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EMCS poster contest
Land use: Put a Hold on New Development
Climate Heroes: Rainwater Harvesting
Transition Sooke Needs You
This Narcissus, budding without a stem in December instead full height in early spring may be a sign of climate change. Or, as the bulb it grew from came from an "assortment", maybe its an early flowering variety. In any case, a reminder of the vitality of life as we head into a time of short days and renewal.
Transition Sooke Supports EMCS Climate Poster Contest
The artistic and environmental efforts of four Edward Milne Community School (EMCS) students who designed climate change posters will be rewarded with cash prizes thanks to a donation by Transition Sooke. Coinciding with the recent COP26 world meetings on climate change in Glasgow, Scotland, the poster contest's theme was focused on building awareness of climate issues in the Sooke community.
This poster was created by Allison Forget, a junior                      This poster was a collaboration by junior students
student, independent of any class assignment.                             Hannah Gillie and Gwenlili Jones. It received     
Chosen for third place for its originality and succinct             .       second place for its teamwork and attention to
message.                                                                                        detail.
                                    This poster was created by junior Charlotte Baye Pearson using her camera,                                        her brother's hands, her own compilation of elements and her skills with Photoshop.
It was chosen as first as it has clear messaging and a professional look. It is available in digital format.
Transition Sooke’s Gord Wallace helped make the prizes a reality. Susan Percival, Career Centre Coordinator at the school, coordinated the event on behalf of EMCS. It is hoped the posters will be displayed in public venues in the Sooke community.
Click here to see the posters in a larger format


Transition Sooke to District of Sooke: Put a Hold on New Development

Transition Sooke will have a delegation to Sooke Council on December 13 to make the argument that given the District has already approved the bulk of its growth commitment for 2030, Council should put a hold on all new developments until:
  1. The OCP is completed and approved
  2. Zoning and building bylaws are updated and approved
  3. Climate Action Plan is in place that specifies how the District will meet its goal of a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030
“In a recent Sooke News Mirror article, Mayor Maja stated that the vision for Sooke is a ‘vibrant, inclusive, net-zero town with a big heart cradled in the stunning beauty and vitality of the ocean and forest,’ ” said Transition Sooke Board Member Alan Dolan. “The overwhelming conclusion from Transition Sooke’s work over the past 15 months is that it is impossible to attain this vision and keep growing at the present rate, meet our greenhouse gas emissions targets, preserve our carbon sinks, and maintain the small-town — close to the ocean, forests and fields — that everyone says they treasure.”

Dolan noted that Transition Sooke supports continued growth of affordable, subsidized, non-market housing in the town centre as well as continued development of local, independent small businesses. Both of these developments need to be zero carbon emissions.

“We need to stabilize our carrying capacity,” said Dolan, “to protect what natural environment is left for a carbon sink, flood and drought protection, food security, wildlife habitat and corridors, biodiversity and walking and playing with our families.”

Transition Sooke members are also working to show how Sooke's actions can help the CRD achieve some of its unmet regional growth objectives .

Also at the December 13 Council Meeting, the Climate Action Committee will present several recommendations. Click here for the agenda
Lynn and Chris Moss recently completed installation of their rainwater harvesting system. Here is their account....
 We are very aware of the climate  emergency and  increasingly aware of climate migration caused by lack of water. With the plentiful rain  which we are lucky enough to get in the winter months here, it made sense to us to capture some of it for use in the dry months for irrigating our vegetables and fruit plants. We did a lot of research before we went ahead with our system. Nanaimo Regional District is a good source for information.

 A rainwater system can be very cheap or more expensive depending on your wants and needs.  At times we have simply detached the downspouts on the house from the drains to direct the water into clean plastic garbage cans. This is the least expensive but needs attention to make sure the cans do not overflow and the ground does not get saturated. Other methods include running pipe from the eavestroughs into a series of forty-five gallon drums ganged together. Both these methods work and are suitable for irrigation water, grey water, toilet flushing, etc. but not for potable (eating, cooking and drinking ) water.

