Jan 2014 - The containers have been ordered and the Funds applied. Updates coming up soon.
Nov 2014: The Project Leaders of the NWTEA are happy to report that the containers have greatly enhanced the day to day operations of the NWTEA group. Logistics are now much simpler and the saved time and effort lightened the load on all the Volunteers and Participants. The Fact that there was an actual physical locationof the Office at the arena where the sessions are held was an immense asset, as well as having a large space on site to store Tack and Equipment. The containers are out of the weather, located in one end of the Covered Arena at the Terrace Fairgrounds. Knowing that the items are not only dry, but safe from vandalism or theft. So, all in all, the purchase of the container has met and exceeded expectations.
Jan 2014 - The Bulkley Valley Research Centre (BVRC) has received a donation of $ 15, 000 specifically dedicated to an exciting research project about 'Sustainable Subdivisions". In my function as Trustee I have met on several occasions with the Project team and explored their suggestions for their proposed research. It was encouraging and interesting to talk to the Project Leader Dr. Cristina Soto who holds a multidisciplinary PhD in Resource and Environmental management Practices from Simon Fraser University and - acting in a Consulting Position- Anne Hetherington, who is a Rare and Endangered Species Biologist for Ecosystems Section FLRNO and a member of the SEAR (Ecosystems at Risk) and LGWG (Local Government Working Group). Together we have toured two rural properties in the Telkwa area, which will be used for an applied study for innovative Subdivisions in close collaboration with the owners.
The research will consist of extensive background research and a resulting presentation of options for design of subdivisions with economic, environmental and community variables in mind. The research results have a capacity for stimulating an integrated approach in future property development, to combine economically viable, sensible housing development with preservation of ecologically sensitive habitats, traditional recreational land use and community access.
The proposed Project Details have been sent to the BVRC directly by C. Soto and I have met with the BVRC Research Program Manager Rick Budhwa to discuss funding and implementation. I am positive that with the assistance of the BVRC this project can be successful in its research component as well as further application and distribution.
UPDATE Nov 2014: The research has been concluded and exceeded the scope of our expectations! It was necessary to expand the amount of funding as well, so the Trust expanded the existing contract in the amount of $ 6,000. We are excited to present the first of several public presentations, starting Wed, Dec 1, 2014. See details here Feb 2014 - As Trustee of the Kassandra Trust I support the Rooftop Garden Project (under the Umbrella of Skeena Energy Solutions), because it nicely ties together community involvement, sustainability and local food production. The Skeena Bakery in New Hazelton installed a greenhouse on their roof just over a year ago, and the owner is keen to host a community food garden project with a social justice focus. A need has been identified in the Hazeltons for more therapeutic programs for men, and the vision is to start a community garden tended by a men’s group. The Skeena Bakery could sell the produce and turn the whole building into a publicly prominent social and environmental initiative which has potential to expand their programs and inspire other initiatives.
The project is supported by local community groups and I am confident the project will be well organized, and with its central location has a great capacity to educate and engage the greater public. The Kassandra Trust has dedicated $ 5,000 in funding for the Community Garden Project to build beds, purchase soil and seeds and get the project off the ground. Another component that would greatly increase the growing season and form an excellent example of energy efficiency is the proposed heat recovery retrofit to use the waste heat from the Laundromat situated in the building.
UPDATE Sep 2014: Program Coordinator Gre Horne kindly gave me a tour of the Greenhouse, and I am pleased with the Project Results for the first year. Click on the links to view the results of this season and plans for the future. March 2014: I am impressed with the Telkwa Cohousing Group in their efforts to create a project which is more than just an individual lifestyle. The aspects of sustainability and social integration show on all levels of the proposed housing development and fit the mandate of the KASSANDRA TRUST well. The process to build successful cohousing COmmunities has been well researched and the group follows suggested project development steps, one of which is the ‘Getting Community Built (GBC)’ Workshop, to be held in Telkwa on March 1/2, 2014. The KASSANDRA TRUST donated $2000 to facilitate this workshop.
BIOMASS HEATING SYSTEM FEASABILITY STUDY, HAZELTON
April 2014:: Under the Umbrella of Skeena Energy Solutions another promising project is taking shape. Biomass Heating is an especially suitable and sustainable energy source in the North. More info here http://skeenaenergy.com/projects/biomass/ Heating requirements of several public buildings such as Secondary School, Hospital, NWCC and arena could be met, possibly all by one system, or each by an individual system. A Prefeasibility Study by Th. Wunderlin of Bioenergy Solutions yielded promising projections. Without a follow-up with adetailed Feasibility Study any efforts to secure funding and move ahead would be futile. In April 2013 the The Gitxsan Development Corporation received funds to finance a Feasibility Study for the Village of Hazelton, but to date it has not been initiated. To keep the momentum going for this exciting Energy Alternative, THE KASSANDRA TRUST has donated $ 10,000 to conduct a feasibility study for Biomass heating Applications for the Community of Hazelton.
UPDATE Sep 2014:
Thomas Wunderlin has finished the Feasibility Report on Biomass Heating in the Hazeltons. The most promising buildings to convert to biomass, Thomas found, are the Hazelton Secondary School, New Hazelton Elementary, and GWES College. These systems have a capital payback period of 5 to 7.5 years. Thomas has offered to give a presentation of this report in mid October in the Hazeltons. This will be a chance to ask questions and decide how to move forward. Click on links to see overview , more detailed analysis and Biomass Fuel Supply Proposal
Sep 2014: As the Trustee of the KASSANDRA TRUST I am pleased to announce, that the Trust is providing $ 11,000 as funding for a Feasibility Study, a prerequisite to move forward with the proposed Birchwood Cohousing Project.
The Bulkley Valley CohousingvSociety held a workshop in March, which was well attended and the project has since received enough serious interest and support to move forward into the next phase, a Feasibility Study. Other items on the agenda include submission of a development application to the Village of Telkwa by the end of September and a website, aimed at drawing attention to the Birchwood Project, to inform locals and those from afar of the benefits of living in cohousing, in Telkwa and in BC's Northwest.
Dinah Hanson of the BVCS informed me that -over many discussions- members have arrived at decisions regarding small lots, energy efficient homes, landscaping, recycling, water collection and irrigation and gardens; all with the goals of minimizing resource use and maximizing self-sufficiency and sustainability. They plan to build one or two small cabins to be used as guest accommodation and to generate income.
Furthermore they intend to serve the valley community by offering the planned lounge area for special events such as music, talks, yoga, etc. As was pointed out, the full property is already well-used by people from Telkwa, Smithers and beyond, for walking, biking and skiing and it will continue to serve as a community asset.