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Transition Sooke News                                         April 2023 

The Time is Now — a great forum to start the year
News from Zero Waste Sooke
Climate Anxiety/ Work that Reconnects 
Links from Readers
It all Starts with Water  The Rain Gauge Number 2
Earth Week Events April 19-22
Recycle for Transition Sooke
Upcoming Events
Your Opinion Matters
photo S. Belford
Ah— April! With the spring beauty all around, optimism also blooms. Transition Sooke is set on an exciting course over the next year. After our Strategic Planning session in January, we set our sights on building relationships in the community; at the AGM on March 22, we confirmed a small steering committee to help guide us forward, and after the Now is the Time forum on March 26th, Sooke will see a series of initiatives develop in coming months.
Forum participants take a break for a group photo                                                                            photo by A.Dolan, K. Rimstad
The Time is Now a great forum to start the year

Transition Sooke’s  March 26, “The Time is Now: Building Community Resilience Together“ Forum, was attended by about 40 people. This small but committed group included some long-time Transition Sooke members and several new faces. Throughout the event, good feelings prevailed in the room while people wrestled with potential ways to build Sooke’s resilience in the face of climate change and ecosystem loss.

Elder Shirley Alphonse of T’Sou-ke Nation opened the meeting with a water ceremony blessing, supported by Andrew Moore on alto recorder. Shirley explained that she had collected sacred water from around the world to mix together for use in blessings for this type of event. Each participant was sprinkled with this sacred water as Shirley prayed for our planet, its lands, and waters.
In his keynote address, Councillor Gord Baird talked about the importance of story telling using real-life experiences to explain and illustrate scientific data and facts about climate change. He used his own life stories as an example how he met his wife and partner Ann, what he learned from her, how they are working together on Highlands Council and how they were able to get changes to provincial and municipal building codes and construction regulations to enable them to build an eco-sensitive home in the Highlands, including the design and installation of regenerative sewage and water systems such as composting toilet and rainwater harvesting.
Gord left us with these concluding points:
  • Always consider how land is to be used
  • Find ways to collaborate with others,  incorporating some of their ideas into your plans
  • Continue story telling
  • Don’t give in to being hopeless that nothing will change; nor to be so “hopeful” that somehow things will change on their own, rather be “hope free” and focus on taking action. 
  • A crazy idea is only crazy if it remains “just an idea"
The remainder of the event consisted of small group discussions focused on practical projects being undertaken in the local area to alleviate climate change, promote climate action, support the protection of local ecosystems and wildlife, reduce environmental costs of housing and waste, and ensure local development protects Sooke region’s environmental, social, and economic needs. At the conclusion of the day, many participants called for more such events, and discussions are ongoing to see how we might achieve that. For further details, check out the Forum Report on the TS website.
Forum participants wrapping up after a full day's work                                                                                              photo A.Dolan
                      News from Zero Waste Sooke
Zero Waste Sooke and the Sooke branch of VI Regional Library are co-sponsoring another free event in their series of Swaps. This time, by popular request it's a Jigsaw Puzzle & Board Game Swap, on Sunday May 28 11:00am to 1:00pm. Thanks to Librarian April Ripley, who makes the posters for these Swaps!
Come to Sooke Library on Wadams Way with puzzles and board games in good, playable condition (all pieces accounted for, etc.), and please--  no toys outside of these categories. Pick up some new-to-you puzzles and games for free!  Please bring in your donations starting at 11 am. You do not have to donate items to browse and take home items–all are welcome!
Paula Johanson

For those who weren't here in 2016 for Zero Waste's Open Space where Buddy Boyd was our keynote speaker (he came all the way from Powell River where he operated a recycling depot that inspired our own continuing dream to have a Resource Recovery Depot in Sooke) here is some info on that Open Space event.
Jo Phillips
Upcoming Climate Anxiety / Work That Reconnects Meetings  

