Community Based Water Catchment Groups – with Rhys Taylor

I love the idea of communities united through the rivers and tributaries that they share – in other words through their water catchment. Every piece of land on earth is part of a water catchment. Where does the rain that falls in your garden end up? Unless it is whisked directly away to the ocean by a stormwater drain, it will eventually make its way to a stream or river on the downside of your property.

Community Catchment Groups have been set up in South Canterbury in New Zealand. They comprise of members of the community who live around a particular river and its tributatries, who share a desire to protect that water and its natural environemt.

Rhys Taylor is the Community Engagement Coordinator for the South Canterbury River Catchment Groups, supported by Canterbury Regional Council.

Join me, as I ask Rhys about how these groups were set up, how they are benefiting their communities, what their participants are learning and what they are achieving.

This show was recorded on the 27th February 2018.

To listen to this programme about COMMUNITY CATCHMENTS please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=858339c7-5bb7-41cc-b80b-1e8dea3d01b1. If the link is not working – please let me know and I’ll fix it. We also endeavour to re-air our older popular shows on request.

For more information –

This show was originally broadcast on the 2nd March 2018 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM and sponsored by Taste Nature – Dunedin’s organic shop.

Eco Living in Action is hosted by Dr Maureen Howard, Eco Action Educator

 

Rhys Taylor (Community Engagement Coordinator for the South Canterbury River Catchment Groups). Pictured here at a photo-competition on South Canterbury rivers, holding the framed winning photo of Wainono lagoon, near Waimate.

Members of the Waihi Catchment Group by the Waihi River bridge in Geraldine. Rhys is currently facilitator for this group.

Members of the Waihi Catchment Group on a recent visit to a deer farm where they learned about management of deer to reduce silt loss to waterways.

 

Advertisements

Managing Setbacks in Urban Restoration – with Hendrik Koch

With more than 50% of New Zealanders living in cities, and cities encroaching on rural and wild spaces, incorporating nature into our urban design is becoming increasingly important. Indeed, nature can ameliorate many of our urban problems. Trees and green space reduce stormwater run off. And they reduce the temperatures in concrete dominated cityscapes. Just as important, spending time in nature make us happier. Nature improves the mental and physical health of us and our children.

And of course we have a duty to make space for the other species we share this planet with.

My guest on this show is Hendrik Koch, Activities Coordinator with The Dunedin Environment Centre Trust. Hendrik has a background in successful urban restoration particularly in the Kaikorai Valley area of Dunedin. If you have been to the Shetland Street Communtity Gardens or to the Kaikorai Wetland Reserve across the road you will know what a special place this area has become. I loved it so much, I used to run the sustainable living field trips there for the SLP class participants.

Unfortunately there has been a big setback, with a new sewerage renewal project that is going to impinge significantly on the area. I asked Hendrik to tell me more.

This show was recorded on the 15th June 2017

To listen to this programme about MANAGING SETBACKS IN URBAN RESTORATION please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=61821466-3b68-499c-ac3a-66d20535a003

(If you want to listen to this show and the link is not working – please let me know! We endeavour to re-air our older popular shows on request.)

This show was originally broadcast on the 6th July 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

Hendrik Koch, Activities Coordinator with the Dunedin Environment Centre Trust (DECT)

 

Look out for the bridge leading to the community gardens

The Kaikorai Common Reserve is just across the road from the community gardens – on Shetland Street

Starting a Community Garden in Dunedin – with Lynn Vare

Dalmore Reserve Community Garden – better known as the Dalmore Reserve Bandit Gardeners is one of the newer community gardens to pop up in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Every community garden of course is run a little differently depending on the desires of the people putting in the work as well as the needs of the wider community. If you are thinking of starting up a community garden, or getting involved with one, then today’s show should provide you with good food for thought!

In early June 2017, I spoke (via internet) to my guest Lynn Vare, resident of Dalmore in Dunedin, and Librarian at Otago Boys High School. Lynn is currently leading the Bandits, following the considerable achievements of founder Kelley Allen.

I’m keen to find out some of the essentials for getting a community garden up and running here in Dunedin. What were some of the challenges faced by this Community garden? What have been some of the expected and unexpected rewards? And what motivates Lynn to commit her energy and efforts to making this garden a success.

