Blog Archives

 

Posts Tagged ‘sustainabilty’

Jul
27

Grow A Community Garden…

Posted by: in North West

This is the season when things grow and flourish. So how do you make a community garden grow? You start with good soil, then till the rows, plant a variety of seeds, water and watch it grow. A good gardener will nurture the garden along by maintaining a schedule of watering, fertilizing and weeding, hoping for the right combination of rain and sunshine for the seeds to take root and grow.

Where am I going with this you ask….follow along.

Not only is it a season of growth but the opportunity for many communities to host outdoor festivals, jamborees, rodeos, farmers markets, baseball tournaments and concerts. Yup. And most of them are run by a group of community volunteers (successfully I might add). I also realized that it isn’t just my community (Grande Cache) where the same ten people (STP’s I like to call them) volunteer for everything, it’s throughout the north-west. For the past two months I have visited a variety of rural communities throughout North West Alberta and there is one reoccurring theme: how do we recruit and retain volunteers?

This got me to thinking: what is it that KnowledgeConnector is trying to achieve?

To put things in simpler terms, I am comparing KnowlegeConnector to a community gardener.

We know that people (the soil) are the most important valuable resource to our community organizations (our garden).  Community sustainability and growth relies on knowledgable volunteers and building leadership skills, creating that passion for learning.

Every good gardener will use a fertilizer to enhance growth. This is where Knowledgeconnector fits in, our role is to help rural Alberta nonprofits/volunteer organizations grow and flourish by linking volunteers to learning opportunities (fertilizer). By empowering  volunteers with knowledge and skills (nurturing the garden) leads to a better organization and a stronger community. So what knowledge is the right knowledge? Where do you start?

Getting started is easy, as the NW Regional Capacity Coordinator is my role to work with rural nonprofits and volunteer organizations (FREE of charge might I add)  to determine your individual or organizational learning priorities and to link them to learning resources in your community or region.

Goes back to the question… so how do we recruit and retain volunteers? Plant the seed – provide your volunteers with accessible, affordable learning opportunities in line with their specific interests and needs and watch your community garden grow!!

If you are interested in participating in a workshop or need further information, contact me your NW Regional Capacity Coordinator

yvonne.rempel@knowledgeconnector.ca

 

 

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Jun
03

Celebrating vibrant and festive places in NW Rural Alberta

Posted by: in North West

Did you know that organizations in Alberta report volunteer compliment of 2.5 million people who collectively contribute about 449 million hours of volunteer  time which is equivalent of approximately 234,000 full-time jobs? Also, Alberta Nonprofit/volunteer organizations generate approximately $10 billion in revenues with arts and cultural organizations generating approximatly nine percent of that revenue (stats reported by www.NPVSALBERTA.org). One of the five pillars of community sustainability is Cultural Diversity. One aspect of Cultural diveristy is festivals and events which promote and ensure sustainability and strengthening communities along with building community capacity and at the same time drawing in other communities and individuals to foster community growth; even if it is for one day or one weekend.

The community groups or organizations planning these events and activities may not necessarily be thinking in these terms but rather in a broad sense of providing entertainment or simply stated as “something to do” which in turn becomes a fundraising activity. Research found that a majority of these community groups or organizations are volunteer driven.

The Demmitt Cultural Society “sustainable and cultural on the borderline” is just one example of a dedicated community volunteer organization in NW Rural Alberta.

This community organization was established on the principles of dancing, live music and having a lot of fun. Still holding these principles dear, they have embarked on merging community roots with their concern for sustainability. To mark this transition they focused on replacing an aging 1980 community hall with one that combined sustainability, architectural beauty and a very good dance floor. Their volunteer 13 person Board of Directors meets once a month, includes people from all walks of life.

This is directly taken from their website (www.borderlineculture.com) “On the surface, Demmitt is like any other rural Alberta community: a super mailbox, cattle and an old community hall. Take a closer look and you will also discover a kernel of the future has germinated. If you drive south off Highway 43 on Rural Route 132 you will come across a perfectly crafted forty-foot timber frame covered bridge. This bridge promises to lead to a sustainable future for the rural Peace region communities like Demmitt; it promises to lead to a brand new 6200 square foot sustainable community centre”.

Wouldn’t it be interesting to see how many volunteer hours are recorded leading up to and including the day of this event? Please go online and check out their “Borderline Cultural Activities”.

KnowledgeConnector continues to highlight rural community organizations dedicated to promoting and enhancing community sustainability and believes that growth relies on building leadership, and knowledgeable volunteers creating a passion for learning throughout Rural Alberta.

Yvonne.rempel@knowledgeconnector.ca

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Rural Alberta Development Fund Volunteer Alberta
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