Sunday, April 23 at 2:00 p.m.
Wednesday, April 19 at 7:45 p.m.
Facilitator Allie Pickets. Contact for address and information.
Links from Readers

"I had to send this out. An article and You tube video of a youth climate group in Prince George who wrote a climate song. I heard it on CBC this morning. So beautiful and inspiring."                                                                                                           Gord Wallace
 Droughts, atmospheric rivers, and growth are playing havoc on our bedrock aquifers.                                                                                                                                     Sinclair Philip

I encourage everyone to talk about tiny homes and keep the conversation going. I also put together a website for our local efforts.                                                      Lorrie Beauchamp

This article made me wonder if, when we have a lull in action ideas for ZWS (ha ha), we could put together a campaign to encourage our local grocery stores to put up signage in produce departments discouraging shoppers from using plastic bags for produce unless it seems absolutely necessary.  Maybe some photos of bananas or avocados with the caption Why Wrap Twice or pictures of turtles wrapped in plastic or something.  Just a thought.                                                                                                               Jo Phillips

... and on the professional side of things...

Find Paula Johanson's new books at Doublejoy Books!
Allie Picketts-- The Work that Reconects

The Rain Gauge  

It All Starts with Water
          Second in a 12-part series by Chris Moss, an Otter Point resident 

Life as we comprehend it could not exist without water. Everything with an organic base depends on water. Humans are mostly water, on average we are 60% water.  Without water our bodies dehydrate, which is why we tell people to drink lots of fluids during hot weather or during an illness when the body is losing fluids rapidly.  Without water acting as the main ingredient of the primordial soup where life began at the bottom of a shallow body of water, life as we know it could not have developed on what was a very hostile rock planet some 3.7 billion years ago.  

Water has some interesting properties.  It can be a frozen solid or a liquid or a gas.  When it freezes it expands and it floats on water. If it became dense, as other solids do, it would sink to the bottom of the ocean and our planet would have a perpetually frozen ocean floor. Water evaporates into a gas if you put energy into it by heating it or leaving it in the sun. Liquid water can be distilled from its gas form by cooling it. When condensed, water falls from the sky; we call it rain or snow. If it remains suspended in the air, we call it a cloud, a mist or a fog.   It is so common to our lives that we take it for granted if we have it, and despair if we don’t.

In 2017 the Capital Regional District issued a report called “Climate Projections for the Capital Regional District”. It is filled with maps based on existing data from 1971 to 2000 and projections for 2041 to 2070. Where we have had a snowpack of 3 meters from 1971-2000 on our south island mountains, the report predicts that by 2050 that there will be zero snowpack. While the report deals mostly with changes in temperature and precipitation it also has a section on other impacts in our region. Changes to the climate will affect our human health, wastewater and sewage management, water supply, tourism, recreation, transportation network, ecosystems and species, buildings and energy systems, and food and agriculture. It all starts with water.

Greater rainfall in a shorter period might be good if you are a lake reservoir. Sooke Lake might accommodate a sudden influx of water in spite of the increased turbulence.  But if you are a watershed, the increased short duration rain will not have time to infiltrate the soil and much of the surface water will be shed into streams and rivers and therefore not sink into the underground aquifers. That’s bad news if you draw your water from a well. 

Also bad news if you are a salmon.  Water shortages are a real concern as our summers get dryer and longer - stretching into mid to late September.  The CRD releases water into the Sooke River to compensate for the lack of water needed by migrating salmon, but all other spawning areas are on their own.  If the salmon can’t get up to their spawning grounds for lack of water then they cannot lay eggs and the spawning run in that river can be damaged or lost. Just recently it was reported that a run of Chinook salmon has fallen below the level of reproduction in one of the northern BC rivers.   

If we lose the Sooke river run, then we may also damage or lose the bears and eagles that depend on the salmon, and the ecosystems that depend on the natural fertilizers that the decaying salmon provide. Indigenous use and western use of this resource will change.  Protecting the watersheds and keeping the rain where it falls is essential to the health of diversity in our region, and it all starts with water.