To listen to this programme about The Community Garden at Dalmore Reserve please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=5e759e87-a96a-4037-abf9-ec61131769f8

(If you want to listen to this show and the link is not working – please let me know! We endeavour to re-air our older popular shows on request.)

For more information –

  • On facebook – Dalmore Reserve Bandit Gardeners
  • Email – Gardenersdalmorecommunitygarden@gmail.com

This show was recorded on the 2nd June 2017 and originally broadcast on the 8th June 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

Lynn Vare, currently leading activities at the Dalmore Reserve Community Garden.

Dalmore Reserve – site of the Bandit’s Dalmore Resesrve Community Garden

Flowers have been planted to attract beneficial pollinators

Healthy spray free veges growing. Views of Dunedin Harbour in the background

All this plant profusion requires some work! Everyone is a volunteer at the Dalmore Community Gardens

And of course everyone efforts are rewarded with fantastic produce to share among volunteers.

Green Politics in Northern Ireland – with Cllr Dr Georgina Milne

On Eco Living in Action I’m usually pretty focused on the practical actions that we all can take to transition to a sustainable future. But politics, whether we enjoy it or not, is a critical part of our transition.

In the past, Northern Irish politics has been dominated by the nationalist-unionist divide, sidelining big issues  that affect us all – such as biodiversity loss, climate change and the state of our environment. Things have improved a little but there is much progress to be made.

Join me  as I chat with Cllr Dr Georgina Milne who is the Green Party’s representative in the Ormiston district in Belfast City Council. Georgina works as a research scientist at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute based in Belfast. We talk about the state of Green politics in Northern Ireland, how she is finding life as a politician, and what Northern Ireland needs to focus on to transition to a sustainable future.

This show was recorded on the 26th May 2017.

To listen to this programme about GREEN POLITICS IN NORTHERN IRELAND please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=d58ffea8-3fa5-476a-bc97-074dcf0fe36f

(If you want to listen to this show and the link is not working – please let me know! We endeavour to re-air our older popular shows on request.)

For more information –

This show was originally broadcast on the 8th June 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

 

Cllr Dr Georgina Milne, Green Party representative for the Ormiston District in the Belfast City Council

Old tools for new livelihoods – with Stephen Wood from Tools for Solidarity

Tools For Solidarity is a small charity based in the cities of Belfast and Downpatrick in Northern Ireland. The charity collects, refurbishes and sends old unwanted hand tools and sewing machines from here in Ireland to skilled tradespeople living in Africa, helping them to secure productive livelihoods for them, their families, and their communities.

Tools for Solidarity has been running since 1992, and over the years it has slowly developed and expanded on the initiatives that it has chosen. There is so much that I admire about this charity. In particular, its passion for overseas aid work, its reuse of unwanted tools, the sustainability education work it does in schools and its commitment to giving meaningful work to people who have special needs. On top of this, the organisation is run in a way that includes a commitment to consensus decision making, equitable pay and a non-hierarchical structure. Fantastic!

In this show recorded on 29th March 2017, I visit Stephen Wood from Tools for Solidarity at their Belfast workshop to talk to him about some of the work that this charity is doing.

 To listen to this programme about Tools for Solidarity please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=c320e66b-bb71-4fa5-924e-3097b86e1031. (If you want to listen to this show and the link is not working – please let me know! We endeavour to re-air our older popular shows on request.)

To listen to other Eco Living in Action radio shows on the Otago Access Radio Website go to http://www.accessradio.org/ProgrammePage.aspx?PID=d6c5fa93-1644-4811-acef-71386373b70a

For more information –

  • About Tools for Solidarity, go to http://www.toolsforsolidarity.com/ Contact – Tools For Solidarity,
    55A Sunnyside Street, Belfast BT7 3EX. Tel Tel: +44 (0)28 9543 5972. E-mail: tools.belfast@myphone.coop

This show was originally broadcast on the 4th May 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

Stephen Wood, along with his brother John Wood, are two core volunteers at Tools for Solidarity, without whom it would not exist.

Outside the Tools for Solidarity workshop in Belfast. There is also another workshop in Downpatrick (not pictured here).

Sewing machines are donated to Tools for Solidarity. These are refurbished and converted so they can be operated manually without electricity before heading off to Africa.

