NMB TN Newsletter – 06/06/2011

The big week has arrived at last. Tomorrow night (Tuesday) Green Week officially opens at Alliance Francaise in Richmond Hill, with a film screening of The French Organic Revolution and some green cocktails. All throughout the week there will activities taking place to celebrate our environment and the need to care for it, including a presentation on Permaculture by Jakkie Botha from Urban Harvest, and another by Noziqhamo Art and Craft Recycling group on what they are doing. For more details on whats happening and when, check out the GreenWeek Program

If you are curious to know what has been happening elsewhere around the world in Transition, here is the link to the May Round-Up on TransitionCulture.org:
http://transitionculture.org/2011/05/30/a-may-round-up-of-what%E2%80%99s-happening-out-in-the-world-of-transition-2/

It was interesting for us to put together our contribution toward a new vision for our metro, and since submitting that have continued looking at what other cities and towns are getting up to. There are so many possibilities, so many different things we can do to make our communities healthier, happier and more eco-friendly. Take a look at this video with some ideas coming out of Philadelphia:
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/06/philadelphia-radical-green-infrastructure-plan-harnes-rainwater.php

I came across a beautiful little park in Kalk Bay during my recent trip to Cape Town. The greenery looked healthy, and the playing apparatus was in good condition, but unlike many parks I see these days, this one actually had people in it enjoying the space. A friend I had met there was telling me about how the neighbourhood has taken responsibility for the park, having events there from time to time to raise funds that go toward maintaining it. Taking responsibility. I find that comes up regularly when discussing issues like this, and indeed with Transition, its people at grassroots level taking responsibility for making positive changes in their communities.

These spaces could also enhance the biodiversity of the area, or provide food to local residents or organizations working nearby. Here’s a video of a group in Colorado exploring that potential….
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/05/edible-landscaping-parks-homeless.php

vigilante gardener brooklyn photo

And then there are those with fantasies of being superheroes… well, there is plenty of room for that too…

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/06/vigilante-gardener-superheroes-video.php

I often talk about making roof space more productive. In New York, one chap its doing just that by using urban roof space for beekeeping. In bringing food production back into the urban environment, bee keeping becomes particularly important. While the bees pollinate plants in the area, you now also have a local source of honey which can then be sold at neighbourhood markets.
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/05/new-york-city-rooftop-beekeeping.php

We want you more involved in finding ways in which to improve the local food security of our metro, so in the works are plans to host an Open Space event where you can discuss issues around this and share some ideas.

Environmental education was another thing we stressed in our vision for the metro. Learning about the environment from a text book in your usual classroom, in my opinion, is a bit, well, boring. If we expect our youth to be interested in Nature, then we need the right environments, both indoors and out, to show them just how interesting it is. Mamelodi’s Living Classroom is a great example for how it should be done…
http://www.urbansprout.co.za/mamelodi039s_living_classroom_gauteng039s
_answer_to_enviromental_education

For those who didn’t see the Weekend Post, here is an article on two Eco-Schools in Motherwell which received a big donation of equipment and furniture to improve their learning environment. Already WESSA have 30 eco-schools in the metro; hopefully we’ll see that number continue to grow in the years to come. Well done to them for the great work they are doing.
http://www.peherald.com/news/article/1593

Thats all for this week…

Dates to Remember in June

6 – 11 June 2011 – Green Week
– Wed 8th: Presentation – Permaculture, 12h00
– The Transition Town Movement, 17h30
– Friday 10th: Tree Planting @ Settlers Park Primary School, 12h00
– Sat 11th: Intro to Food Gardening workshop @ The Irie, 9h00 – 15h00
view full program for GreenWeek here

8 – 10 June 2011 – Eastern Cape Climate Change Conference @ East London ICC

16 June 2011 – Green Drinks

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