A potable water system   requires more specialized equipment and greater expense. The roof material where the water runs down is important. “The best roof materials are Factory-coated enamelled steel, terracotta, concrete tile and properly glazed slate are the safest materials for a RWH system and the easiest to maintain. Zinc-coated, galvanized metal is the next best choice. Modern asphalt and fibreglass shingles are often heavily infused with anti-fungal chemicals to prevent moss growth. Given the lack of information available about concentrations of moss inhibitors or chemicals (such as copper) contained in roofing materials, best practice would be either to avoid collecting rainwater for potable use from roofs comprised of these materials, or to treat the drinking water with a Reverse Osmosis or distillation process. Gardeners have raised some concern that moss inhibitors may be harmful to plants. Avoid cedar shakes, cedar shingles, Bitumen, or composition roofing (for flat or low-slope roofs). Acidity and potential toxins make these roofs unsuitable for potable water and are a low quality water source for gardens. Copper or lead roof or flashing materials should be avoided, especially for Potable RWH systems.” ( Nanaimo  Regional District).

Our first expense was the metal roof and we also wanted solar panels so we had the building sited for  the best of sun capture and rain water collection with as little debris as possible.  The eavestroughs or gutters need to be sloped to have the water run towards the collection pipe and need to have full length leaf guard  to stop debris from getting into the system. We also have to hose off the roof and solar panels during pollen season.

We realized from our research of the installation requirements and the building code of potable water that we needed an expert so we asked for a site visit and started with a plan of what we needed. A potable water system is fairly expensive but at this time VIHA does not require an inspection and certification for a single family dwelling but does for a supplier. Due to the cost of a completely potable system, we decided to use potable grade materials from capture to tank so we would not have to  replace and waste less expensive non-potable grade if we converted to completely potable water in the future. Our  system  was designed and  created by an expert and has  two tanks, two pumps, two overflow water outlets,  a pretank filter as well as a “first flush”  gate which  is for  diverting of the first rains which may contain debris.

We do not have fire hydrants in our area and fire is a constant worry in the dry months so we had a fire hose attachment added to the tank to use for potential fire suppression needs. However our 3000  gallon tank will only hold enough water for a  pressurized fire hose  for  3 minutes. In future we hope to   complete the system to potable standards and gang on more tanks but for now will use this one for  food irrigation and for fire suppression  water  storage. With the increasing development in the area and increasing demand on our  limited aquifers, especially with the climate change droughts, it may soon become a need and not a want.
 Transition Sooke Needs You!
Note-taker – We need a note-taker for our regular monthly meetings. Can you help? Special thanks to Allie who has been doing an excellent job over the last few months but unfortunately now has a conflict on the night of our meetings.
Food Security – A few years ago we held a Green New Deal meeting followed by a workshop where we established a number of Action Teams. One of those Teams — Food Security — could really do with some new energy.
Action Teams – Come and get involved in our Water, Local Economy, and OCP and Climate Action Teams.
Council Watch Dog – We need folks to attend council meetings (in-person or online) and write a short report on issues relevant to Transition Sooke.
If any of these tasks interest you, please email us

Upcoming Events

Transition Sooke groups are continuing to meet via videoconferencing. For the Climate Change Emergency Teams, contact the individuals listed at the top of the Climate Emergency page. For other groups, please send a message to the general email.

Our Transition Sooke monthly meeting is on Wednesday January 5th 2022. If you need the Zoom invite, contact Alan Dolan:

Your Opinion Matters!

Your letters and articles on climate change, development, and community resilience in the Sooke News Mirror and the sooke Pocket News keep important issues in the public eye. If you want to join one of Transition Sooke's Action Groups please contact us.  And if you have a photo you'd like to send the newsletter, a letter to the editor, or a piece of news, please forward that to us as well. Thank you!


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