Projects

Reducing our carbon footprint is the most important step we can take to help us live within the means of our planet, and this goal forms the foundation of all our activities.  In the coming weeks and months, we hope to create opportunities to learn more and develop practical ways to work toward climate solutions that we can apply in our region.

As we face our current crisis, we recognize more now than ever, the need for a resilient food system. Sustainable locally grown food is key to providing long-term food security. Our first campaign to share our harvest with the Merrickville Emergency Food Cupboard was a great success and we look forward to continuing to support the cupboard over the winter months! During harvest time, we are also calling on all the local gardeners to save their seeds in support of the new Merrickville Seed Library to be launched in the spring of 2021 in partnership with the Merrickville Public Library.

If you are interested in participating in one of the projects below, if you have other ideas or experience to share, or if you just want to learn a little bit more about what we are doing, contact us or join us at any of our meetings or events. Everyone is welcome!

Check out our Events Page or join us on Facebook to get all the details.

Repair Cafe

Repair

In keeping with the notion of rethinking how we do things, we are connecting those who have something they’d like to repair with a fixer-upper who can guide them through the process.

Over the upcoming months, we will feature free workshops on the repair of bikes, clothing, small electrical appliances, and so much more. If you are interested in sharing your skills and knowledge, please let us know. Whether you are a beginner, hobbyist, or professional, you are needed and welcome.

Connect with Local Farmers

Photo by Bobbie Dhar at landphotos.ca

Access to sustainable, affordable food sources is more important now than ever. This group looks for ways in which our community can contribute to food security and connect with local farmers.

In the less busy winter months, the Ask a Farmer series provides the opportunity to meet a local farmer and to learn more about their background and growing/livestock-raising practices. We welcome anyone with experience, ideas, questions, or just plain enthusiasm to join us in supporting access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food. See Buy Local for a list of local farms.

Greening Your Lawn

Photo by Zoritsa-Valova on Unsplash

We want to shift paradigms by answering the question - what makes a beautiful yard?

We have become accustomed to manicured, monoculture, close-cropped grass lawns as the ideal of yard-perfection. But why? Picture instead a plot of multicolored wildflowers, magnificently scented, and abuzz with native bees, butterflies, and damselflies. A mulched pathway winds around thyme, basil, and cherry tomato plants, all ready to harvest and add to tonight's meal. Birds flit and flutter by, catching insects and singing happily. With little maintenance (and lots of harvesting!), this yard takes care of itself and gives back in abundance.

Advocate
for Change

Photo by Chris Slupski on Unsplash

Do you want to have your voice heard? In response to recent changes to the municipal recycling program, we are circulating a petition to ask the Merrickville-Wolford council to expand the recycling and waste management options.

Last fall Sustainable Merrickville-Wolford circulated a petition to the Leeds-Grenville County Council to declare a climate emergency and create a climate action plan. We are pleased to report that after presenting the petition in November 2019, the Council initiated a climate action planning process in January. This group will continue to follow their work and look for ways to support and partner with them, as well as with the individual municipalities. We will also support our Merrickville-Wolford Environmental Advisory Committee as they continue their important role here in the Village.

Support the Sharing Economy

Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

Sharing, borrowing, exchanging, or providing is all part of building strong community connections and reducing consumption.

Sustainable Merrickville-Wolford is always interested in promoting or supporting local activities. Many ideas are brewing including building a tool library, organizing a clothing swap, and a seed swap.

Initiatives We Support

Merrickville Emergency Food Cupboard

Since early March, together with an exceptional group of volunteers and donors, we have raised thousands of dollars and several thousand pounds of food for individuals and families in our community who need our help. This includes nearly 400 pounds (and counting) of locally grown vegetables donated through our first share our harvest campaign. Thank you to everyone for your ongoing support in both time and donations!

Special thanks to Merrickville Car Show Club, Main Street Restaurant, Herb White Automotive, Baldachin Restaurant, Merrick Preparatory School, Healthily Ever After, Merrickville Food Market, Mrs. McGarrigle’s, Nana B’s Bakery, Brockville Superstore, Flycreek Farm, Little Window Farm, Of Field and Forest, Bluegrass Farm, Prescott Food Bank and The Table Community Food Centre in Perth. As we learn of others, we will add them to this wonderful list!

We know the needs will continue, and likely increase, as the COVID numbers start to climb, some of the financial supports change or end, and the colder weather approaches. We hope this generosity will become part of our new normal going forward.

If you are interested in learning more about what you can do, please contact us any time.

Donations

  • If you would like to donate: Healthily Ever After, at 118 Brock Street West, continues to accept donations of non-perishables.

  • If you have perishable donations, including produce from your garden, please contact jmcintyre@rideauchs.ca to make arrangements. Donations will typically be distributed on Wednesdays.

  • Financial donations can be made by e-transfer to donations@rideauchs.ca, or you can drop off a cheque at the Health Centre reception. Please mark your donation for the “Client Needs Fund”.

If you or someone you know needs to access the Food Cupboard, please contact jmcintyre@rideauchs.ca or call 613-269-3400.

Merrickville Seed Library

Seeds
Sustainable Merrickville-Wolford and the Merrickville Public Library are partnering to create a seed library for our community in time for spring planting in 2021. While typically focused on heirloom vegetables, flowers and other seed stock may be collected as well, as a diversity of plants is key to a healthy garden.

If you grow a garden and are thinking about saving seeds this fall, consider donating some to the Merrickville Seed Library.


For more information, see the Saving your seeds section of the Plant a Garden page.

How to donate

Donations can be dropped off at the library anytime beginning in the fall. Please make sure that your seeds are clearly marked with the
  • Year collected
  • Type of plant and variety of plant (e.g., red cherry tomato; autumn beauty sunflower)
  • Any extra information that may be helpful (how deep to plant seeds, when to start them, amount of sun, soil, etc.)

Donated seeds will be collected, organized, and can be picked up in the library in time for planting in the spring of 2021.

Grow-A-Row

The first year of our grow-a-row initiative has been a great success. As of mid-September, the tally has reached almost 400 pounds of locally grown produce and counting. Thanks to everyone that shared their harvest. For inspiration, check out this national Grow-A-Row website with resources and some recipes. It's never too early to start planning for next year!

Merrickville District Trails Society: Wetlands Trail

We are pleased to support the development of the Merrickville District Trails Society's new Wetlands Trail for residents and visitors to Merrickville. The new trail will be built in stages along the shoreline near the Merrickville public library and will include a viewing platform overlooking the Rideau Migratory Bird Sanctuary.

Walkers, joggers, and woodland explorers will meet shoreline inhabitants and vegetation, learn about the richness of the ”riparian” area, and feel the importance of wetlands within the Rideau River Watershed. Interpretive signs will be added.