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Questions to Ask Your Oakville 2018 Municipal Election Candidates

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Do you know where your election candidates stand on important municipal issues like urban forest funding, supporting public and active transportation, green infrastructure, safe cycling lanes, and climate change action planning?

Here are 5 suggested questions to ask your Ward and Regional council and mayoral candidates:

  1. The town of Oakville has a goal of 40% tree canopy coverage by 2057. According to the town’s forestry survey, the coverage increased by only 1.3% between 2005 and 2015, bringing our current tree canopy cover to 27.8%. How would you ensure Oakville citizens and council members achieve our stated goal?
  2. How would you encourage more people to take public transportation, carpool, walk or cycle to school and work in Oakville?
  3. The town acknowledges that flooding is an increasing problem. Would you support more green infrastructure such as permeable pavement, bioswales, green roofs in large developments and how would you do so?
  4. Are you committed to increasing the number and safety of bike lanes?
  5. Oakville does not have a community-wide climate change action strategy that lays out emission reduction targets and actions our community must take to reduce and adapt to the impacts of a changing climate. The proposed Community Energy Plan (CEP) (presently under development in partnership with Sheridan College) is expected to focus on community emissions reductionsWith this in mind:
    • How will you ensure that community-wide climate change mitigation and adaptation goals, actions, and implementation timelines are developed?
    • How will you deliver adequate funding for full implementation of a community-wide climate action plan?

Ask the Questions, Share Your Responses, and Be Sure To VOTE! #OakvilleVotes

Oakville Ready for Rain Program Launching Soon!

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We are launching a new Oakville Ready for Rain program soon!

We want to put Oakville on the map as a leader in the adoption and uptake of innovative stormwater management solutions! 

Currently, over 40% of Oakville is impervious surface area ~ think parking lots, buildings, roadways and driveways. With climate change we can expect rainfall volumes and intensity to increase and urban flooding to impact our community. This hands-on project will demonstrate how we can modify properties to capture rainwater and create landscapes that absorb rainwater where it falls. By allowing rain water to filter into the soil before entering Lake Ontario, our water will be cleaner and our neighbourhoods more resilient during heavy rains. Residents and businesses in selected Oakville neighbourhoods working together will demonstrate how we can create beautiful and sustainable green spaces to divert water from our sewer systems.

The initiative is delivered in partnership with Green Communities Canada’s RAIN Community Solutions program and funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

The program launches this month and we are seeking community input to select target neighbourhoods for installation of new rain-absorbing landscaping solutions. Community installation projects can include: rain gardens, rain barrels, ditch conversions to bioswales, permeable pavement, or strategically placed boulevard rain gardens with curb cuts. Property owners, neighbourhood groups or associations interested in participating and hosting a retrofit project on their properties should contact Oakvillegreen at programs@oakvillegreen.org.  

We are also hiring a part time program coordinator to implement this project. Please see the full job posting below. 

PROGRAM COORDINATOR – OAKVILLE READY FOR RAIN

Location: Oakville, Ontario

Overview of Position: We are seeking an experienced program coordinator to lead the implementation of all aspects of this project including, overall coordination, workplan implementation, outreach/promotions, liaise with stakeholders, partners, and contractors, program marketing, volunteer supervision, evaluation and reporting.

The list below outlines the major tasks related to the position:

  • Identify target neighbourhood in consultation with key partners
  • Make presentations and engage partners and neighbourhood champions
  • Work with neighbourhood champions to ensure neighbourhood buy-in for green stormwater retrofits
  • Recruit property owners and facilitate their participation in the project using social media and staffing booths at community events and locations
  • Coordinate with a professional landscape architect who will design each project
  • Secure in-kind donations and pursue further funding opportunities
  • Recruit volunteers and supervise volunteer work parties to complete the retrofit installations
  • Follow up with site visits and homeowner/participants to ensure retrofits are working adequately
  • Track results, prepare evaluation and final reports, and video case study
  • Identify further opportunities for similar projects and funding sources
  • Secure funding for continuation or duplication of the project.
  • Participate in capacity-sharing training with Green Communities Canada and other organizations as needed
  • Additional tasks assigned as needed

Qualifications:

  • Post-secondary education in a related field (environment, community development, landscaping, geography, hydrogeology, civil engineering)
  • Knowledge of stormwater concerns and green stormwater infrastructure
  • Knowledge of municipal planning and green infrastructure policy issues
  • 2 years’ experience coordinating a similar project to its successful completion, including executing project plans, adhering to project budgets, and meeting project deadlines
  • Demonstrated commitment to environment, water quality and/or social justice as evidenced by volunteer commitments
  • Excellent oral and written communication and interpersonal skills
  • Experience in developing and organizing public outreach/education events

Definite assets:

  • Community knowledge of stormwater and flooding issues in Oakville
  • Pre-existing relationships with the potential target neighbourhoods (having lived and/or worked in Oakville)
  • Personal experience of flooding
  • Full “G” driver’s license and clean driving record

This a part-time (24 hours per week), 12 month, contract position, reporting to Oakvillegreen’s Executive Director, with training and mentorship opportunities through Green Communities Canada. Compensation is commensurate with experience. Anticipated contract start date is October 8, 2018.

To apply:

Please submit a cover letter and resume as a single PDF to: Giuliana Casimirri, Executive Director, ed at oakvillegreen dot org.

Please note: Applications will be reviewed as they are submitted, with interviews beginning October 1st until the position is filled. No phone calls please. We appreciate all applications, but advise that only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Backyard Tree Planting Program Update

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Thank you Oakville for letting us plant trees with you!

We are gearing up for another great planting season, we have a new coordinator, and we have lots of tree-riffic events planned!

Our Backyard Tree Planting Program has experienced tremendous success in 2018. We are on track to exceed our target of planting 80 trees by the end of the year, with more than 65 trees and 70 shrubs already planted. In addition to helping Oakville residents realize their goals of enhancing local biodiversity, conserving energy, providing wildlife habitat, and increasing property value, the trees planted through the Backyard Tree Planting Program will sequester over 340,000 kilograms of carbon dioxide over their lifetimes – roughly equivalent to the annual carbon footprint of 26 households! As the fall planting season begins, we are excited to continue fostering biodiversity and contributing to a stronger, healthier urban forest in Oakville.

The pilot year of the BYTP program was made possible by a $75,000 SEED grant provided by the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The Oakville BYTP program is able to continue in fall 2018 thanks to additional funding approved through the 2018 Town of Oakville budget process.

 

As we jump into a busy autumn of planting, backyard consultations and tree tours, we are also pleased to welcome Ryan Kaiser as the new coordinator of the Backyard Tree Planting Program! Ryan graduated from the University of Toronto’s Master of Forest Conservation Program in June 2018. During his time at U of T, Ryan collaborated with local community organizations in endeavours to promote proactive planning and management of Toronto’s green infrastructure, and engage the community in stewardship of the urban forest.

Be sure to join us at one of the great events planned for the fall to meet Ryan and learn more about the Backyard Tree Planting program!

Join us at Forster Park on October 2nd for our Autumn Tree Tour, and at Pelee Woods on October 13th for our Community Tree Planting Event.