Earth Week Events April 19-22, 2023
Monday, April 17  7pm to 8pm    Get FireSmart!                                       Sooke Library 
Learn more about how you can help increase our community resiliency to wildfire. Topics include: 
  • Sooke’s wildfire risk
  • Fire behaviour
  • Wildland urban interface zone
  • FireSmart principles, and
  • How to protect your home and community
Friday, April 21  10am to 1pm  Broomhill Park Community Clean-Up 2280   Pyrite Dr.  
You’re invited to a celebration that’s in our nature! Enjoy a few hours with family and friends, meet your neighbours and appreciate our natural environment as we work together to care for our local ecosystem. Refreshments provided. Everyone welcome.
Saturday, April 22  Multiple Events

10 am
to  2 pm  Special Earth Day Morning Market          by Firehall Otter Point Rd.
Sooke is celebrating Earth Day and would love for you to swing by the Sooke Saturday Market beside the Sooke Fire Hall on Otter Point Road, shop local, pick up fresh produce and check out additional exhibits spaces, including: 
  • Repair Café hosted by Zero Waste Sooke
  • Charge Your Ride Information Station
  • Home Navigator Program Information Station
  • Solar 101
  • 606 Water Group
  • 7% Solution                       
10 to 12 noon    EV "Show and Shine"                   Location TBA
 Local EV owners share with residents what they have learned about driving electric.

1 pm              “Fracking the Peace” film and discussion                      Sooke Library  Sponsored by Sooke Region Lifelong Learning (SRLLL), this film examines the practice and legacy of the hydraulic fracturing which is used to release fossil gas for export.

Metchosin events
April 19, 7:00,  at St. Mary’s Church
Andy MacKinnon and T.J. Watt in conversation about Old Growth and featuring T.J.’s photography.
April 27, 6:00, at Bilston Farm 
Andy MacKinnon in conversation with Tzeporah Berman. Here’s the link to the event at Bilston Farm:
 Recycle for Transition Sooke!!
Help raise funds for Transition Sooke and help save our planet at the same time!

Transition Sooke has an account with the Sooke Bottle Depot.  All you need to do is take your refundable beverage containers to their depot at 2023 Idlemore Road and let them know that you are doing this on behalf of Transition Sooke.  Sooke Bottle Depot will forward the funds to Transition Sooke!  

Refundable beverage containers accepted:  refundable glass, bottles, and cans (e.g. juice, pop, wine, liquor), wine boxes, milk cartons and plastic milk jugs, rice milk, almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk, plant-based beverages, and milk substitutes.

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10:30am to 4:30 pm.  Closed Sunday and holidays

Up-Coming Events
April 17-22                        Earth Week events  see above article for details
April 19   2 to 7 p.m.         District of Sooke Budget Open House          Sooke Municipal Hall
April 19   7:45 p.m.          Climate Anxiety/Work that Reconnects   For address, contact Allie
April 23   2 pm                 Climate Anxiety/Work that Reconnects   For address, contact Allie
May 28   11am to 1 pm   Jigsaw Puzzle & Board Game Swap       Sooke Library                

Upcoming Transition Sooke Meetings
May 9      Steering Ctte. Meeting
May 10    Monthly Meeting
June 13   Steering Ctte. Meeting
June 14   Monthly Meeting

To get the zoom link to meetings, please contact us.
Your Opinion Matters!
Your letters and articles in the Sooke News Mirror concerning climate change, nature and ecosystem health, development, and community resilience keep important issues in the public eye. And sending your thoughts about these issues, or Transition Sooke's stance on them to this newsletter helps keep up an ongoing dialogue. If you have a photo you'd like to send the newsletter, a letter to the editor, a short article or a piece of news, please forward it to us. Thank you!
Copyright © 2023 Transition Sooke, All rights reserved.

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