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Permaculture. Sustainable Food Production. Natural Building. Education. Community.

Happy Summer from O.U.R. Executive Team

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Times of Transition

Well the season is transitioning and so is much here at OUR ECOVILLAGE. After 12 years of sitting at the helm of OUR Executive Directorship…. I am stepping down – or maybe better yet aside to become part of an Executive Team! With the addition of Patrick Jackson, and Nicole Leduc each stepping up to take on a very high level of responsibility and accountability…. the ship seems to be rocking into transition fairly gently. Fear not – all promised projects will be maintained by myself and perhaps even enhanced by this amazing new Executive Team Potential. OUR capacity is expanding exponentially…..

Now in terms of transition, please note that as roles are enchanted here at OUR ECOVILLAGE the transition of OUR ECOVILLAGE Co-operative is also next on the agenda. As an organization, we still are struggling with how to create a mortgage given the innovation of conventional mortgages. Island Savings Credit Union has been amazing and has maintained the current mortgage without having to move the financing on to another institution, given we are outside of their mandate. But as the new organizational structure takes on the more enchanted ownership it is unavoidable to have to move forward and determine how to find a new full featured mortgage or to find private financing. We have been working hard on creating a new legal entity “The Community Trust for Ethical Investment” which also has had its share of challenges and is still in the process. If you, or a connection through you, can come forward with investment share options, a private mortgage, or another model for alternative financing please, please let us know as soon as possible. Before we know it the summer will have transitioned away and we will be back to OUR fall campaign of trying to figure out how to finance/re-mortgage and continue this sacred space and all of the life altering work that happens here yearly.

On that note please keep posted with OUR conservation campaign with TLC whereas donations receive a full tax receipt for all funds contributed towards the protection of the lands/education programs at OUR, the Green Burial; Commemorative Conservation Scattering Grounds efforts, or general gifts that you might wish to make on behalf of your family or friends (we will send out gift cards to these folks).

More transitions to come – check out the physical changes onsite as you might not recognize the space where you generally have entered into OUR office etc. etc.

Green Building Award & Living Building Challenge

Wow – we did it again! In 2004 we were awarded the Green Building Award from Vancity and The Real Estate Foundation and again we pulled it off for 2011. To have an organization receive this grant award twice is pretty outstanding and we are proud to take on an even more amazing building project than ever before. With a retrofit to OUR space that was once the ‘office’ we are now recreating it as a natural building called the Community Commons! With a huge up the ante element included – we have taken on The Living Building Challenge. There are very few of these buildings in Canada and we are privileged to be apart of the process. Not to make this sound all like a bed of roses, but the Living Building Challenge is a dynamic and intense tracking process that includes looking at the distance traveled from the start place of a building material or processing of it, to construction site. It includes: excluding any hazardous or potentially impacting substances or toxins, looking at every off cut of wood that may potentially end up in the ‘waste stream’ and documenting this while analyzing how to make use of it rather than entering it into the waste stream. This goes for energy, water, and all previously know ‘waste’ aspects of the design. Keep up to date with OUR blogs and on OUR website to follow this journey……

In Community,
Brandy Gallagher BSW, MA

Permaculture. Sustainable Food Production. Natural Building. Education. Community.