On September 30, 2017 the town of Sundridge, Ontario celebrated the opening of the Near North Enviro-Education Centre. The geothermal heated, solar powered, environmentally designed building is the vision of Jocelyn Palm, Director of Glen Bernard Camp where for years the campers have learned to “live lightly.”
The Near North Enviro-Education Centre, which took years to complete, is a testimony to Jocelyn’s vision, financial support and “persistence, perseverance and sheer determination.”
The participants at the ribbon-cutting event demonstrated Joc’s ability to build partnerships to get the job done. Lyle Hall, Mayor of Sundrige, Chris Ellis, Mayor of the Township of Strong, Norman Miller, MPP Muskoka Parry Sound, and Dr. Carolyn Bennett, MP Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs spoke about the three pillars for the project essential to the viability of our rural communities: environmental sustainability, rural economic sustainability and social diversity. Doug Dokis, representing the local indigenous peoples opened with a prayer of thanks in Ojibway and a song in Blackfoot to bless the building.
The mission of the NNEEC is “to help empower rural communities to become models for sustainable living by providing access to education, information and hands on learning opportunities focused on these pillars.”
To learn more, visit the Centre’s website at nneec.ca.
In summer 2016, campers across Canada planted over 13,000 trees provided by the ChariTREE Foundation. The Foundation is celebrating its 10th anniversary. CCA has partnered with the ChariTREE Foundation since 2009.
Comments from participating camps confirm the many benefits of this program include:
Thank you for this continuing opportunity. We value the focus The ChariTREE Foundation provides to involve our campers in forest sustainability. ~ Jocelyn Palm, Director / Owner, Glen Bernard Camp
There is something hopeful in the act of planting a tree. Our campers enjoy enhancing our habitats, increasing bio-diversity and just being in nature. Thanks for this wonderful opportunity. You are growing hope for a greener future. ~ J. Rodenburg, Camp Kawartha
Thank you for your generosity and work as a charity. This is an incredible program for our camp, staff and campers. It is our 70th anniversary at Camp Couchiching so we are planting one of these trees in honor of each of our years in operation. Many thanks for being a part of this and contributing to our success this summer. ~ Ross McIntyre, Associate Director, Camp Couchiching
The trees we received from the ChariTree Foundation were planted during our Family Camp. Your donation is greatly appreciated as the Emerald Ash Borer has left many holes in our camp’s forest canopy. The White Spruce trees will help to replace the loss of our Ash trees. ~ Sarah Leitch, Camp Manager, Disciples Conference Grounds
In summer 2013, campers from over 75 camps across Canada planted close to 20,000 trees. Regrettably, many of the Alberta seedlings were lost in the floods, which indicates the need and importance of this program. Sincere thanks to all the camp leaders who contributed to a successful planting season and Andrea Koehle Jones of the Charitree Foundation who generously supplied the seedlings.
“I never realized how much the kids would enjoy it!”
“The campers loved the activity – they even named the trees: Jack, Sky, Barky and Sparkle – because it is supposed to be a Christmas tree when it grows up!”
“The trees replaced a large number that we lost in a storm last year.”
“The campers feel they have left their own legacy at the camp they love.”
In summer 2012, The Roberta Bondar Foundation (RBF) partnered with the CCA in a successful pilot project to launch the Bondar Challenge in Ontario camps.
In 2013, all camps across Canada will have the opportunity to participate in the Bondar Challenge, a unique environmental photography program.
Capturing an image in their summer camp environment that relates to some aspect of biodiversity, participants interpret the artistic and scientific components of the photograph that they have taken in a written Artist’s Statement, challenging their imagination and creativity.
The RBF is dedicated to environmental education that “stimulates interest, excitement, creativity and responsibility by infusing art in science and science in art.”
Full details to participate in the Challenge will follow in the spring.