2013 Progress Report Now Available

October 20, 2014

The annual CSP Progress Report measures and reports on the headway being made towards a variety of “indicators of sustainability”. These indicators range from topics such as per- capita water usage and housing density, to residential-commercial tax balance and voter turnout. The indicators are designed to provide a balanced sense of whether or not the community is making progress on the 13 Pathways to Sustainability, as outlined in the Cochrane Sustainability Plan.

2013CSPFinal

Like reports from previous years, the 2013 Progress Report indicates a mix of positive movement towards some targets, no change in others, and in a few cases, negative movement.

A notable highlight of this years report is continued improvement in per-capita water usage, particularly considering Cochrane already has one of the lowest per-capita water usage rates in the province. Other highlights of this year’s report include positive movement on housing density, an increased number of active community associations and an increase in the number of business licenses granted in the community.

When you pause and consider the potential implications of the tremendous growth that Cochrane has experienced over the past few years, The Cochrane Sustainability Plan becomes an even more important document, laying out an ambitious 50-year vision for a complete and sustainable community. The annual Progress Report is an important element of this process, acting as a means to both celebrate our accomplishments and hold us accountable for the work that has yet to be done.

Every year’s progress report highlights the importance of the entire community being involved in the implementation of the Cochrane Sustainability Plan. Together we can ensure that for generations to come, Cochrane remains true to its shared values of prosperity, responsibility and stewardship.

Get informed, get involved, and contribute to making this vision a reality!

~SPUR Co-Chair Jeff Couillard

Download your free copy of the 2013 Progress Report (16 MB).

What? Olives Can Build Community?

October 17, 2014

Here’s a surprising fact: people donate sliced olives to the Cochrane Food Bank.

Here’s a less surprising fact: the cans of sliced olives get left on the shelves because no one really wants them.

And here’s the rest of the story: the Activettes who own and operate Cochrane’s Food Bank pass these cans of olives along to Big Hill Pizza. And twice a year, when Cochrane Activettes enlist the help of Air Cadets for the Cochrane-wide food drive, Big Hill Pizza provides the pizza to feed these hard-working volunteers.

This is what the Cochrane Sustainability Plan is all about – coming together to be more than the sum of our parts, turning unwanted olives into something important: an act of appreciation for young people and their contribution to our community.

Modern economic thought might tell us that money is the way to show appreciation and the most efficient way to get things done. Just pay each young person to help out with the Food Drive. They can buy their own pizza. Easy.

And cold. Without connection. Without story. And human beings thrive on warmth, connection, and stories that show us who we are and where we fit. It’s these simple, low-tech things that give our lives meaning, that make life worth living.

So let’s keep donating the occasional can of olives, feeding each other pizza, helping out where we can, telling our stories of simple caring. And fifty years from now, Cochrane will still be known as a caring community.

FoodBank1

Read more about the Cochrane Activettes and the Food Bank here.

~Posted by Sharon MacDonald

Champion Profile: Cox Promotions

October 16, 2014

Click here to visit Cox Promotions webpage. Cox Promotions is also on Facebook as Cochrane Cash Mob.

Click here to visit Cox Promotions’ webpage.
Cox Promotions is also on Facebook as Cochrane Cash Mob.

Building “Deep Community”

October 15, 2014

In recent months, SPUR Co-Chair Jeff Couillard has been spotted making speeches and running workshops throughout Cochrane. The theme? Deep Community. We thought we would explain what we think it is, and how we might go about ensuring that our community continues to foster it.

“Deep Community” is described in the book Deepening Community: Finding Joy Together in Chaotic Times, authored by Paul Born. It differs from two other types of community, namely —

Shallow: In shallow communities, people know each other on the surface but don’t really know each other. You might run into someone over and over at the coffee shop and develop a “Hi/Bye” relationship. You might “like” things that your friends post on Facebook, but you don’t take the time to really get to know them. People in shallow communities retreat to the comfort of their computer screens or smart phones, interacting with the world through a piece of glass and an internet connection.

Fear-based: In fear-based communities, people gather together and rally around a common fear. Fear that their property taxes will go up. Fear that wetlands will be drained. Fear of newcomers, or people from different countries with different value systems. Fear can be a very powerful force. Fear-based communities are characterized by polarization: “You’re either with us or against us.”

