Active Transportation in Antigonish: Stakeholder Meeting Report

As described in our previous post, on Wednesday, May 2, community members gathered at the People’s Place Library to learn about and help shape the future of Active Transportation in Antigonish. Hosted by Antigonish Community Energy and Responsible Energy Action, this event brought together stakeholders with interest in the many elements of Active Transportation.AT wordcloud 2

The wordcloud here provides just a flavour of the depth and diversity of the discussion after each of the panel presentations and in the world café that followed. A full report of the event, including next steps and ways to get involved, is available here.

 

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Active Transportation in Antigonish: a Panel Discussion and World Café

AT graphic 2Come learn about and help shape the future of…

Active Transportation in Antigonish

The People’s Place (Antigonish Public Library)

Wednesday, May 2, 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Virtually everyone in Antigonish enjoys the benefits of active transportation, getting around by walking and biking. Active transportation is important in so many ways: it improves health and saves money while giving us the pleasure of a closer connection to our surroundings. These benefits are too important to take for granted. They need to be protected and enhanced.  This is why, in 2014, our local governments jointly commissioned the Antigonish Town and County Active Transportation Plan to help guide the development of active transportation programs and infrastructure that would further encourage the use of non-motorized forms of transport.

This event provides a first opportunity for many of us to see this plan and to hear about how it is being implemented in the county. And for a view from above, we will hear from the Ecology Action Centre about how other communities are addressing some of the same challenges.

Then, to benefit from of all the knowledge and experience of assembled stakeholders and experts, we will ask ourselves what next steps we want to take to move the active transportation agenda forward.

PANEL PRESENTATIONS AND DISCUSSION:

  1. Andrew MacDougall (Antigonish Community Energy/Highland Bike Club/StFX Earth Sciences): highlights from the Antigonish Town And County Active Transportation Plan
  2. Meaghan MacNeil (Physical Activity Coordinator, Municipality of the County of Antigonish): Antigonish County’s active transportation progress and plans
  3. Eliza Jackson (Sustainable Transportation Coordinator, Ecology Action Centre): Active Transportation planning in other Nova Scotian communities

WORLD CAFÉ: Facilitated conversations in small groups.

All are welcome!

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HOSTED BY:  Antigonish Community Energy and Responsible Energy Action

ACE to Present at Business Connects

The first Business Connects event of 2018 is coming up next week, hosted by the Antigonish Chamber of Commerce. The theme will be “Environmental Sustainability in Antigonish” with presentations from ACE and from Nicole Haverkort of Eastern Region Solid Waste Management.

When: Wednesday, January 24th, 2018. From 4:00 – 5:30 PM
Where: People’s Place Library, Antigonish, NS

Everyone is welcome!

Business Connects

Antigonish Community Energy to Register as an Association

Since its formation in 2014, Antigonish Community Energy has been bringing citizens, businesses and institutions together from across the community to plan how we get and use energy. We held two large public fora, in 2014 and 2015, to discuss a variety of topics related to sustainable energy. This early work led to the formation of the ACE Cooperative in 2015, a separate initiative that promotes solar electricity installations throughout the county and beyond. Since then we have hosted speakers, convened brainstorming sessions, established study groups, and presented our ideas to a variety of stakeholder groups throughout Antigonish Town and County.

A piece of advice we often hear is that our informal (unregistered) status may signal a lack of serious, long-term commitment, and that this may prevent some stakeholders from participating more fully in our efforts. It also makes it more difficult for us to demonstrate financial accountability and to receive financial support from some sources. We have now taken this advice to heart and have clearance from the Nova Scotia Registry of Joint Stock Companies to register as an association. Formally, we will be known as the Antigonish Community Energy Association but will continue to operate simply as ACE.  We are now in the process of recruiting a board of directors and are drafting a charter that reflects our existing mission statement, guiding principles and vision.

We will meet on Thursday November 23, 2017, 7:00 to 8:30 pm at the People’s Place (The Community Room, Antigonish Town & County Library, 283 Main Street) when we will propose our board and charter. This will also be an opportunity for members and stakeholders to learn more about our ideas for evaluating potential energy projects and to suggest projects to consider.  All are welcome to join us for this inaugural meeting.

For more information, please contact AntigonishCommunityEnergy@gmail.com

Community Energy Planning, Tuesday, June 20, 6:30-8:30 pm, Assembly Hall, Bethany

Following recent stakeholder meetings, we are taking the next steps in the Community Energy Planning process, adapting guidelines recommended for “community-wide” energy planning, as illustrated here:CESP timeline

Source: USDE, Guide To Community Energy Strategic Planning

This meeting will focus on summarizing our progress so far, and on next steps: continuing stakeholder engagement and research on the local energy system.

Agenda:
1. ACE planning process (recap for new participants)
2. Stakeholder engagement process to date / key learnings
3. Additional stakeholder meetings (county, grassroots, Paq’tnkek and others)
4. Summer plans – “seeing is believing”, research etc.
5. Next steps in the ACE planning process (September onwards)

All are welcome!

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Community Energy Planning, Tuesday, April 4, 6:30-8:30 pm, Assembly Hall, Bethany

Following several successful planning meetings, we will continue to refine our plan for the upcoming months as we prepare launch our outreach campaign.

Agenda:

  • Review minutes and explain rationale of recent steps
  • Influential citizens – define roles
  • Finalize stakeholder list and upcoming stakeholder meetings
  • Decide whether to use Onedrive for file sharing
  • Communications strategy for recruitment: ACE story – elevator speech, power point, 1-page summary (David)
  • Set goals and timeline through to September

All are welcome!

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