Tuesday, April 10, 2007
One of the things I've been up to lately (instead of writing) is getting involved in the formation of an environmental group in the Municipality of Tweed (a big area that contains the village of Tweed and Thomasburg too--and lots else). I went to an all-candidates' meeting before the municipal election last fall. As it was during the previous municipal election campaign, the meeting was standing room only--proving, I guess, the old adage, "all politics are local." I was pretty impressed--this was a better turnout than I've seen at some meetings during federal election campaigns.
During the question period Denice, a woman I know (mainly through her u-pick organic blueberry patch that has had two very productive years in a row--I'm hoping this year will be as good, the blueberries in the freezer will soon be gone), asked each of the candidates whether they would be willing to discuss, consider, whatever, a cosmetic pesticide ban for the municipality. Only one said she'd be willing to discuss such a thing (she was elected Reeve). The others said things like, "that stuff is safe, the government makes sure" and "we can't tell people what to do on their own property." The latter was my favourite, because, of course, it's the municipal government that tells us how many cats we can have, whether we can build a woodshed, how many yard sales we can have in a year, and so on, and so on....
After the meeting I went up to Denice to talk about the idea of the ban. She asked me if I'd be willing to help her follow up, I said yes. I've been pretty heavily involved in party politics for the last few years--and events during the last federal election campaign (national, not local) as well as a number of other frustrations took the wind out of my sails. I am still helping the local riding association with a few things...but I was ripe for another political/activist direction. When Denice suggested that we form an environmental committee and get involved in a whole range of environmental projects I said yes again, becoming a founding member of Tweed Green-Up.
The time for something like this was clearly right. With a little publicity we quickly grew from an original four to fourteen members.
Then we were able to seize an opportunity to have John Seed come to Belleville to give his Climate Change, Despair and Empowerment presentation. The event will take place May 1, 7:30 pm, Eastminster United Church, 432 Bridge St. E., Belleville. (For more information, contact us: tweedgreenup(AT)yahoo.ca.)
One of our members was successful in getting the Chamber of Commerce to fund a reusable shopping bag for Tweed merchants--to be available early this summer. We're getting the same bag Perth has, showcased by Bev on Burning Silo, here.
A screening of An Inconvenient Truth is planned for late in May in the village of Tweed. Details will be available soon on the Tweed Green-Up blog.
Then there's Adopt-a-Highway, and so on, and so on...we're putting our fingers in a lot of pies.
The blog: Tweed Green-Up, is the place where news, events, resources, etc. are and will be available. We're just getting started. So please consider linking it to help our fellow Tweedites find us!