Stephen Wood in the hand tools section of the workshop

Tool boxes are the latest venture of Tools for Solidarity. Each is targeted to a specific trade skill. Still at planning stage, it is hoped they can be distributed to young skilled workers in Africa.

Hand saws sorted according to teeth size. Excellent sorting and labelling skills are required at Tools for Solidarity!

Laura Rio Fernandez, a sustainability educator, leads the Education for Sustainable Development Programme that is offered to schools by Tools for Solidarity.

 

 

 

A Grassroots Protector of the Climate – with guest Rosemary Penwarden

When you go out walking do you find yourself picking up the litter of strangers? Do you sign petitions to change government policy? Do you go on rallys, or introduce recycling at work or school? Whatever environmental protection actions you take – if you are trying to change your bit of the world for the better – then you can call yourself a protector of the planet.

One person who firmly fits the label of planet protector is Rosemary Penwarden. Rosemary spent many years working as a medical laboratory scientist, is a proud grandmother (‘Rama’) and lives in Waitati north of Dunedin. In the last five years she has become actively passionate about the issue of climate change, and is involved in opposing fossil fuel extraction in New Zealand and particularly in Dunedin. She is part of Oil Free Otago and CANA (Coal Action Network Aotearoa).

On this show recorded on the 24th February 2017, I chat with Rosemary Penwarden about her personal journey to grassroots action, and what it is like to directly oppose big business corporations in the fossil fuel industry in New Zealand.

To listen to this programme about Protecting the Climate please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=a3b8ea7f-59ce-4b9a-8da6-621cd4d247f7. (If you want to listen to this show and the link is not working – please let me know! We endeavour to re-air our older popular shows on request.)

To listen to other Eco Living in Action radio shows on the Otago Access Radio Website go to http://www.accessradio.org/ProgrammePage.aspx?PID=d6c5fa93-1644-4811-acef-71386373b70a

For more information –

This show was originally broadcast on the 16th march 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

Oil Free Otago spokesperson Rosemary Penwarden stands in front of their banner at the Dunedin Railway Station clock tower. The group wants the government to invest in clean energy projects instead of deep sea oil and gas drilling.

 

Oil Free Otago campaigners peacefully protest at a petroleum conference blockade, Sky City, Auckland. 2016

CANA (Coal Action Network Aotearoa) protest against Fonterra’s continued used of coal at their Clandeboye plant near Timaru – 2017. Photo taken by Shannon Gilmore.

Rosemary enjoys some family time with her grandson Arlo (2016)

Fostering Energy Resilience in Blueskin Bay – with Scott Willis

Since it was formed in 2008, the Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust (BRCT) has had its share of successes as well as its challenges. Back in 2013, Scott Willis from the group came on the show to talk about their exciting proposal to build three wind turbines to generate energy in the community of Blueskin Bay, just north of Dunedin. Unfortunately, despite community support, the turbine proposal has also faced some local opposition leading to a reduction in the number of planned turbines being proposed.

But BRCT is as resilient as its name suggests, and provides many other positive benefits to the local community (and Dunedin) such as Home Performance Assessments, the ClimateSafeHouse project, Community Energy Advice, bulk firewood and insulation, and Climate Change planning.

In this show, recorded on 3rd April 2017, I talk to Scott Willis about positive developments for BRCT, setbacks, the big picture of community based energy resilience – and what keeps Scott motivated over the long term.

To listen to this programme about COMMUNITY ENERGY RESILIENCE please click on http://www.accessradio.org/Player.aspx?eid=a9a0ad0b-edcd-4133-aa92-6beed95bb4b3

To listen to other Eco Living in Action radio shows on the Otago Access Radio Website go to http://www.accessradio.org/ProgrammePage.aspx?PID=d6c5fa93-1644-4811-acef-71386373b70a

This show was originally broadcast on the 13th April 2017 with the help of Otago Access Radio 105.4FM. Eco Living in Action is sponsored by Sustainable Dunedin City.

Scott Willis, Project Manager at Blueskin Resilient Communities Trust (BRCT) in Waitati, Dunedin, New Zealand

Early mock up of the proposed wind development on Porteous Hill. Currently for one turbine.

Preparing the wind site for geotech assessment

Services that BRCT provide include firewood delivery to the Blueskin Community.

BRCT also provides advice on energy efficient homes. Here are most of the Home Performance Assessment team