Amanda Evans presented a Green Team collaboration proposal to the District of Sooke, at the recent January 29 Regular Council meeting. Her proposal centred around developing a formal partnership with the District, which would bring in a regular dedicated team of volunteers to work on park maintenance in and throughout Sooke.
The Green Team is a Greater Victoria volunteer-driven organization. A part of what they do is beach clean up, invasive plant removal, trail building and more. They have 60 activities per year, and they also have a youth focus. According to Amanda’s presentation, the volunteer model is simple, effective, and award-winning.
They have received recognition from the following:
- Jane Goodall institute Recognition
- Earth Day Canada Hometown Heroes Award
- Nature Vancouver Frank Sanford Award
- YWCA Environmental Sustainability Award
- Recycling Council of BC Award
- Vancity Social Innovation Award
- Volunteer Victoria Award
- District of Saanich Environmental award
The Green Team has made several clean-up appearances in Sooke in the recent past. (See Greater Victoria Green team seeks volunteers for English Ivy removal, Ed Macgregor Park and Invasive weed removal, Ed Macgregor Park in Sooke, September 25.) In total, they have been in Sooke seven times, and have engaged 107 volunteers (41 of them youth).
Evans proposed that Sooke enter into a formalized partnership with them, a collaborative agreement, where the District would cover a part of the costs born by the Green Team, and the Green Team will continue their work in Sooke.
“Let’s get our hands dirty together,” said Evans.
Evans noted a single activity costs them about $2,000, so if they could enter into an agreement, they would be asking the District for half of that. The money goes toward the coordinating and outreach required before an event, and the reporting component afterwards. The number of activities per year would be determined by Parks staff. Councillor Bev Berger noted the District already has staff doing this type of work. Evans emphasized the difference in her proposal was that they would be engaging the community at large.
Staff was asked to prepare a report on the proposal. Funding could come from a late Community Grant request, or the funds could come from the Parks budget.
Projects are selected by community engagement specialists, said Evans. The Whiffen Spit project was set up by the CRD. They also consider projects proposed by other like-minded organizations.
Staff will provide a report regarding activities, the agreement, and how the program fits within the existing budget.
Also from the January 29 2018 Regular Council meeting:
- Earthquake and tsunami emergency system update
- Having rallied for Sooke Rd improvements, this volunteer Economic Development Group turns attention to Tourism
- Sooke Legion initiates process to permit alcohol service to the public
- Green team proposes collaboration partnership with the District of Sooke
Present at this meeting were Mayor Maja Tait and Councillors Bev Berger, Rick Kasper and Kevin Pearson.
Absent were Councillors Brenda Parkinson, Ebony Logins, and Kerry Reay.
The full agenda is available here: Regular Council – 15 Jan 2018 – Minutes – Pdf