Tag Archives: Community

Make A Move

Photo by Natashi Jay, Flikr Creative Commons

The ‘Maker Movement’ is coming to Cortes Island in October. This contemporary subculture has a strong focus using and developing practical skills and applying them creatively.

Etsy, the fast growing e-market place promotes Arts and Craft Makers around the world.  In Canada, Etsy has been on the road this year ‘popping-up’ in cities from the East to the West Coast, joining together local craft makers and Artisans to share their ideas and create local Maker Movements.

Jessika Hepburn is an Etsy Ambassador, a ‘Mover and Maker’, a cheerful activist and a Community Matchmaker.  Based in Halifax, Nova Scotia Jessika and Friends will be visiting Hollyhock to share their talents, their business ideas, their experiences and their energies with us.  Make a Move to Jessika’s web site to read more.


Join Jessika Hepburn and friends for Makers Retreat from October 17 – 22, 2014

Hollyhock featured on OurCortes.com

By Lilith Klassen via ourcortes.com

“Hollyhock exists to inspire, nourish and support people who are making the world better.”

Once the abandoned site of an institute for Gestalt Therapy with a lone caretaker living on the overgrown lands, Hollyhock has grown into a world renowned centre for deeper connection to the planet and one’s self.  For 33 years, Hollyhock has been opening hearts, changing minds and transforming lives amidst the ‘take your breath away’ natural beauty of Cortes Island. Whether nurturing the soul or the body, walking among the gardens or learning how to gather abundance from nature, you will leave this place transformed. Continue reading Hollyhock featured on OurCortes.com

Place-Based Imaginative and Ecological Education in Maple Ridge, BC


Since August 2008, the project has been working to bring together the community of Maple Ridge to establish a public K-7 school and learning centre. The theory and practice of the project is supported by Place-Based, Imaginative and Ecological Education. Learning and teaching will be experiential, in context, and through activities that engage the mind, body, and heart. The project is based in principles of inquiry and inclusion.

Teaching and learning will involve reconnecting the natural and human worlds. The project is a partnership between several community groups, School District 42 Maple Ridge & Pitt Meadows, and Simon Fraser University. The university-based research is funded through an environmental Community-University Research Alliance grant (eCURA) from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

maple-ridge-nature-educationWe seek to grow relationships and nurture practices of learning and teaching that embody the following principles and values:

  • Place and Community
  • Nature, Ecology and Sustainability
  • Inquiry and Possibility
  • Interdependence and Flourishing
  • Imagination and Integration

Place and Community

We cultivate learning in, about, with and from local places. This includes spending extensive time immersed in the outdoors, dialoguing with a diversity of people connected to these places, and exploring the meaning of places in the context of the broader community, its past and future. Our hope is to nurture and develop an inclusive educational community deeply rooted in place. Related readings.

Nature, Ecology and Sustainability

We cultivate learning in natural settings, where we listen for what the more than human world has to teach us. Through the cycle of the seasons and the years, knowledge of ecosystems will be built gradually so that diversity, complexity and sustainability become part of our understanding of the world. How to live sustainability in this place is an ongoing question in everything we do. Related readings

Inquiry and Possibility

We cultivate a spirit of inquiry involving everyone – the natural world, students, parents, community members, teachers and researchers alike. We are committed to exploring multiple pathways of learning and teaching that engage many different ways of knowing and forms of knowledge. Meaningful, authentic, locally-inspired individual, group and community projects play an important part in this process. Related readings

Interdependence and Flourishing

We cultivate an appreciation of people both as unique individuals and as members of nested families, communities, and places.  We seek to understand the complex ways in which we can help each other flourish, and how to build relationships and systems that contribute to such flourishing. We aim to foster respect, care, and health in everything we do. Related readings

Imagination and Integration

We cultivate imagination in teaching and learning, as a key to deeper understanding, creativity, and responsiveness to place and community. We look for ways to integrate learning across the curriculum, bridging language arts, sciences, histories, geographies, mathematics, physical and social skills. We develop educational practices and materials that nurture a sense of wholeness in learning and teaching. Related readings

School Questionsenvironmentalschool@sd42.ca
Research Questionsecolearn@sfu.ca

Community Gardens

By Brooke Spencer

Vancouver is now home to over seventy-five community gardens and over a dozen urban farms in the inner city. As part of the Vancouver Greenest City 2020 Action, planners encourage community gardens, farmers markets and urban farms with hopes that numbers will continue to increase. These gardens can be found in city parks, school grounds and private properties; there is even a garden located at City Hall.

Lots of people do not have the space or resources to grow their own vegetables at home but through the use of community gardens, people can enjoy the benefits of fresh, locally grown produce. Potential low income families are given access to nutritionally rich foods which may not have been available to them.

Along with the upside of healthy eating, community gardens also promote community building, sharing and friendship as well as reducing the levels of crime. It can be a place for people of many different backgrounds to interact with one another; you get the chance to meet your neighbours and look out for one another. Community gardens have also been endorsed by the police as an effective crime prevention strategy as people develop an appreciation for living things.

Older generations with gardening experience can share their knowledge with others and inspire a new generation of conscious growers. Kids can grow up to learn more about where their food comes from, environmental sustainability as well as the life skills that emerge from working with others toward a common goal. People can also learn about the importance of recycling, saving items to compost instead of being thrown in a landfill. Food scraps, paper cups, paper towels and grass clipping can even be used in place of fertilizer.

Working in the garden can be a form of physical exercise and has actually be proven to reduce stress rates; horticultural therapy is a growing trend. Gardens can also increase oxygen levels and reduce the level of pollution in areas. People who garden can also develop an immunity to pesky pollen allergies because they are gradually exposed to small amounts of it.

Community gardens can also facilitate crops that would not always be available in the average grocery store. For example, GMO free seeds. Many reports show that urban farms can be more productive per square inch that larger scale farms growing genetically modified produce.

Check out the City of Vancouver’s website for a list of community gardens near you.

Heart-Mind 2013 Conference

Heart-Mind 2013

Heart-Mind 2013 brings together some of the leading minds in child development and contemplative practice – from scientific researchers to practitioners – to address the Dalai Lama’s question, “How can we educate the hearts of children?”

The theme of this year’s conference is Mindfulness and its role in helping children thrive physically, socially and emotionally. It is for all those who care for and about children – parents, educators, mental health workers, healthcare professionals, out-of-school-care providers, yoga instructors, recreation leaders, academics, thought leaders and many others.

The conference provides a wonderful opportunity to network with like-minded people who are committed to integrating mindfulness into the lives of children.

Learn more and register here.