and create the future we want. In fact, Kathryne’s main message is that there are solutions to lowering our carbon footprint, living sustainably, and flourishing together.  

What does a Flourishing Future Mean to you?

We are excited to gather people interested in these talks and start building actions for the future we want to create together.  The Whole Learning Alliance hopes to hear from you about what a flourishing future means to you. We are a handful of people in Trent Hills with a deep love and respect for our planet and for growing leadership for healthier, inclusive, and resilient green communities.

Please write and share a few lines about what a flourishing future means to you. Everyone who writes will to be entered in a draw to win free tickets to Fall films and talks at the Aron Theatre Co-op.  Just send us an email to: sustainabletrethills@gmail.com

For more details and to purchase tickets to the Future We Want films and talks please visit https://arontheatre.com/special-events/aron-talks/

On December 15, 2021, 33 enthusiastic members of our community came together to engage in a conversation about the environment to help guide the work of our community foundation. Members of our community shared their thoughts and explored scenarios for the environment and our community in a highly engaged and facilitated conversation.

View the presentation here>>

View the Vital Conversation report here>>

Stay tuned to hear more about how the results from this vital conversation will be used by the community foundation to create a plan of action, as part of our strategic planning in 2022.

In 2007 the community foundation created an Environmental Committee to provide advice, support, and leadership, around environmental issues. Community members interested in joining this committee can contact our office for more information.

The environmental committee set up an Environmental Endowment Fund, with an initial $500 donation from a committee member. In 2008, the Rural Agri-Ventures Ontario (RAV ONtario) representatives donated their remaining funds, $6,031.74, from the Rural Agri-Ventures Ontario Fund to the Community Foundation’s Environmental Fund. The organization hadn’t been active since 2002 and they felt that this fund met their original objectives. Since then, the fund has grown with further donations from community members. The capital is not touched, and grants are made from the earnings on the investment.

In 2008, an Environmental Scan was undertaken, with the theme of Building on our Natural Legacy. The scan included two main elements – gathering data on the Campbellford/Seymour environment and consulting community members on their environmental values and priorities. Over 100 members of the public and 35 groups participated. This work was funded by an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant.

In 2018, the Community Foundation initiated the Environmental Mini-Grant program and awarded its first grant of $500 to Hillcrest Public School to construct a native pollinator habitat on the school grounds. In 2019, St. Mary Catholic Elementary Public School was awarded a $500 mini-grant to install a pollinator garden by its side entrance. The community foundation offers this $500 mini-grant annually, through a grant application process, with funding from the Environmental Endowment Fund.

The Community Fund is the primary fund providing grants to projects which benefit the residents of Campbellford/Seymour, and environment is one of the granting sectors that is supported through this fund. Some of the projects funded include a forest food garden, recycling programs, litterless lunch kits, the community garden, the control of water soldier in the Trent River, the restoration of the Oak Alvar, signage and benches at Seymour Conservation Area, a Renewable Energy Showcase at Ferris Park, a plan for Crowe Bridge Conservation Area rehabilitation, as well as upgrades to its signage and trails. Check out all of our grants since 2003.

In 2019 the Community Foundation applied to become designated as a Bee Partner, through Bee City Canada – the first Community Foundation in Canada. The Municipality also applied to become a Bee Community. Read more>>

The Environmental Committee developed a strategic Environmental Action Plan in 2009. One project that resulted was the creation of a community garden on Doxsee Avenue North, across from the community foundation office. A number of community partners and volunteers came forward to help, including the HKPR District Health Unit, which supported the project by providing vegetable plants the first year. In 2016 the Incredible Edibles Committee took over the community garden and received a grant to start them off with raised beds, soil and plants. In 2020, a second community garden was installed on the west side of Campbellford, with funding through our COVID-19 Community Response grants.

The community foundation honours volunteers who have completed terms of office on our Board of Directors by planting a tree for them in the community. As part of the revitalization of Kennedy Park, over 23 trees were planted; some in honour of CSCF board members and some donated by community members. In 2019 an additional six trees were planted on the south side of the tennis courts to honour longserving board members.

Read more>>

Since 2006 its Youth Advisory Council (YAC) members have organized an Earth Day cleanup in the community (except in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic). That year, they also showed great leadership by making a presentation to town council regarding their environmental concerns and requested a pesticide reduction bylaw for our community, which was passed by council.

The community foundation strives to keep the environment in mind in its daily operations. Some other initiatives include:

  • An energy audit was completed on our office building in 2007 and several upgrades were completed to obtain a more energy efficient building.

  • The community foundation’s Finance Committee created a “Sustainability Scorecard” a tool used to create a triple bottomline bench mark for all foundation decision making in three key areas – Economics, Social and Ecological.

  • In 2008, CSCF partnered with the municipality on a grant application to the Rural Economic Development Program for the Campbellford Waterfront Development Project.

  • In 2009, CSCF partnered with the health unit on an application for funding from the Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition to host a half day workshop to investigate the connections between our health and our built communities.

  • The Environmental Committee partnered with the Aron Theatre Co-op to screen environmental documentaries and offered them free to classes from local schools, as well as free public screenings. In 2013 the award-winning documentary Living Downstream was shown, and in 2019 Queen of the Sun – What are the bees telling us? On Earth Day in 2022, the film Beyond Crisis: A Story for hope for a rapidly changing world will be screened at the Aron Theatre.

  • Connection through Community Foundations of Canada for Alliance 2030 and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.