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Working on sustainability

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James Allum, MLA for Fort Garry-Riverview, with Manitoba Excellence in Sustainability Award Winners Mark Burch, of the University of Winnipeg, and Getty Stewart, of Fruit Share Manitoba.

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James Allum, MLA for Fort Garry-Riverview, with Manitoba Excellence in Sustainability Award Winners Mark Burch, of the University of Winnipeg, and Getty Stewart, of Fruit Share Manitoba. Photo Store

The beginning of spring is a great opportunity to start planning all the wonderful projects summer brings.

What will we grow in the garden? What renovations will we undertake in the yard or in the house? 

Many community groups and families in Fort Garry-Riverview are using this time to focus on sustainability projects. Healthy gardens and green spaces mean we have access to better food and our parks have a variety of trees and shrubs that can thrive. 

The Sustainable South Osborne Community Co-op (SSOCC) is partnering with the University of Manitoba on an exciting hands-on course, called Building a Community Commons, for the second year. All community members are welcome to enrol in the class. This year’s students will design plans for an urban permaculture site and present it to the community. In the second half of the course, those students will then build the final permaculture site designed by last year’s class, known as the Darling Site, at the Riverview Community Centre. This way, each year’s students will pass on their project to the next generation, and the SSOCC will manage the gardens year to year.

Speaking of food, make sure you check out Fruit Share Manitoba. The organization provides volunteer pickers who will harvest your backyard fruit for you, give you what you can eat and donate the rest to other families so that fresh produce doesn’t go to waste. I’m proud to report that the Fruit Share volunteers and fruit owners recently won a well-deserved Manitoba Excellence in Sustainability Award.

While you are looking for garden supplies this summer, keep Pollock’s Hardware Co-op in mind. They provide the building supplies for BUILD and Manitoba Green Retrofit and are devoted to sustaining a strong community. And, for sustainable transportation in Fort Garry-Riverview, there are at least two great options. Peg City Car Co-op on Mulvey Avenue and South Osborne Bike Hub help those who want an alternative to conventional transportation.

As always, the Wildwood Heritage and Conservation Committee keeps sustainability issues front and centre in Fort Garry.  They have been planting trees and shrubs for 14 years in Wildwood Park. Crescent Park Rescue is another Wildwood organization which has been tenaciously promoting the enhancement of Crescent Drive Park.

There are many stories to tell about how folks in Fort Garry-Riverview offer their time, ingenuity and effort to make our community more sustainable. Every day, I see the progress they make. Bravo to all!

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