By contrast, Deep Communities are places where people interact based on their values and their hopes. There is an absence of “they, them, the other.” Instead, people use terms like “us, ours and we.” Instead of polarizing people into opposing sides of an argument, challenges and community issues serve to unite people in collective action and a search for win-win solutions. Mutual acts of caring become the norm. In a lot of ways, Deep Community describes the kind of small town living for which Cochrane is renowned.

Which brings us to ideas on how to foster this kind of community here in Cochrane, particularly during these times of tremendous growth. Here’s a quick list of our ideas. We’d love to hear your ideas!

  1. Join (or form) a community association. Plan a block party. Get to know your neighbours.
  2. Attend any number of worthwhile community events. From outhouse races to harvest dinners, parades to music festivals, there is no shortage of great ways to get together in Cochrane.
  3. Share your story, introduce yourself to someone at a coffee shop or in line for groceries. Chat with people. Put down your smartphone once in awhile.
  4. Volunteer. Nothing builds community in quite the same way as working together with like-minded people on projects that make our community better.
  5. Request a “Deep Community” workshop for your organization. They’re free. And awesome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

~Posted by Jeff Couillard

SPUR Harvest Dinner 2014

October 13, 2014

Collage

Highlighting Our Sponsors: Kitchen Boutique

September 16, 2014

Lately, you’ve probably noted posters and invitations promoting SPUR’s upcoming Harvest Dinner, Friday, October 3, 6 p.m.

We are delighted to have as our sponsors four of our newest Sustainability Champions:  Great Things In Store, Green King Ltd., Kitchen Boutique, and Vision Financial.

This week we want to highlight Kitchen Boutique — for all your kitchen, barbecue, and party needs!  We’re so glad that Kitchen Boutique is part of our community and that Kitchen Boutique participates as a Sustainability Champion.

And if you have yet to purchase your tickets for SPUR’s Harvest Dinner, do that soon.  They’re going fast, with September 26 being the last day to purchase.

See you at dinner on October 3!

KitchenBoutique

Highlighting Our Sponsors: Great Things In Store

September 9, 2014

Lately, you’ve probably noted posters and invitations promoting SPUR’s upcoming Harvest Dinner, Friday, October 3, 6 p.m.

We are delighted to have as our sponsors four of our newest Sustainability Champions:  Great Things In Store, Green King Ltd., Kitchen Boutique, and Vision Financial.

This week we want to highlight Great Things In Store — an excellent shopping and consignment destination during back-to-school and change of seasons!  We’re so glad that Great Things in Store is part of our community and that Great Things in Store participates as a Sustainability Champion.

And if you have yet to purchase your tickets for SPUR’s Harvest Dinner, do that soon.  They’re going fast. The discount code “Appreciation,” which gets you $5 off, expires at 11:55 p.m., September 12. See you at dinner on October 3!

GTIS

Cochrane Activettes ~ The Clothesline

August 21, 2014

Clothesline

For more information on Cochrane Activettes: http://www.cochraneactivettes.com/

 

August Sustainability Newsletter is here!

August 15, 2014

Yes, that’s right!  You can read all the latest news here!

Just one small correction: the image that accompanies SPUR’s Harvest Dinner should have read “$25.”

That’s a darn good price for turkey dinner with mead and live music!

And by entering the promotional code “Appreciation” when you book your ticket, you can get yet another $5 off, meaning your ticket costs only $20!  See you there!

Dinner

SPUR Harvest Dinner

August 14, 2014

The Cochrane Sustainability Plan is 5 years old!

On Friday, October 3, join SPUR (Sustainability Partners Uniting Resources) as we celebrate where we’ve been and where we’re going, with our sustainability plan anchored firmly in community!

Ticket price includes turkey with all the trimmings, a glass of mead with dinner, and a sumptuous dessert.

Doors open at 5:30PM, with dinner served at 6:00PM, accompanied by live music, cash bar by Fallen Timber Meadery, and a short program.

Purchase your tickets now!

Hope to see you there!

Harvest Dinner

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